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March 01, 2024

Teen Writing Challenge: Science Fiction

teen writing challenge science fiction

By Rachel R., Teen Librarian

The theme for HEPL’s next Teen Writing Challenge is science fiction! Aliens, time travel, parallel universes, robots, advanced technology, and more!

Teen writers can submit an original, science fiction-themed short story for HEPL’s 6th Teen Writing Challenge!

Who: Teens in grades 6-12 living in or attending school in Fishers or Noblesville (and/or Delaware, Fall Creek, Noblesville, or Wayne township)

When: Entries are due by Sunday, March 31 by 8:00 PM

What: An original short story

Theme: Science Fiction

Winners: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place receive gift cards of $50, $30, and $25, respectively (winners can choose gift cards from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Target, or Dunkin Donuts).


  • Only one entry per person
  • Entry must be in the form of a short story
  • Entry must be science fiction-themed
  • Entry must be an original work and not plagiarized
  • Entry must be 3,000 words or less
  • Content should be appropriate for general teen audience
  • Include the author’s NAME, GRADE, SCHOOL, EMAIL, PHONE #, and ADDRESS in the email and not on the submitted PDF
  • Entry must be typed and submitted as a PDF via email to Rachel Ratajski, ratajskir@hepl.lib.in.us
  • Entry must be submitted by Sunday, March 31, 2024 by 8:00 pm



  • Judges for the contest will be a mixed panel of HEPL staff (adults) and Teen Advisory Board members (teens) who do not have entries in the contest
  • Submissions will be judged anonymously with only the author’s grade level visible to judges (grade level/age of author will be considered when judging)
  • Judges will be looking at the following criteria:
    • 3,000 words or less
    • Story fits the science fiction theme
    • Appropriateness for general teen audience
    • Organization and flow of the work
    • Overall entertainment and readability


Winners will be announced Monday, April 29, 2024. Winning authors will be asked to return a signed permission form allowing HEPL to post their awesome work on our website.

We can’t wait to read your stories! Good luck!

If you have any questions about the contest, please feel free to email: ratajskir@hepl.lib.in.us