Submit poetry, short stories, and comics to our annual teen writing contest.
Young writers can submit once to each of four categories: short stories, poems, comics, and the random category. Entry is free! The contest opens June 1 and closes on August 5, 2020 at 12 midnight. An online submission form will be available on this page.
Entries to the contest are judged on originality and style, as well as grammar and spelling. Be sure to read all the contest details and rules before submitting.
Short stories can be up to 1,500 words. No illustrations or drawings are allowed in the short stories category. Entries must be typed, and submitted online as a Word document. Your name must not appear anywhere on your work.
Poems can up to 36 lines. Write your poem in any form (sonnet, ode, haiku, etc). No illustrations or drawings are allowed in the poems category. Entries must be typed, and submitted online as a Word document. Your name must not appear anywhere on your work.
Comics are accepted in black and white only, and inked in black (black fine liner pens work best). Comics can be 4-7 pages long, and must be on white, letter size (8½ x 11") paper, with page numbers. Comics must be submitted online in high resolution .pdf or .png format. There are scanners available for public use at our City Centre, Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton, Semiahmoo and Strawberry Hill branches. Your name must not appear anywhere on your work.
This category welcomes any work that is NOT a short story, poem, or comic. It can be creative non-fiction, essay, a play, a screenplay, song lyrics, a picture book manuscript, or more. We welcome any writing-based exploration that does not exceed 1500 words. We look forward to reading your entries! Text-based work must be submitted as a Word document. If your work contains illustrations or images, they must be scanned in high resolution .pdf or .png format. There are scanners available for public use at our City Centre, Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton, Semiahmoo, and Strawberry Hill branches. Your name must not appear anywhere on your work.
Each category of short stories, poetry, comics, and the random category have their own winners. Entrants can submit and be eligible to win in each category!
|Category||1st Prize||2nd Prize||3rd Prize|
|Stories, ages 12-14||$150||$125||$100|
|Stories, ages 15-18||$150||$125||$100|
|Poems, ages 12-14||$150||$125||$100|
|Poems, ages 15-18||$150||$125||$100|
|Comics, ages 12-18||$150||$125||$100|
|Random, ages 12-18||$150||$125||$100|
The Dhahan Prize
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University
- Khalsa Credit Union
- Surrey International Writers’ Conference
- CUPE 402
- Forte Law Corporation
- Imperial Hobbies
- Rakuten Overdrive
- ABC Recycling
- BC Lions
- Surrey Now-Leader
- Black Bond Books
- Pacific Coast Catering
Rules For Entrants
- For 2020, you must be born between 2002-2008 in order to be eligible for the contest. Absolutely no exceptions.
- You must have your own Surrey Libraries' card, in your own name (not your parents’). Library cards are free and can be made at any Surrey Libraries branch.
- You can submit up to one item per category. That is: any combination of 1 short story, 1 poem, 1 comic, 1 random category. Please don't submit more than one per category, or you will be disqualified from the contest.
- All entries must be your own original work. Please do not adapt an already existing literary work by changing it slightly.
- Your work must not have appeared anywhere in print or online previously.
- We have received questions about whether mature themes can be addressed in entries. We welcome the honest exploration of issues that matter to teens, but reserve the right to decide if overly explicit situations or gratuitous violence is not suitable for the 12-18 audience.
- Entries must meet the criteria stated above (e.g., word count, page size, online submission).
- Your name must not appear anywhere on the entry itself (not on pages, or in the file name). Your name will be submitted in the entry form only.
- Entries will not be returned, so please keep a copy of your work for yourself.
- This contest is not open to employees of the Surrey Public Library and their immediate family.
- All entries must be submitted by August 5, 2020 at 12 midnight.
- By entering the contest, you consent to having your name and work published in print and online. We are unable to make winning entries anonymous.
Have questions? Send us an email.