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The Blue Fire $1000 for 1000 Words Writing Contest 2016

The Blue Fire $1000 for 1000 Words Writing Contest 2016

We are pleased to announce that the 2016 $1000 for 1000 Words fiction-writing contest is now open and accepting stories at! Welcome aspiring young authors, and thank you for your interest in the $1000 for 1000 Words fiction-writing contest! We’re looking for an outstanding piece of short fiction that consists of exactly 1000 words. While there are no specific guidelines beyond that, we encourage you to tell a story that matters.

Write something you believe in. Tell a story that only you can tell. Our judges have no specific criteria in mind other than to look for excellence. In other words, write something that moves you, that dazzles you, that says precisely what you want to say in precisely the way you want to say it. As long as you do so in precisely 1000 words! Last year we had over 900 entries from 46 states and 23 countries, and we’re hoping for even more this year.


The fiction piece can be on any topic


The Leyla Beban Young Authors Foundation


  • Two $1,000 scholarship prizes will be awarded, one for grades 6-8 and one for grades 9-12.
  • Seven $100 cash prizes will also be awarded for winning entries, one per grade level.
  • Stories selected for publication into Bluefire, but not selected as a grade-level or scholarship winner, will receive a $50 cash prize.  In a given year and grade, if no entry is deemed to merit an award, no award will be given.


February 1, 2016



  • The $1000 for 1000 Words fiction writing contest is open to all students enrolled in grades 6-12. Each entrant may submit a fiction piece consisting of exactly 1,000 words (not including title or author’s name).
  • The fiction piece can be on any topic, as long as it is not vulgar or offensive, does not use inappropriate profanity, and is the original work of the entrant not previously published.
  • At the discretion of the Foundation, all submissions may be published in the Bluefire journal or on the Foundation website. Entrants retain copyright on his/her own individual work. All entrants must include a completed Entry Form, and must agree to the terms of the Contributor Agreement.  Only one entry per person per year will be accepted.  Previous scholarship winners are not eligible.

Submission Guidelines 

  • Entries must be submitted using the entry form on the website.  You can copy and paste from a file created with your favorite word processing program or text editor.  Please note that non-standard formatting, fonts, and characters may not transfer properly into our submission form, so it is best not to elaborate beyond standard fonts and formatting.
  • Entries must be exactly1000 words.  The entry form will not allow you to submit stories that are more or fewer than 1000 words.  You need to copy and paste the body text only (i.e., not the title or your name) into the box provided.  The title of your story, as well as your name and other required information, go into separate boxes on the form as required fields.  If the form tells you that your story is not exactly 1000 words, please edit your piece to add or remove the necessary words.
  • The word count may be slightly different between the form and your word processor or editor.  Our form is how we determine word count irrespective of what your word processor or editor say.  
  • Do not include your name or title in the body of the story or you will be disqualified.


  • Entries will be judged on originality, creativity, and length. Entries over or under 1,000 words will not be considered, and stories will only be accepted through our website submission form.  All entries are blinded before judging.  The identities of the winning authors are known only after the judging is completed and the winners selected.


  • The panel of judges consists of members of the board of The Leyla Beban Young Authors Foundation and invited judges. All decisions made by the judges are final.
  • Please read the complete Contest Rules before sending your entry.



Kindly direct all your inquiries to or read the websites FAQs


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