Creative Writing Contest

  • CWThe Creative Writing Contest gives students a chance to express themselves by writing fiction or non-fiction stories or poetry. There is amazing young talent here in Southwest MN. This program was established to encourage the love of language and writing for students and as a way to recognize the talented young writers in Minnesota. SWWC & SMSU Creative Writing Department have partnered to make this event possible. We welcome all students in grades 3-12 to enter this contest; whether on their own or through public, private or home schools. This can be the perfect classroom project for students or just a creative mind who likes to write on their own. 
    Do not need to be an SWWC member to participate.

    LaurenCreative Writing Awards Ceremony Guest Speaker

    Lauren K. Carlson is the author of Animals I Have Killed (Comstock Review Chapbook Prize) and serves as editor for Tinderbox Poetry Journal. Her manuscript in progress was awarded the 2022 Levis Stipend from Friends of Writers. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College and lives in Michigan with her family, after a decade of formation in Minnesota's rural prairies. Find her work in journals such as Blue Earth Review, Waxwing, and Salamander Magazine among others.

  • Submission Deadline Extended through Monday January 23, 2023 for the Creative Writing Contest.

Categories & Fees

  • Poetry (grades 3-12); $5 per 3 poems
    Fiction (grades 3-12); $5 each
    Non-Fiction (grades 5-12); $5 each
  • 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 extended: January 23, 2023
    No entries accepted after deadline

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