California Writers Club-Mt Diablo Young Writers Contest

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

2019 Young Writers Contest

NOTICE: If you are unable to submit your entry using the links below, please use this link to submit: 


The Young Writers Contest is sponsored by the Mount Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club.  It is open to 6th, 7th and 8th grade students who live in or attend school in Contra Costa County.  Categories include short story, poetry, personal narrative and humor.

We want to help you submit the best writing you can. Click here for tips on good writing.

A maximum of three entries are welcome under separate submission.  Note: this means three entries per student, not three entries per category.

If you don’t have a Submittal account, you will need to create one. Be sure to use your real name on the account. This is the name that goes on your certificate if you win a prize.  Students need to submit themselves.  Work should not be submitted by parents or teachers.

When ready to submit an entry, find the correct category (form) and grade in the list below and click on the SUBMIT button.

Each entry form will prompt for:

  • Manuscript title 
  • Teacher’s name 
  • School
  • Parent or guardian e-mail address 

Click on the Add Files button to upload your entry. Make sure your filename is the same as the title of your entry.

If you are submitting a piece as part of a class assignment, please give your piece a unique title. For example, if the class assignment is to write a poem about the color blue, we might get twenty submissions titled “The Color Blue.” Your work is your own – help us notice it with an exeptional title.


Your manuscript must follow these rules or it will be disqualified.

If our judges believe your manuscript was entered into the wrong category, we reserve the right to switch it into the correct category. If we do this, we will notify you. 

Do not include your name or any other identifying information on your manuscript.  Submit your manuscript yourself, not through a parent or teacher.

  • Times New Roman font, 12 point, black 
  • 1-inch margins all around
  • A title on the first page and page numbers in the footer
  • Double spaced, except for poetry which may be single-spaced
  • Paragraphs with an indentation for the first line of each paragraph (except for poetry)
  • No illustrations or photographs
  • Page or line limits:

                -Short Story: up to 5 pages, double-spaced

                 -Personal Narrative: up to 3 pages, double-spaced

                 - Poems: up to 30 lines, single- or double-spaced

                  -Since Humor is either a short story, personal narrative, or poem, those limits apply

Questions? Contact us at

DEADLINE:  Manuscripts must be received by 9:00 p.m. on March 25, 2019. Winners will be announced on the Mount Diablo California Writers Club website by April 20, 2019.  Non-winners will not be notified.

TEACHERS: PLEASE ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO SUBMIT THEIR STORIES AND POEMS THEMSELVES. We are striving to encourage individual creativity and expression. Do not send entire class assignments. Each submission requires individual student information.

PARENTS:  Parents of winning submissions will be requested to give permission for the child to be photographed for print, videotaped, or electronically imaged during the awards ceremony and agree to allow his or her child’s picture to appear in newspapers, news releases, and/or other published formats.

PRIZES: Winning short stories and poems from each grade level will receive $100 for first prize, $50 for second prize and $25 for third prize. The Humor Award of $100 will be awarded to one winner in each grade level at the judges’ discretion. The Betty Tenney Personal Narrative Award of $100 will be given to the best personal narrative in each grade. Second and third place prizes may be awarded in the personal narrative category at the judges’ discretion. Prizes will be presented to winners at an awards ceremony in May.  Further information on the awards ceremony will be provided to the winners.  Parents are welcome. Teachers of winning students will be invited to attend.

HONORABLE MENTION: Judges may, at their discretion, award an HONORABLE MENTION to pieces which did not win a prize but which they feel merit notice. Honorable Mention certificates will be mailed to these students by the end of May 2019.