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Contests for Students

2015 Short Story Contest for Students in Grades 5-12 who have been nominated for a USAA Award by an educator

Topic:  Open Topic


Send us a short story of 500 words. You choose the topic. Use your imagination and create a story that includes descriptive settings, colorful characters, dialogue, conflict and solutions. Perhaps you want to write a story about dragons or a day in the country, or a day in the city. Maybe you like mysteries, or adventure, or travel. Use your imagination and write about what interests you. Your story will be judged on spelling, grammar and sentence structure, as well as plot, dialogue, conflict and solutions. Stories from different grade levels are not compared to each other. For example, a 6th grade student’s short story is not compared to a 12th grader’s story. Instead, it is judged individually based on the writing capabilities and expectations of a 6th or 12th grader.


Student Instructions: All short stories submitted must be typed and double-spaced. Only one entry per student. Your name, home address, email address, nominating teacher, school name, city and state, and your grade level must appear on the first page of the text. You can email your essay to or mail it to USAA, 2610 Palumbo Drive, Lexington, KY 40509. Short stories must be received by May 15th, 2015.


USAA will choose the top three short stories and award the following: First Place $500, Second Place $300, and Third Place $150. Winners will also receive one complimentary book. We will publish all three short stories in the 2015 USAA National Yearbook. You will become a published author in a nationally distributed book. Publication is an honor that stays with you for a lifetime.


All entries become the property of the United States Achievement Academy and will not be returned. Participation in this contest allows USAA to use short stories in the Academy’s publications.


Good luck to everyone!