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 gift cards and writing journals! 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes will be awarded for both categories for Middle School and High School entries. Subjects for your story or poem are limited only by your imagination. Entries will be judged on originality, use of language, and technical skill.

You may submit for both categories – short story and poetry. But only for one age group – Middle School or High School.

All entries must adhere to the 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.

Submissions closed​

Questions?  Contact us.


Scream In

Saturday, October 19, 2018 | 7 PM - 10 PM 
Central Library | 500 McKinney St., 77002 | 832-393-1313

Join us for an evening of chills, thrills and fun...if you dare! 

Youth ages 10-15 are invited to a screamingly good time at our annual after-hours event! The evening includes ghostly games, spooky crafts, costume contests, and an eerie trip through the Haunted Maze. Costumes are encouraged and prizes will be awarded for most original and scariest costumes. For more information contact us at hpl.youthservices@houstontx.gov.
Space is limited! Registration opens October 1, 2019. 

Get Graphic! Comic Book Contest - COMING SOON!

Are you an artist? Are you into creating comic style short stories?  Be on the lookout to enter this annual contest and get a chance to show-off your great talent! Prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

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