Click the book cover for a fully-indexed compilation of all the winning entries and runners-up from 1998 to the present. The contest is open to all students of Peterborough and area high schools and equivalent home-schooled students. The contest judges will read all entries and make final decisions. Winners will be notified by email. Please adhere to the contest rules outlined below and contact us if you have questions.

1. Grade Level/Divisions: There are two divisions: Junior-Grades 9 – 10, and Senior-Grades 11-12.

2. Genres: You may submit one entry to one or more of the following three categories: fiction prose, non-fiction prose, or poetry. Fiction includes any piece of creative prose writing (e.g. sci-fi, mystery, romance, historical fiction); non-fiction includes personal essays or accounts of experiences, biographical descriptions of people, or personal accounts of events (e.g. sports, travel, personal challenges, learning a new skill etc.). Researched essays on historical, societal, political, or cultural issues, as well as literary critiques or journalism pieces are ineligible for this contest. You are free to choose your topic and the genre you wish to enter.

3. Originality: Your entry must be original. It must be entirely your own work, suitable for copyright. Try to avoid using trade names in your text. Quotations and paraphrases must be attributed to the original author. All students are encouraged to seek the advice of a mentor such as a teacher, friend, parent, and/or peer so that their work may be evaluated and edited in advance of submission to the contest. Editing is an integral component of the writing process, and all professional authors have had their work edited prior to publication.

4. Length: Prose entries should be approximately 500-1000 words in length. Poem length is restricted to two typed pages (12 font). Take time to critique and revise your poem or prose so that it reflects your best work!

5. Title Page: The title page must be a separate first sheet that precedes your written work. On this page you must include the following information: Title, your name, your grade, the name of your school, the name of your teacher, your address, telephone number, and email address, and the genre of your entry: i.e. fiction or non-fiction or poetry. DO NOT put your name or the name of your school on any of the other pages of your story or poem to maintain your anonymity for the judging.

6. Submission Process: Please submit one (1) digital copy as a Word document, OR, six (6) hard copies of each entry. Judges will not photocopy entries, so please ensure that you provide six copies of each entry. Each entry consists of a title page and a main body with numbered pages. Note: You should repeat the TITLE of your work on both the title page and EACH page of the manuscript body. Entries must be received by midnight, Monday, May 14th, 2018. Email your entry to:, OR, give hard copies to your teacher by end of class on May 14th , OR, mail your entry to ‘Young Writers at the Lakefield Literary Festival’, Box 1114, Lakefield, Ontario, K0L 2H0.

7. Deadline: To be announced

8. Prizes: Prizes will be awarded to the best fiction, non-fiction, and poetry entry in both Junior and Senior divisions. Each winner will receive $100 and a beautiful engraved plaque at a ceremony to be held on Saturday afternoon, July 14th, 2018, at Lakefield College School or another venue as determined by the festival. Runners up will have their work publishe  in the festival ebook. More details about prizes will be provided later in the spring. It is the responsibility of the winner to collect his/ her prizes.

9. Publication: Winning and runner-up entries are published in the Young Writers Contest e-book on the festival website, subject to author permission to reproduce their original works. Go to the e-book to read the outstanding winning stories and poems of past contestants.  Good luck!