Tuesday Teens: National Writing Contests


Award - TrophyOn Friday, August 7, 16-year-old Katelyn Hogue was honored at the Mid-Atlantic Fiction Writers Institute as the winner of the Hub City Teen Writers Institute’s 2015 Writing Contest.

The Hub City Teen Writers Institute is a special, three-day writing retreat for aspiring teen fiction writers. The free Writing Contest was open to any young writer between the ages of 13 and 19 and did not require attendance at the institute retreat. The winner received free tuition to the retreat, a $50 Amazon gift card and publication as the lead story in a special edition of The Hedge Apple, the literary magazine of Hagerstown Community College, published online.

The teen retreat/institute was held concurrently with the Mid-Atlantic Fiction Writers Institute which is hosted by Hagerstown Community College in Hagerstown, Maryland. The conference was formerly known as the Nora Roberts Writing Institute. But the bestselling romance and mystery novelist said the name change reflects a commitment to guiding and training fiction writers in every genre.

Teen Writers WritingThe participation of young people, which has continued to grow, is a key aspect of the conference, organizers said. “It’s a way to let these teens to get together, learn some really great parts of the craft, really hone their craft,” institute advisory committee member Adrienne King said.

Why Enter Writing Contests? Why Go To Conferences?

Writing is a solitary task. Creativity and inspiration are very personal aspects of the job. They’re vital to good writing and — for the most part — can’t be learned. But motivation, craft techniques, and networking contacts are also important and these are the bread and butter of writers’ conferences. Conferences that also host writing contests offer one more important thing — feedback.

Teen Writers ConferenceIn addition, today’s book industry offers so many options for writers, that publishing know-how is another important thing writers can gain from conferences. According to King, “Some of our breakout sessions this year talk about social media and self-publishing, and ways that you can get your work published and become a published author as opposed to the older days where you had to really go through one publishing house or another… There are so many other ways to be published now.”


When I entered Teen Writing Contests in Google, I got 2,330,000 results! At the top of the listing:

$250,000 Youth Contest – TheParadigmChallenge.org‎

Writing Contests | Just for Fun: Activities and … – AdLit.org

Teen Ink | Contests

27 Free Writing Contests

Writing Contests and Publishing Opportunities – Scholastic

Good luck!

Donna Maloy’s first book for teens, Celia and the Wolf, won the 2014 Lyra Award from Bookstore Without Borders. It is available from iBooks, Amazon and Barnes and Noble and wherever books are sold.

About Donna Maloy, Author

Captivating romantic suspense. History, mystery, and sometimes... a little touch of fantasy.
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