Spencertown Academy Arts Center

Spencertown Academy Young Writers’ Contest

Spencertown Academy Arts Center announces its sixth annual Young Writers’ Contest. Held in conjunction with the Academy’s Festival of Books, the contest is open to students in grades 9 through 12 attending school or homeschooled in, or a resident of, Columbia County, NY or Berkshire County, MA. Works will be judged in an anonymous process by published authors and publishing professionals, volunteering their services for this contest. The top three fiction and nonfiction winners will receive cash prizes ($200, $150, and $100 respectively). The contest is sponsored by the Academy and Hawthorne Valley.

“While so many important programs in our community have been postponed or re-imagined during Covid, we’re very pleased to be able to carry on as usual with the Young Writers’ Contest,” said Kelly Kynion, co-coordinator of the contest. “There are a lot of stories out there, and we want to hear them!”

The deadline for submissions is Monday, May 3, 2021. Fiction/short stories can be about any subject matter, with a maximum length of 2,000 words. Nonfiction essays or memoirs can be about any topic and must also be a maximum length of 2,000 words. All submissions must be submitted via email attachment, in unlocked document format, such as Word. Locked formats will be returned unread. Work must be formatted in 12-pt type, double spaced, on standard 8 1/2″ x 11″ pages, with one-inch margins. Include a story or essay title on your document, and identify it as fiction or nonfiction. Please do not include any personally identifying info on the document. Include your name, address, school, and grade, in the body of your email. A phone number is optional but helpful.

One entry per student. Email submissions, including the entrant’s name, age, school (say if home-schooled), and note if entry is fiction or nonfiction, along with the piece, to story@spencertownacademy.org.

Prizes will be awarded by the end of the 2021 school year. All winners will be invited to read from their work on a Zoom presentation event for friends and family. Additionally, first prize winners may be invited to read live at the Festival of Books in the autumn, depending on state recommendations for public gatherings.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please contact info@spencertownacademy.org.