The Write Stuff Essay Contest 2016

Enter your original literary work and you could win a prize!

Calling all kids and teens in grades 3-12 with a talent for creative writing! The library is holding a contest for all writers. There will be prizes for the winners.

How to enter:

Write one story, including the line: "What was that noise?"

Complete the online entry form with your original story attached between March 1 and March 31, 2018. 

You will be asked to include:

  • Name
  • Grade
  • Age
  • Current SLCL card number
  • Library Branch
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Parent/guardian name
  • School

Official Rules and Guidelines

  • Students in grades 3-12 are encouraged to enter.
  • Entrant must have a SLCL card.
  • Limit one submission per person.
  • Limit one author per submission. No collaborations.
  • Write one story, including the line: “What was that noise?”
  • Entry can be funny, serious, etc. Judging will be based on originality, story flow/continuity and mechanical elements (grammar, punctuation, spelling).
  • Story must be between 250-500 words long for grades 3-8 and between 500-1000 words long for grades 9-12 (title does not count).
  • Please attach entry as a “.doc” or “.rtf” file.
  • Each entry must be typed and double-spaced (no fancy fonts please).
  • Do not write your name or place any other identifying marks on the story pages.
  • Entries must be received between Thursday, March 1 and Saturday, March 31, 2018
  • Winners will be chosen in three categories: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Grades 9-12.
  • Winners will be notified by Friday, April 20 and posted at within a week.
  • First place entries will be posted in their entirety at
  • Judges’ decisions are final.
  • Visa gift cards will be given for 1st ($50) and 2nd ($25) place in each category.


Category: 11-13

WINNER:Family by Eleanor Hetherington, 11, Wimbledon High School

RUNNERS-UP:The Waiting by Tabitha Dryhurst, 12, Jane Austen College Norwich

 Hula Hoop by Lucia Sammons, 12, The Bicester School

Category: 14-16

WINNER:Mooncakes by Megan Leung, 14, Newcastle High School for Girls

RUNNERS-UP:Under the Magnolia by Alice Quarterman, 15, Norwich High School

 Lucy by Mia Galanti, 14, The Green School For Girls

View the Press Release

"I’m all for any competition or initiative that encourages girls to use their voices and to tap in to their creativity. This is a fabulous opportunity for girls to express themselves and share their stories."

− Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE

"We are delighted to be running this writing competition once more to encourage girls to keep their creative juices flowing and explore topics which are so important to them. We're aiming to discover the next generation of brilliant journalists and novelists. Last year's entries were beautifully written, moving and inspiring - we're looking forward to lots more in that vein this year."

− Eleanor Mills, Editorial Director, The Sunday Times

"I think it’s critical that we encourage girls to write and let their voices be heard through their stories. They need to stand up and be seen and to be part of this world."

− Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE

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