2014 Contest Guidelines

The 2014 Young Writers Contest is  Closed.

Participation certificates will be sent to all entrants and mentors by April 1st, 2014. Winners will be announced on May 1st, 2014. Our 2015 Young Writers Contest will open on September 1st, 2014. Be sure to subscribe to our blog to receive Writing for Peace posts, news, and announcements.


(En Español)

Writers, ages 13-19, are welcome to submit once in each category, but must complete a separate form for each entry.  Deadline for submission is March 1st, 2014. All submissions must be written in English and submitted with the completed form (below).  There is no fee for participation.  All participants will receive a certificate of participation.

In all divisions your work should attempt to:

  • Show day to day life.
  • Show family relations and friendships.
  • Show outside forces at work (ie. weather, government/politics, social pressures, etc.)
  • Avoid stereotypes and generalizations.  Dig beneath the surface to explore common humanity and universal themes.

All submissions (even fiction) should be about a real country or culture, although it could be a country that no longer exists. For example, you could choose to write a period piece that takes place between 1918 and 1992 about Czechoslovakia, or a fiction piece about Anatolia that takes place during the 13th century. The challenge is to research the pressures faced by your characters so that you are able to convey their point of view convincingly.

We understand that there are different cultures within the man-made borders of our countries, and there is value in exploring those differences. However, the purpose of this challenge is to stretch as a writer, to develop the empathy that not only leads to powerful writing, but a greater understanding and compassion between peoples. If you feel strongly that researching a culture within your borders would be a stretch for you, and beneficial to your writing development, then we will allow it. Be sure to give a thorough explanation of your decision.

Fiction Division:

Submit an original unpublished short story of 800-1000 words in the voice of a character from another country or culture.

Poetry Division:

Submit one poem of no more than 100 lines in the voice of a character from another country or culture.

Nonfiction Division:

Write an 800-1000 word essay about a social, political, environmental, or familial challenge faced by individuals within a cultural group, or a personal experience with another culture.


First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry categories. Announcements will be made on May 1st on the Writing for Peace Blog. Be sure to subscribe to our blog to receive email posts and updates.

  • First place winners will receive $50.
  • Second  place winners will receive $25.
  • Third place winners will receive $10.
  • All winners will be published in DoveTales Literary journal, a publication of Writing for Peace.
  • The author will retain copyright of the literary work with the understanding that Writing for Peace may publish the work online with a printed option, in an ebook, and or republish at a later date in a printed anthology.


Copyright © 2013 Writing for Peace. All rights reserved.


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