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


Contest is postponed until 2023

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!




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 May 31, 2021.


• 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.


All content must center around original characters in an original setting. We cannot accept stories with inappropriate content or 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 – $50 Amazon Gift Card

2nd Place – $25 Amazon Gift Card

3rd Place – $25 Amazon Gift Card

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.

2021 Contest Results

1st“A Genie Walks into a Bar” by Asher Allen

When Jen extended her hand, I took it, then touched her charm bracelet with my other hand. “I like your bracelet. Is this an Arabian lamp?” I took one of the dangling charms between my fingers, brushing it with my thumb.

2nd“Annagon” by Annika Lee

“But this forest isn’t safe,” the new person said. “Annagon is on this side of the river. Haven’t you read the map?”

“Annagon is just a story,” the girl said.

3rd“Salvaged Feelings” by Mary Rudd

The fragments of emotions glowed like bits of stained glass; I zipped up my duffle bag, shutting the colors away. “Was this the last section?”

“I think so, yeah. Not a bad haul, considering we can’t be the first salvagers to go through here.” . . .

I glanced at the sky. The sun was still high, only starting to tip toward the west; we’d worked our way through the abandoned amusement park faster than I’d expected. Mom didn’t have work today, and I knew if I went home now I’d find her draped across the couch, blissed out on cheap emotions, feelings that wouldn’t change whether I walked in early or not at all. I pulled my duffle bag strap over my shoulder. “Want to swing by the graveyard first? I bet we could find a few spare fragments of grief.”


“Ashen” by Moss Besse

I am Tamet-Tamel-Marelkitchencorner. I am named for my mother and her mother and where I was born. This is the way all mice are named, or at least all mice that I have ever encountered. My same-mother-Marunderfloor, two litters younger than me, likes to weave wild stories about the mice from far away places and the grand adventures that they have.
I think she gets the stories from Ash.

“Cold Stork Coffee House” by Victoria Shanks

Ask anyone in Kentucky, and they’ll tell you there’s no place like Cold Stork Coffee House. It doesn’t look like anything special—it looks like a brick rectangle in the middle of a soybean field, with a gravel road snaking to the little parking lot. (The soybeans resent the Coffee House, but what can they do?) Nobody can say exactly what makes it special. If they did, their tongues would be cut out.

Since I have a tongue and need to keep it, I can’t say either—though I think I know. What I can do, however, is tell you a story.

2020 Contest Results

1st“And Indeed There Will Be Time; or, The Priestess of Celery” by Collin Suttle

2nd“Guinevere” by Annika Lee

3rd“Feather or Bone” by K. J. Haakenson


“Self Portrait of an Artist II” by Emily Schaeffer

“A Circle Has No Beginning and No End” by Lydia DeGisi

“Buckets Unkicked” by Rosey Mucklestone

2019 Contest Results

1st“The Weight of Living” by Mary Rudd

2nd“Church Mouse” by Erin Besse

3rd“The Practice Room” by Aidan Bender


“Comfortable Lives” by Lydia DeGisi

“The Pale” by Laurel Elizabeth

“Petunias in Space” by Miguel Flores

“The Letters I’ll Burn” by Catherine Haws

2018 Contest Results

1st“Reading for Comprehension” by Lydia DeGisi

2nd“World on a String” by Catherine Haws

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


“The Bird” by Aidan Bender

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

“Starstruck” by Marissa Norris

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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