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2024 Youth Writing & Art Contest "An Open Book"

Charline Barger

Dec 13, 2023

Emerald Coast Writers' annual youth writing contest is now seeking submissions from K-12 public/private school and home-schooled students in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

Youth Writing/Art Contest 2024


Spread the word! Do you know a talented young writer or artist? Do they have a love of books or an idea for a story, poem, drawing, painting, or photograph involving books. Do they have something to say about book banning? Do they have a story about someone who is easy or not so easy to read? We would love to hear their original perspectives! Emerald Coast Writers' annual youth writing contest is now seeking submissions from K-12 public/private school and homeschooled students in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Students may choose from four categories: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and the visual arts.


This year's theme is "An Open Book." To learn more, go to our website at You can submit your writing/art entry HERE. The deadline is March 31st. Winners will be invited to an awards ceremony at Books-A-Million and will receive cash prizes as well as a free copy of their work published in an anthology.


* Please note that students should NOT list their school email on the submission form, as we will not be able to contact them at that email address.


FAQ for 2023/24 Youth Writing and Art Contest

What is this year’s theme?

“An Open Book”


Who can participate?

All public, private and home-schooled Escambia and Santa Rosa County students in grades K-12


What genres are accepted?

Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction (essay, memoir, etc.) and Visual Art


What prizes will be awarded?

First, second, and third place winners and honorable mentions in each category/grade level group will be notified in April and invited to a ceremony and reading of their work. They will receive cash prizes, as well as a copy of an anthology with their published writing. Extra books will be available for purchase.


What are the entry requirements?

One entry per student in one category

Poetry: up to 3 poems or 3 pages of poetry 

Fiction/Nonfiction: up to 1,200 words

Legible font, double-spaced Word document

Visual Art: up to 3 submissions of digital photography and digital photographs of original works of art.


What are the criteria for judging?

We are looking for writing that

…is original,

…is a product of your own experience and observations,

…uses vivid, sensory language and imagery,

…uses correct grammar and spelling,

…adheres to the theme,

…has overall effectiveness and impact.


Where do I go for more contest guidelines and to submit my work?

We will be accepting entries only through Submittable this year, via our website at:


When is the entry deadline? 

Your submission must be received by Sunday, March 31st, 2024.


If I have questions, is there someone I can contact?

Charline Barger     (850) 485-0818

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