Creative Writing Contest

  • CW

    The Creative Writing Contest gives students a chance to use a form of artistic expression and bring personality and flair to their work. This is a great way to get creative using expressions, figuring out a plot, picking a setting, a theme, the point of view, the conflict and who the characters are. We welcome students in grades 3-12 to enter this contest; either on their own or through their school. There are many chances to win. The top three entries in each category and each grade group will win an award at the Awards Ceremony in April.  

    This program was established to encourage the love of language and writing. It is also a great way to recognize talented young writers in Minnesota. SWWC & SMSU Creative Writing Department have partnered to make this event possible.

    Creative Writing Awards Ceremony Guest Speaker: TBD


Categories & Fees

  • Poetry (grades 3-12); $5 per 3 poems
    Fiction (grades 3-12); $5 each
    Non-Fiction (grades 5-12); $5 each
    Students can enter one category or all three if they would like; up to three per category.
    Grade levels are judged in groups of 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 - 9-10 & 11-12 for each category.
  • How to Enter
    * Create a poem, fiction or non-fiction story.
    * Follow the Contest Rules and Guidelines listed on the flyer.
    * Category descriptions are listed below.
    * Submit your entry piece on the entry form online and payment.
    Categories and Descriptions 
     POETRY (grades 3-12)
    What is poetry? The language of the imagination and feelings. Prose explains, and poetry sings, but it doesn’t have to rhyme. Poetry is precise, concrete, fresh, memorable, and magical. A poem, like food, can feed us. It can be a peach, a pizza, a taco, or a four-course meal. But it can also be popcorn or a candy bar. Always, poetry uses words as ingredients to let us taste, touch, see, smell or hear something in the world as if for the first time.
    FICTION (grades 3-12)
    What is Fiction? The art of storytelling. To build a good story, a writer needs: plot, characters, place or setting, point of view, dialogue, action and conflict. When we read a good story we’re pulled into another world and leave this one far behind. We travel to different places in our imagination, and when we return, we often see our world with new eyes.
    NON-FICTION (grades 5-12)
    What is Creative Non-fiction? An essay with real events and people that mattered or changed you—the day your pet chicken died, that summer your best friend moved away. The characters, settings, and events are true. The writer decides the best way to grab our attention, how to start, what elements of poetry to add as spice—images, metaphor, simile—and what elements of fiction to add zing—characters, place, dialogue. This genre is popular because we read it and think, “Wow, this really happened to someone else, but I feel like I was there!”
    *Copyright reverts to authors upon publication. (Meaning: If a student wishes to publish an entry, they just need to mention that it was printed in a small anthology of contest-winning pieces. We do not hold first publication rights.)
     *Photos & media: By participating in this event you are giving SWWC permission to use any audio/video recordings and photographs that are taken during the event.

Submission Deadline

  • Entry Deadline: January 17, 2025
    No entries accepted after deadline
    Awards Ceremony Date: April 13, 2025

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