Arizona Mystery Writers Mary Ann Hutchison Story Contest for Youths

(Looking for the 15+ contest? Go here)


Congratulations to our first Youth Contest winner, Kate Anderson! You can read Kate’s story here.


This is our first annual short story for youths 9-14! The contest for 2017 runs from January 1 to May 1, 2017! All writers 9-14 years of age (at time of entry) can enter – and anyone can win! Send in your short story in mystery, suspense, or thriller style. Entries may be up to 2500 words (about 10 double-spaced pages). It’s loads of fun and a good exercise of your writing skills.

Deadline: May 1, 2017. That date will creep up on you, so start sketching your ideas! Winners will be officially announced at our July 8, 2017 meeting, and posted to the website shortly after.

Fabulous Prizes: $25 for First, $20 for Second, and $15 for Third. PLUS winners receive a certificate of acknowledgment from the club, admiring applause at the awards luncheon, your winning story posted on the AMW website, and validation as a writer.

How to Enter: See the Contest Requirements here for the official rules. The entry fee is only $5 per story, and you can submit more than one story if you like. Entries are judged “blind,” that is, without the judges knowing who wrote the stories. Everybody is equal before the panel of judges! An official Entry Form must accompany each submission. That’s how we connect your name to your story. The Entry Form is available in PDF and RTF formats.

Publication: Contestants retain the copyright to their work. We do, however, require that we be allowed to publish the winning entries on our website. Stories will remain on our website for about a year (until the next year’s winners are published). By submitting your entry to the contest, you are granting permission for this publication.

Who is Mary Ann Hutchison? Mary Ann is a long-time member of Arizona Mystery Writers. She has made many contributions to the club with her hard work, and the Short Story Contests originated with her. We thank her by dedicating the Annual Youths Short Story Contest to her.

Download these official forms: Click on the link below to see the document. To save it on your computer, right click and select Save As… If you need a PDF reader, get one for free at http://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions .

Contest Requirements in PDF format

Official Contest Entry Form in PDF format

Contest Entry Form in .rtf format that you can type on. When you click on this link the file will be downloaded to your computer. Look for it in your “My downloads” folder.

Past winners: You can read the most recent winning stories (for the 2016 all-ages contest) by clicking “Winners” under the “Contest” tab on this site.

Cheat Sheet! Want to know what the judges look for? Check out this list of guidelines. Judging Criteria

Questions? Contact the Contest Coordinator.