Announcements | 2 Minutes

The Short Story Returns!

The Short Story Returns!

Has a year passed already? 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. Secondary school entries should be 800–1000 words. All entries must include student name, grade, parents' name, e-mail address, phone number, city, and state. Format must be Word Doc. Please email submissions to and use the subject line “Short Story Competition.” Submissions must be received by 5:00 p.m. EST on March 16, 2020. 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.

Grammar School:

In school you probably learned that the leaves change color in the fall because there is less sunlight and colder temperatures that makes the chlorophyll breakdown. The green disappears and the true colors of the leaves are revealed. But that’s not true. I know the real story and it doesn’t have anything to do with science. Here’s why the leaves change color in the fall…

Secondary School:

It’s raining outside. The kind of rain that makes steam drift out of the New York City manholes and dampens your clothes and your hair. I rush across the street toward the towering glass building and push my way through the revolving doors. Warm at last, but still damp, I collapse my umbrella and carry it under my arm. A crowd of people stands before a line of elevators, so I push my way to the front. The doors on elevator C slide open and I step inside along with six or seven other rain-soaked patrons. As the door closes, I feel the floor start to rise below my feet, slowly, steadily, the usual awkward silence filling the space between us.

“You’re probably wondering why I brought you all here,” one man says breaking the silence. He hits the emergency break button suddenly, and the elevator jerks to a halt.