Teen Writing & Cover Art Contest

  • Part of the Lacey Loves to Read Celebration for 2020, we are holding a writing & cover art contest for teens in grades 6 through 12. Sponsored by these Lacey Loves to Read member organizations: Timberland Regional Library, NTPS, City of Lacey, and many community partners.


  • Deadline: January 18, 2020

Contest Rules & Guidelines

  • Sharon Draper, this year’s award-winning LL2R author, believes in the importance of writing in ‘creating dreams & dreamers.’ Her stories often feature real-life situations, some difficult, through which her characters (and readers!) find resiliency and the ability to dream a better tomorrow. All contest entries should explore, include, or reflect themes of dreaming, imagining, and/or persevering through difficult times. All entries should be submitted with an all-ages audience in mind.

    Entry Guidelines

    • Each submission must be the creative and original work of a single author/artist.
    • Limit one entry per category (short story, poetry or cover art) per contestant.
    • Entrants must attend North Thurston Public Schools or live within the NTPS boundary area.
    • Private or homeschool students may enter as long as they live in the Lacey area.
    • Contest limited to amateur (unpublished) authors. Authors who have self-published their own works for free distribution may participate.
    • Short Story entries must be 1,250 words or less. (Maximum of 5 doublespaced pages in 12-pt font. Arial or Times New Roman suggested.)
    • Poetry entries must be 30 lines or less.
    • Each page must include a header with Title, Category, Grade, and page numbers on far right (ex. My Great Poem, Poetry, Grade 6, p.1)
    • No handwritten entries will be accepted.
    • Cover Art entries must be in portrait orientation on a single 8.5 in X 11 in. sheet, and if digital, should have a resolution of 300 dpi, and be created in ink, paint, or digitally.
    • Contest submissions are non-returnable.
    • Timberland Regional Library and the member organizations of Lacey Loves to Read reserve the right to reproduce your work. You can reuse all your work after February 20, 2020.
    • Entries may be submitted to the Lacey Timberland Library no later than 5pm on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

    To Enter

    Complete the entry/creative works release form. Include your name, your parent/guardian’s name, grade, contact information and appropriate signature(s).

    Via Email

    • Save your Writing entry in a WORD document or in .rtf file format. (rich text format)
    • Save your Cover Art entry in a .JPG, .TIF, .PNG, or .GIF file format.
    • Scan your completed entry form and save it as a .pdf file with the entrant’s name as the filename (ex. JohnSmith.pdf)
    • Scanning is available free of charge at Lacey Timberland Library
    • The email subject line must say: LL2R 2020 and the grade level of the entrant (ex. LL2R 2020 grade 9 or LL2R 2020 grade 6)
    • Attach your writing/cover art file and your entry form file to the email.
    • Send the email to hpaxson@TRL.org

    Via Hardcopy

    • Print out or type your writing entry on 8.5 X 11 white copy paper, double-spaced, 12 pt font, one side of paper only. Staple your entry with one staple in the upper left corner, or use a small binder clip.
    • Print out or create your cover art entry on 8.5 X 11 white paper, portrait orientation. Color or black & white entries are acceptable.
    • Enclose your completed entry form and your entry in a manila envelope marked Attn: Holly Paxson, LL2R 2020 Poetry & Cover Art Contest
    • Turn in your envelope at the Lacey Timberland Library at 500 College Street SE during the library’s open hours. Entries may be turned in at any service desk.


    Writing entries in each category will be judged on excellence in elements such as characterization, plot, setting, and theme (for short stories) and language, flow, impact, and theme (poetry). First, 2nd, and 3rd prizes will be given in each category. Prize packs will include a book by Sharon Draper, Lacey Loves to Read swag, & Amazon gift cards.

    Cover Art entries will be judged on originality, technique, clarity, and appropriate reflection of the overall theme(s). The winning entry will be featured as the cover of the Lacey Loves to Read 2020 eBook & will receive a Prize Pack (book by Sharon Draper, Lacey Loves to Read swag, & an Amazon gift card.)

    Winning entries will also receive

    Publication in and a copy of the Lacey Loves to Read 2020 PDF eBook, available for download at the website for Lacey Timberland Library and the website for Lacey Loves to Read.

    Invitation to a special VIP reception with Sharon Draper on Wednesday February 19, 2020 at 5:30 pm at the Lacey Timberland Library 500 College St. SE in Lacey. (Finalists will be notified no later than Friday February 7, 2020).