Creative Writing Contest

Celebration: We have decided to cancel the Young Writer's Celebration for this year. We will be mailing award certificates to the winning students and sending an encouraging note. Winning teachers will also be mailed a letter congratulating them. We are deeply saddened to cancel this event as it is something we look forward to every year. Please encourage your students to keep writing as the contest will be back 2020-2021 next year.
Kari Straube & Marlene Reece





Next year:

The Iowa Reading Association is sponsoring our annual Young Authors CREATIVE WRITING contest for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade during the 2020-21 school year. Local councils are encouraged to have students enter the contest. They may write and submit an ORIGINAL poem or short story in prose form. Students may enter one or both styles of writing. Teachers should offer the opportunity to all students, but should respect any student who is not interested in participating.

PLEASE NOTE: All entries must be submitted to the local council for judging. Any building wishing to submit entries must have at least one person who is a MEMBER of the local council to qualify to enter the Creative Writing contest!

In all cases, the entries must be proofread before entering the contest. Spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors must be corrected! Doing so not only provides opportunity for further writing education, but it also produces the desired finished product. (If any co-authors are entered from the same grade level, they will be judged along with their respective grade level single author entries.)

Entries that are selected as first place at the local level advance to the state-level competition. There will be three poems and three short stories recognized in each of the grade levels. First place winners and their teachers will be notified by mail. They will be invited to attend the Young Authors Celebration during the Iowa Reading Association’s Annual Conference in Ames, where they will be recognized and honored at a reception. Congratulatory letters and certificates will be mailed to the second and third place winners at each level. First, second and third place state winners will be posted on the Iowa Reading Association website.


Only stories and poems labeled correctly, including ALL information, will be considered for the State Creative Writing Contest!

NEW! Local contest deadlines should be printed on the entries.

*For a map of your local reading council see below.*

Forms & Links

Iowa Reading Association's Region Map

2019-2020 Creative Writing - State Only

To the State-Only Members of the Iowa Reading Association:

Do you have students who love to write short stories and poems? Great news!

Each year, the Iowa Reading Council sponsors a writing contest for our members’ students. Since state-only (SO) members have no local council to submit entries for the contest, Barbara Carroll will serve as a writing chairperson for the SO members. She will be the contact for BOTH poetry and short stories.

To help with this process, we’ve attached a contest entry form with Barbara’s information filled in for you. The postmark deadline for submissions is February 1, 2020. More information regarding the contest rules, entry forms, and deadlines can be found on the Iowa Reading Council’s Website under “Creative Writing Contest.” Make sure to include completed entry forms with student submissions and the required number of copies. Writing may be submitted only for students under your direct instruction.

Please contact Kari Straube ( if you have any questions regarding state-only members participating in our writing contests. Please contact Barbara Carroll ( for any submission-specific questions.

Thank you for your membership in the Iowa Reading Association for the 2019-2020 school year. We appreciate your dedication to student literacy and look forward to working with you.

Best wishes for a great school year,

Marlene Reece & Kari Straube
Poetry Chair & Short Story Chair
Iowa Reading Association