Contest Rules

Young Writers at the Lakefield Literary Festival

July 14 – 16th, 2017

Writing Contest Rules

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 as printed below.  Questions may be directed to the contest coordinator, Martha Scott, by emailing:

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 categoriesfiction 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!

6.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.

7. Deadline and 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 8th, 2017.  Email your entry to:, OR, give a hard copy to your teacher by end of class on May 8th , OR, mail your entry to ‘Young Writers at the Lakefield Literary Festival’, Box 1114, Lakefield, Ontario, K0L 2H0.

9. 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, July 15th, 2017, at Lakefield College School or another venue as determined by the festival. In addition, the festival committee is exploring the possibility that winners will be invited to attend a complimentary writing skills seminar led by a festival author. More details about this prize will be provided later in the spring. It is the responsibility of the winner to collect his/ her prizes.

10.  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.  Winning entries may be published in a regional newspaper (e.g. the Peterborough Examiner), subject to space/advertising limitations.  Runner up entries may be published in the online version of the Peterborough Examiner, subject to space/advertising limitations.  Go to the e-book to read the outstanding winning stories and poems of past contestants.  Good luck!


Thank you to our sponsors

    Platinum Level

      David and Dr. Patricia Morton

      Diamond Level

        Alan and Jane Stewart


      Gold Level

      • Martha & Richard Whatley

      • John & Susan McWilliams

      Supporters of The Young Writers Awards

        David and Dr. Patricia Morton

      Silver Level

        Wendy Scott & David Moorhead

      Bronze Level

        Dr. John and Martha Vlasschaert

      Festival Friends

        R. J. Brown Insurance Brokers

        Dr. Beverley Haun

        Cathy Wilson

        John and Karen Beamish

        Lakefield Herald

        Friends of Alasdair & Wendy Wallace

        Barb Chisholm & Tom Miller