short story writing contest

Theme: "An Unusual Friendship"

For Nassau County Middle and High School Students Grades 6 - 12

Gold Sponsors

Annie & Paul Burns

The David Miller Family

Write a short story of 500 – 1,000 words that is an original, unpublished work on the theme

Submission Deadline - Wed., Dec 19, 2018, no later than 5 p.m.

Send your entries to


First Place - $250 Cash Prize

Second Place - $100 Cash Prize

Creativity & Writing Style Awards

$50 Cash Prizes 

Special prizes for winners from 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County!

Have an opportunity to be published!

Meet a New York Times bestselling author!

Rules and Reminders

  • Your story must be between 500 – 1,000  words written on the theme  “An Unusual Friendship”
  • It must be a new, original work – not previously written or published
  • Submissions must be in Times New Roman, 12-point typeface, double-spaced; entry must include your name, email  address, grade, school and story title on first page
  • All entries must be sent as an attachment in MS Word format; email to (students are encouraged to keep a copy of submitted stories in case of technology issues).
  • Entries  that do not meet all criteria will not be judged, will not be eligible for awards/prizes and will not be considered for publication
  • Submission deadline for all entries is Wed., Dec. 19, 2018, no later than 5 p.m.
  • Judges will be local area literary experts and board members/leaders with the Amelia Island Book Festival (AIBF) 
  • Prizes include the following: 
    • One cash award of $250 for each middle school and high school first-place winner
    • One cash award of $100 for each middle school and high school second-place winner
    • Three $50 cash awards for winners across both middle and/or high school entrants for creativity, writing style and criteria as determined by the judges
    • Special prizes for winners from Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County
    • Prizes will be announced/awarded during the Authors Expo, Sat., Feb. 16, 2019, Fernandina Beach Middle School Auditorium
    • Winning  entrants will meet a New York Times  bestselling author during the Authors Expo, and have an opportunity to be published

Questions? Send an email to 


Contest judges will read each story and will consider the following elements, along with your creativity and writing style:

  • The Plot or events that occur.
  • The Characters.
  • The Setting, or time and place.
  • Your incorporation of the Theme, “An Unusual Friendship.”
  • A Beginning, Middle  and End to each story, and the proper Sequence of events.
  • Use of Proper Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation.  

Helpful hint: 

Consider having a coach or mentor read your story and provide feedback. This can be a family member, teacher, media specialist or friend. Make sure you allow enough time for feedback. Then, incorporate the feedback before submitting your final work. Remember, it’s important not to view their comments as criticism, but as advice to strengthen your story. And don’t forget to have fun!!!

Need more information? Send an email to  

We will respond as quickly as possible. Thank you!