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Submit to the Young Writers Flash Fiction Contest!

May is Short Story Month, the perfect opportunity to try out all the smaller, non-novel ideas that have been buzzing around your head. As an added bonus for our young writers (18 and under), we hereby present... the Young Writers Flash Fiction Contest!

Submit your story May 1 - 31!

How to Participate

1. Write a short flash fiction story (up to 300 words) that somehow includes a balloon. Birthday party? Hot air balloon ride over zombie apocalypse? Balloon popping in the background? How you use the prompt is completely up to you!

2. Revise and edit your story so it demonstrates your best work. We'll be looking for stories that build unique worlds, make us care about characters, and leave us feeling changed in some way (which is hard to do in just a few words!). For inspiration or support, check out last year's winning entries.

3. Submit your story by 11:59 PM PT on Friday, May 31. You can only submit one story, and you can’t change anything after you submit it, so be sure it represents your best work. (Note: the submission form won't open until Wednesday, May 1, so don't try to submit until then. Use this time to revise and edit your piece instead.)

The Prizes

We will award one Grand Prize to a writer aged 14 to 18, and one Grand Prize to a writer aged 13 or younger. We'll also award three Honorable Mentions. 

The Grand Prizes 

  • Your story published on the NaNoWriMo blog and on the Young Writers Program website, plus a shout out on our social media 

  • A $20 gift certificate for the NaNoWriMo store

The Honorable Mention Prizes

  • A link to your story on the NaNoWriMo blog and the Young Writers Program website, plus a shout out on our social media

  • A $10 gift certificate for the NaNoWriMo store

Special Guest Judge

Claire Kann

Claire Kann is the author of Let's Talk About Love and an award-winning online storyteller. In her other life, she works for a nonprofit that you may have heard of where she daydreams like she's paid to do it. Find out more by visiting her website: (and while you're there, tell her about your cats. She loves cats. A lot.) Her next YA novel, If It Makes You Happy, releases June 4th, 2019.

A Word of Support

Most writers submit their work dozens of times before it gets accepted. Steven King's first novel was rejected thirty times by publishers. A Wrinkle in Time was rejected twenty-six times. The point is, whether or not your story ends up getting selected, by revising it and sending it in, you're taking the first steps of an exciting journey. Just keep moving forward and we know you'll do great things!

Submit your story May 1 - 31!

Any questions? Email, or message Marya_Brennan using the Message a Moderator tool on your YWP Dashboard.

Happy writing!

More Publishing Opportunities

Write a guest post for the NaNoWriMo blog — Got advice for other writers, young or old? Sign up for the chance to write a participant post on the NaNoWriMo blog. Fill out the interest form here, or read other YWP participant posts for inspiration. 

Self-publish your novel — Are you ready to publish your whole novel, not just an excerpt? Use Blurb's tools to print copies of your novel!

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