Independent Bookshop Hosts Annual Youth Writing Contest in Pioneer Valley

Inspring Young People to Write

Writing Poetry

Young authors have a competitive outlet for their creativity this spring – Odyssey Bookshop’s 22nd annual Children’s Writing Contest is happening now! While the contest deadline isn’t until Friday, April 24th, now is the time to begin crafting an original story and, perhaps, an accompanying illustration. The contest is open to writers in first through fifth grade, and authors are expected to complete their submission on their own.

Each year, the Children’s Writing Contest asks entrants to respond to a prompt in order to craft their stories. This year, young writers are asked to create a character who has become stuck within the pages of a real book. No matter the book their character has entered, writers should decide how the character became stuck in the book in the first place, whether they are a hero in the story or a villain, and how they will get back out of the book and back to their own life! The prompt leaves lots of room for creativity, so even though each story submitted will include some of the same plot elements, there are endless stories to be told and infinite ways in which the prompt’s scenario can be imagined.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three stories submitted in each grade. Writers do not necessarily need to accompany their writing with an illustration, but prizes will be awarded to the best illustration in each grade. All entries must be accompanied by an official entry form. Entries from writers in grades three through five should type their work, while first and second graders are encouraged to write by hand.

Entry forms at

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