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38th Annual Statewide Creative Writing Contest

Over $800 in Cash Prizes!

The contest began in 1981, the brainchild of newly arrived UAA English professor Ron Spatz. This 2020-2021 contest is the 38th since the beginning with only three breaks. In 2010, the Alaska Center for the Book took on the role of coordinating partner, providing hundreds of volunteer hours to manage entries, recruit and coordinate judges, communicate with winners, and distribute certificates to winners.

More than 500 entries were submitted for the 2019-2020 contest from writers aged 8 to 82. As everyone stays home or close to home during the pandemic, it is a perfect time to get creative and write. Teachers and parents can help children and teens work on refining their writing. All entries are submitted electronically, so there is no need to leave home. Last year entries arrived from writers in Anchor Point, Anchorage, Barrow, Big Lake, Caswell, Chignik Lake, Chugiak, Cordova, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Fort Wainwright, Fort Richardson, Haines, Healy, Homer, Houston, Juneau, Kake, Kasilof, Kenai, Ketchikan, King Salmon, Kotzebue, Nikiski, North Pole, Palmer, Port Alsworth, Seward, Sitka, Soldotna, Talkeetna, Tenakee Springs, Tok, Valdez, Wasilla, Willow, and Wrangell.

The 2021 Creative Writing Contest entry period has closed. Judging and winner notifications will take place on May 3, 2021. Thank you to all who submitted their entries for this year's contest!

Winners are eligible for the below cash prizes:

Story

Grade K-2 ..... $25

Fiction

Grade 3-5 ..... $25
Grade 6-8 ................ $25
Grade 9-12 .............. $50
Open to the Public ........ $50

Non-fiction

Grade 3-5 ..... $25
Grade 6-8 ................ $25
Grade 9-12 .............. $50
Open to the Public ........ $50

Poetry

Grade K-2 ..... $25
Grade 3-5 ..... $25
Grade 6-8 ................ $25
Grade 9-12 .............. $50
Open to the Public ........ $50

Grand Prize: $200 | Editor's Choice: $100

Creative Writing Contest Rules

  1. The contest is open to Alaska residents. College students who maintain Alaska residency may enter. All judges, editorial or administrative employees of Anchorage Daily News, faculty or administrative employees of the University of Alaska and board members of the Alaska Center for the Book, and their immediate family are ineligible.
  2. Work published previously in any copyrighted newspaper, magazine, book or other medium is ineligible. Writing for school publications may be entered. Entries must be original.
  3. Contestants may enter one work of fiction (not to exceed 5,000 words), one work of non-fiction (not to exceed 5,000 words), and up to three poems. A contestant may enter all categories in his or her age group.
  4. Each submission requires a separate completed entry form. Entries should be entered through the website at adn.com/creativewritingcontest no later than 5:00 p.m., Monday, February 15, 2021. Only entries in digital format will be accepted.
  5. No submissions will be returned.
  6. Panels of Alaska judges, recruited among writers, teachers, librarians, and booksellers, judge entries for each category. (Teachers will not judge their own students’ entries.) A separate panel of judges will select the Grand Prize winner. Judging and winner notification will be completed no later than May 3, followed by an announcement in Anchorage Daily News.
  7. The author retains the copyright to the submitted work, and agrees to publication in Anchorage Daily News, print and online editions, and on the University of Alaska Anchorage’s LitSite Alaska website. Winners may be asked to provide a photo to appear with their entries.
  8. The decisions of the judges are final. Submission indicates acceptance of all contest rules.

Questions about the Creative Writing Contest should be e-mailed to creativewritingcontest@adn.com.

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