2022-23 Annual High School Writing Contest Announced


High School Writing Contest Guidelines

Deadline for Submissions: February 14, 2023


Download Entry Form


Categories of Writing (two divisions: 9th/10th grade and 11th/12th grade)

Short Fiction

This category includes short stories or excerpts from longer works. Entries should be no more than 1,000-1,500 words. One entry per student.


Poetry of all kinds is encouraged. There is no length limit for each poem, but please limit submissions to four poems per student. Poems will be judged individually.

Non-fiction Essay

This category includes more formal topics such as literary criticism, researched arguments, or informational research essays. They may include research bit it is not required. Entries should be no more than 1,000-2,000 words. One entry per student.


Submission Requirements

All entries must be computer-produced and printed on standard 8½ x 11 paper. Students may submit in any or all categories. Three copies of each entry should be paper clipped to one copy of the Entry Form (available online at www.shawneecc.edu). Students’ names should appear only on the Entry Forms, and not on their submitted work(s). The deadline for entries to arrive at Shawnee College is February 14, 2023. The entries will be evaluated by qualified judges. No entries will be returned, so please keep copies of your work.



Cash awards and prizes will be presented to winners in each division and each category.


Division 1 (9th/10th grade)

First Place: $100

Second Place: $50

Third Place:  $25


Division 2 (11th/12th grade)

First Place: $100                                                           

Second Place: $50

Third Place: $25


Awards Ceremony

A ceremony to celebrate the student writers will be held on April 13, 2023 at 6:00 pm in the Shawnee College Atrium. The winners in each division and category will be announced and prizes will be awarded. During the celebration, the winning entries (or excerpts) will be read aloud. Light refreshments will be provided at the ceremony in the Atrium. Please plan to attend this celebration of young writers, their teachers, and their families.


Questions and entry packets should be directed to:

Dr. Ryan Thornsberry, Shawnee Community College, 8364 Shawnee College Road, Ullin, IL 62992

Call (618) 634-3329 or email ryant@shawneecc.edu