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Young Author Contest

2016 FenCon Young Authors Short Story Contest Guidelines

The 2016 winners have been announced! Thanks to all who participated!

FenCon and the Dallas Future Society present our annual “Young Authors Division” of the FenCon short story contest. We're looking for a science fiction or fantasy story on any topic. The only limits are your imagination and the short list of rules below. Final judging will be done by experienced educators and top industry professionals. The winners may be published on our FenCon website.

There is no entry fee - so get writing! And good luck!


Contest results will be announced at FenCon XIII in or around Irving, Texas, during Opening Ceremonies on September 23, 2016. All winners will receive acknowledgment on the website. Parent or guardian’s signature of permission will be required for publication of any winning stories.

This contest is split into three divisions: grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12 (as of the 2015-16 school year). Each division will have its own set of winners. For each division:

The first place winner will be awarded $50 plus a certificate, a FenCon 2017 membership, and the story may be printed on the FenCon XIII website.

The first two runners-up will each be awarded $25 plus a certificate, a FenCon 20167membership, and the stories may be printed (at the judges’ discretion) on the FenCon website.

All submissions must follow these official rules and include a completed entry form. The contest entry deadline June 15, 2016.

Rules and Regulations:

Entries must conform to the Contest Submission Guidelines detailed below.

This contest is split into three divisions: grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12 (as of the 2015-16 school year). Each division will have its own set of winners.

Entries must be original and previously unpublished science fiction or fantasy, less than 5,000 words long, and the original work of the person submitting them. No "fanfic" or shared-worlds fiction.

Entries must be written in English. Entries containing profanity, violent and/or sexually explicit material are not considered appropriate for this contest and will not be considered.

Persons who have won first prize in any previous year of this contest are ineligible. No person may submit more than three stories. No person may win more than one prize in a given year. Stories submitted in previous years of this contest are ineligible.

Entries WILL NOT be returned. It is important that you maintain a copy for your files.

All decisions of the judges are final.

Contest Submission Guidelines:

Send your entry and a completed entry form by email to studentstorycontest@fencon.org

On each page of your story, include only the PAGE NUMBER and your STORY TITLE, not your name and contact information, as described in the guidelines below.

Submissions not meeting proper manuscript format may not be included in the contest.

Submissions must be emailed in Rich Text Format (RTF) to: studentstorycontest@fencon.org. All major word processors will allow you to save a document as an RTF file.

General Manuscript Submission Guidelines:

  • In the top left corner of every page, put the name of your story. In the top right corner of every page, put the page number.
  • Double space your text. Indent paragraphs by .5".
  • Margins should be at least 1" all around.
  • Use plain fonts. Preferred are Courier and Times (or Times New Roman). Use 10 point type for Courier, 12 point type for Times.
  • Plain black text. No colored fonts.
  • You can italicize and/or bold text, when applicable, or underline it. These styles of indicating emphasis are acceptable.
  • Illustrations are not permitted. Text only, please.
  • Proofread your work. Proofread it again. Have a teacher or parent proofread it one more time. Send only your best work.

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail studentstorycontest@fencon.org

2016 FenCon Young Author Short Story Contest Winners

The winners of our 2016 young adult short story contest were announced at FenCon XII, here on the FenCon website, and in social media.

Elementary Division

  • First Place: "The Chorebot" by Krithik Ashokkumar, 4th grade - East Brunswick, NJ  (Available for download here.)
  • Second Place: "The Chesapeake Pit" by Rachel Barrus, 5th grade - Washington, DC
  • Third Place:
    • "A Trip to Mars" by Kaustubh Khulbe, 5th grade - Cupertino, CA
    • "Rainbow Planet" by Phoebe Gore, 3rd grade - San Antonio, TX

Junior High Division

  • First Place: "The Crystal Keeps" by Luke Johnston, 7th grade - Simpsonville, SC  (Available for download here.)
  • Second Place: "River of Enchantment" by Kayleigh Sim, 6th grade - Coppell, TX
  • Third Place: "Nondescript" by Ashley Hyun, 8th grade - Tenafly, NJ

High School Division

  • First Place: "When the Wolves Follow You Home" by Sarah Chan, 11th grade - Spring, TX  (Available for download here.)
  • Second Place: "From the Depths" by Caroline Foster, 9th grade - Kansas City, MO
  • Third Place: "Dying Wishes" by Sarah Gutierrez, 10th grade - Richardson, TX

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