Just For Teens

Spilled Ink Contest
Teen Writing Contest | July 1 - September 30, 2019

Tap into your imagination and let your creativity flow with our first creative writing contest just for teens! 

Create an original short story or poem for a chance to win some amazing prizes. 
Subjects for your short story or poem are limited only by your imagination.  Entries will be judged on originality, use of language and technical skill. 
You can submit to both categories – short story and poetry.
All entries must adhere to contest rules and deadlines.

Rules for Submission

  • Participants must be a current student between grades 6-12.
  • For each submission fill out this entry form and attach it to your submission. A submission consists of 1 entry form attached to 3 copies of your entry. (If you participate in 2 categories, you should have 
  • 2 entry forms).
  • One entry per category per participant.
  • Submit 3 copies of your entry typed on white paper with 1 entry form attached. No handwritten entries will be accepted.

Text & Formatting

  • Title of work should appear at the top of the submission. Your name should only appear on the entry form. Do not put your name on the copies of your short story or poem attached to the entry form.
  • Color – Black ink only
  • Font – Times New Roman
  • Size – 12pt
  • Spacing – 1.5 line spacing
  • No pictures are permitted
  • All entries must adhere to the word count. Poetry must be 800 words or less. Short stories should be a minimum of 1,000 words and not exceed 5,000 words.
  • All short stories must be stand-alone. Excerpts of larger works will not be considered.
  • All entries must be original work; fanfiction will not be accepted.

How to Submit Entry

All entries must be accompanied with a completed submission form. 
Submission deadline is September 30 at 5PM. 
Make your submission now!

Get Graphic! Comic Book Contest

Are you an artist? Are you into creating comic style short stories?  Here’s your chance to show-off your great talent! Enter by August 31st.   Prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

The Rules

  • Limited to amateur illustrators only (ages 11-18, grades 6-12).
  • Teens  can work individually or in teams of up to 4 creators. This will be  considered a single entry and team members will split the prize.
  • Original artwork may be picked up from Central Library Teen Room September 2, 2018  through November 1, 2018.
  • All artwork, dialogues and plot must be original, unpublished content.
  • Comics must be a minimum of 4 pages and a maximum of 14 pages.
  • Paper Size = Min. 8.5" x 11", max 11" x 17" 
  • 1 page = 1 side of paper
  • Color or B&W is allowed. Original computer generated art is allowed.
  • HPL reserves the right to reproduce submissions, but author/Illustrator can retrieve their original art after the contest.
  • Digital entries are not allowed. One entry per individual or team. 

Entries will be judged on

  • Art - Creativitity & Illustration (only the first 3 pages). Two of the first three pages must have at least 2 cells.
  • Plot – Whole submission
  • Dialogue – Whole submission
  • Originality – Whole submission

Submission Guidelines

Who can enter:

  • Teens (grades 6-12, ages 11-18)
  • What you can submit:
  • Your own original comic book with a minimum of 4 pages.

How to submit:

  • Complete the submission form
  • Submit at any library location. Have your submission labeled with your submission form and addressed wtih the following information: 
  • Houston Public Library - Youth Services Team