News Details


2023 Youth Writing Contest

11/08/2022| ECW

Our annual youth writing contest is coming!!

This year's theme is When Darkness Falls.

What do you do when you experience dark times in your life? Is there a dark time you have gone through that you want to share? Do you have an idea about a fictional place with no light, a story about someone with a fear of the dark or do you want to write a poem about nighttime creatures or something that goes bump in the night? The (dark) sky is the limit! We can't wait to read your poetry, stories and non-fiction pieces!

Mark your calendars for December 1st. We will have a link for submissions right here on our website! The deadline to enter is March 20th. Detailed guidelines will be released soon. See some of the frequently asked questions below.

What is this year’s theme?
When Darkness Falls

Who can participate?
All public, private and home-schooled Escambia and Santa Rosa County students in grades K-12

What genres are accepted?
Poetry, Fiction and Non-fiction (essay, memoir, etc.)

What prizes will be awarded?
First place, second place and third place prizes will be awarded in three categories: poetry, fiction and non-fiction in elementary school, middle school and high school. An awards ceremony/reading for winning students, their families, and their friends will be held in April. All winners will receive a copy of an anthology book with their work later in 2023.

What are the entry requirements?
One entry per student in one category
Poetry: up to 3 poems or 3 pages of poetry   Fiction/Non-Fiction: up to 1,200 words
Legible font, double-spaced Word document

What are the criteria for judging?
We are looking for writing that…is original, a product of your own experience and observations
    …uses vivid, sensory language and imagery
              …uses correct grammar and spelling
    …adheres to the theme
    …has overall effectiveness and impact

When will you be open for submissions?
You will be able to begin submitting entries on December 1st! We will be accepting submissions only through our website ( this year and will be utilizing an easy-to-use program in which to do so.

When is the entry deadline?  
Your submission must be received by Monday, March 20, 2023.

If I have questions, is there someone I can contact?
Charline Barger (850) 485-0818     [email protected]

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