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Educational Helps | 2 Minutes

2022 Annual Short Story Competition

Lexi Detweiler Written by Lexi Detweiler
2022 Annual Short Story Competition

Update: the competition is now closed.

It’s time for our annual short story competition again! Please have your child complete the story using the story starters below. (We provide one for grammar students and one for secondary.) Grammar school entries should be 200–500 words (excluding the prompt). Secondary school entries should be 800–1000 words (excluding the prompt). All entries must include student name, grade, parents' name, e-mail address, phone number, city, and state. The format must be Word Doc. Submissions must be received by 5:00 p.m. EST on March 15, 2022. Judging will be based on these age groups:

Grades 1–3

Grades 4–6

Grades 7–9

Grades 10–12

One winner in each grade category will receive a $50 gift certificate, and their piece will be published in the April and May Epistulas.

*Note: Stories can be adapted to be about male or female characters, and names can be changed.


“Beep! Beep! Beep!” went the alarm. I groaned and covered my face with a pillow. I did not want to get up for school today. Today was the Science Fair, and I was not looking forward to presenting my project. I pulled the pillow off of my face expecting the sun to stream in from my window, but instead, outside was pitch black! That was weird, I thought. I ran to the window. It looked like the middle of the night, except for the time on the clock said 7:00 a.m. The sun didn’t rise today…


“Carousel D!” my friend yelled to me. We had just arrived at the airport and were about to pick up our bags from the baggage claim. The bags were already moving along the conveyor belt when we walked up to Carousel D. I spotted my black rolling bag immediately and pulled it off the carousel. It was a lot heavier than I remembered.

“Hurry!” yelled my friend, “Let’s get in line for customs before it gets too long.”

I wheeled my luggage over. It was moving pretty fast for once. We were next in line when all of a sudden–

“Excuse me, Miss. Please come with me.” An officer stated firmly in my ear.

“Wha–? Me?” I was startled. Where did he come from?

“Miss, please don’t make a scene. I just need to check your luggage.”

Bewildered, I followed the officer to an empty room. He shut the door behind me.

“Open your bag please.”

I lugged my black suitcase onto the table and unzipped it.

“What the–?” I started. I couldn’t believe what was inside…