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Short Story Contest for Students 18+ | One Year Adventure Novel

Calling for Short Story Submissions!

This contest is for you, busy writers college-age and beyond! We designed this short story contest to give you a chance to submit and receive recognition for your writing even after you have aged out of the Student Novel Contest. We are also keen to offer you the experience of crafting a short story and sending it off for professional consideration.

If you are 18 or older, and a licensed student with One Year Adventure Novel, we encourage you to enter! We hope that this short story contest may spur some of you who aren’t able to do a lot of writing right now to enjoy a short-term creative project!



March 29, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. CDT

Who May Enter

• You must be a student of The One Year Adventure Novel with a valid curriculum license number.
• You must be at least 18 years old by March 29, 2019.


• Double-spaced
Times New Roman or Courier New font, 12 pt
• Follow the manuscript format outlined in chapter 77 of the OYAN textbook
• No cover sheet required
• On the first page, in the upper left-hand corner, include your name and address. Put the title 1/3 of the way down the page, skip a line, and begin the story.
• Each following page should include a header in the upper right-hand corner with your last name and the page number.

Original Content

All content must center around original characters in an original setting. We cannot accept fan fiction of any kind. Submissions must be in prose form, not poetry.


Short stories may not be longer than 4,000 words. There is no minimum word-count.

One Author

We can only accept entries by a single author. No collaborative works may be submitted.


We require that you submit a title for your short story.


1st Place – $100

2nd Place – $50

3rd Place – $25

The Judging Process

Once the submission deadline has passed, all submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges composed of OYAN staff members. They will select a small group of finalists and pass these on to Mr. S. He will then read each story carefully and choose the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners.

Winners will be announced via e-newsletter, and then posted on the OYAN+ forum and the OYAN Facebook page. We will also compile a PDF of all winners and finalists, to be featured on this contest webpage. This PDF will be posted on the OYAN+ forum and the OYAN Facebook page as well.

There are no specific criteria for the winning story, but all judges will be looking for a compelling story, believable characters, and clear prose that fits the tone of the story (whether sparse, poetic, or somewhere in between).

Submitting Your Short Story

Follow this link to the submission form.

As you will see in the entry form, your submission must include:

  1. Your name, address, and date of birth
  2. Your valid curriculum license number
  3. Your electronic signature, verifying that the work is entirely your own and that you agree to respect the decision of the judges
  4. Your short story attached as a .pdf file

You retain all rights to your work. A notice of your copyright will appear after your entry, if it is chosen for the PDF of finalists and winners.

2018 Contest Results

1st“Reading for Comprehension,” by Lydia DeGisi

The planet of Dermais clasped its two inhabitants tightly to its surface, with a gravitational force some percentage greater than Earth’s. The air was heavier, John said. Dermais did not, of course, have any organisms classifiable by Earth’s ten kingdoms, but it oozed with life.

2nd“World on a String,” by Catherine Haws

Mylan Drake lived like a coo coo clock: predictable yet surprising. He jumped trains, pinched bread, and played violin in the street.
Not by the street.
In the street. At the corner of 5th and Summer from ten until noon on Mondays.

3rd“I Am Not a Robot,” by Meredith Lundell

I’m not a robot.
But I play one at the Interactive Display of 21st Century Robotics at the Museum of Robotics History. It pays pretty well—it pays the bills, at least. The kids are always excited to see me and poke around with the imitation technology, and the old folks are pretty tickled about the nostalgia. Most of them, anyway. So that’s good.


“The Bird,” by Aidan Bender

Day One: The strange people who came here today forgot their little dead bird. Or at least I thought he was dead. This evening he opened his eyes and stared at me. I tried to throw him away (he seems to be frozen), but he just ends up back in my bedroom. I will give him back when they come again.

“The Four Lives of Marjorie F. Scott,” by Sam Cooper

 By now, Marjorie has been many things.
This is her worst life played out for you like a record. Savor it in the privacy of your own home where the crackling sound won’t break the walls and spoil the air. Where the only thoughts come from your own head and your guilt—inevitable, so inevitable—has no interruption.

“Starstruck,” by Marissa Norris

I am lying on the asphalt of a grocery store parking lot.
I have skin and bones and sinew.
I am screaming.

2017 Contest Results

1st“Oh Andrew,” by P. J. Manley

2nd“Bookends,” by Jacqueline Oka

3rd“The Surveyors,” by Jared Schmitz


“There Is No Fountain in Fountain, Pennsylvania,” by Catsi Dee Quincy

“The Girl and the Star Keeper,” by Hannah McManus

“Dead Girl Walking,” by Chelsea Beason

2016 Contest Results

1st“The Graveyard Burns,” by Collin Suttle

2nd“Dust to Dust,” by Meredith Lundell

3rd“The Health Benefits of Having Friends,” by Jacqueline Oka


“Three Men on Three Horses,” by J. Tobias Buller

“Steeple Chase,” by Sam Cooper

“The Strains of Music,” by Harpley Summers

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