Young Writers Contest Official Rules


  • Contest is open to 6th – 12th graders residing in or attending school (public, private, or home schooled) in the Pine Plains School district and aims to recognize and encourage noteworthy writing talent in the community.
  • Winners’ work will be publicly announced at awards ceremonies, in newspapers, and published/archived in the Pine Plains Free Library. First prize is $100, second prize $50, and third prize $25. Honorable mention certificates will also be awarded.
  • All work must be original and the writer’s own. There is no fee to enter.
  • All work will be judged blind by a panel of judges who are writing professionals. The judges do not know whose work they are reading.
  • You may enter all three categories but only one submission per category. Choose your best work!!!
  • Submit FOUR copies of each submission (for judging purposes). The copying is your responsibility. Please do not ask the librarians or your teacher to make copies for you. No email submissions.
  • All fiction and non-fiction manuscripts must be typed, double-spaced, in 12 point font with one-inch margins at the top, bottom, and sides and all pages must be numbered. Plays may be submitted in standard play format of your choice. Poems do not need to be double-spaced. No entry may exceed ten (10) pages in length.
  • All pages must be numbered and the title of the work on each page.
  • The writer’s name may not appear anywhere on the manuscript.
  • Proofread work carefully for spelling, grammar and typos. Each submission will include FOUR (4) copies of the work with the guidelines specified. Only one entry for per submission of four copies. If you submit in more than one category, each submission must have a single, separate entry form. Entries will not be returned.
  • Papers written for other purposes may be submitted, if they have not previously won an award. However, they must be edited so that the writer’s name does not appear anywhere except on the entry form.
  • the FRIENDS of the Library reserve the right to duplicate, circulate and display winning manuscripts.
  • Submissions which do not meet ALL of the requirements of the Official Rules will be disqualified and recycled, with no further discussion or notification.
  • If you have any questions you may email them to