Inklings Book Contest Details

Each year, Society of Young Inklings releases a yearly anthology of writing by exceptional young authors like you called the Inklings Book! The Inklings Book Contest offers young writers in grades 1-8 the opportunity to professionally publish a short story or poem.


Submission Guidelines

• 1 Submission may be made by young authors grades 1st-8th
• Submission may be a poem or complete short story of any genre
• Submission may be up to 15 double-spaced typed pages
• Submission must follow the manuscript format
• Submissions must be made before March 15, 2017
• Young author (with a parent or guardian) must fill out the online application. Submissions are now closed.

Selection Process

Entries will be reviewed by a committee of Young Inklings in collaboration with Inklings staff. The committee will look for writing submissions that have a strong point of view and for writers who are committed to the revision process. Up to ten winners will be chosen from grades 1-4 and up to ten from grades 5-8. All applicants will be notified of whether or not they were chosen for publishing on April 1. Anyone who RSVP’d or submitted to the contest by February 28 will receive feedback on their submission, even if they are not chosen for publishing. All applicants will be invited to take part in an exclusive online offering only for Inklings Book Contest applicants.

We are committed to publishing stories and poems that impact the world in positive, transformational ways—works we would be excited to share with the full age range of young writers we serve. We do not publish work that promotes violence, cruelty, prejudice, reckless behavior, or any work containing sexual content.

Other Criteria include:

• Originality
• Interesting, active word choice
• In stories: unique characters, settings and plots
• In poetry: strong imagery, unique metaphors and/or similes, a strong emotional connection
• Demonstration, through story/poem and submission form, of readiness for the Inklings editorial mentorship.

Upon acceptance, the program includes an editorial mentorship as described below, graphic design, layout and copy editing of the finished piece, and one copy of the finished book.


Inklings Editorial Mentorship

This is a formal revision process that mimics what adult authors do in order to become published. Once chosen for the book you will begin the editorial mentorship with a mentor.

First, mentors will read the submitted story and application, and carefully choose a revision focus for the piece. Our goal is to guide each you through a focused revision, appropriate to your developmental level, teaching both the skill of viewing writing through a specific revision lens, as well as revising with that specific focus in mind. Mentors will write you a revision letter, which will outline a strategy for revision.

Second, once you receive your revision letter, your mentor will schedule a meeting with you to talk over the letter. Meetings will be online or optionally may be in person if location allows. Meetings will be 45 minutes in length. You will be given two to three weeks to revise your manuscript.

Third, your mentor will meet with you for a final meeting to touch-up revision and to interview you about your revision process.

After the piece is finished, the Society of Young Inklings will copy-edit and send for publication. The Inklings Book will be available in August. You will receive one copy of the published book and one copy for your school. You will also be invited to a book launch party in August in the Bay Area, CA.

Contact us by email at or by phone at (650) 735-1408 with any questions. 

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