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Short story and poetry writers between the ages of 12 and 18 who live or study in St. Catharines or the Niagara Region can submit their works for the Fresh Ink Creative Writing Contest. Professional writers will judge the entries based on originality and style, general presentation, grammar and spelling.  


Cash prizes will be awarded in the following categories:

Ages 12-14 Ages 15-18 Ages 12-14 Ages 15-18
  • First place ($150)
  • Runner-up ($100)
  • First place ($150)
  • Runner-up ($100)
  • First place ($150)
  • Runner-up ($100)
  • First place ($150)
  • Runner-up ($100)


In addition to the cash prizes awarded, each winner and runner-up will have a chance to virtually meet one-on-one with a professional writer for a mentorship meeting to discuss the creative writing process, receive feedback on other works written by the teen, and more. 

Contest Rules

  • Contest entrants must live or study in St. Catharines or the surrounding Niagara Region
  • A limit of 1 short story or poem per person
  • Short stories must be between 1000-1500 words in length. Poetry submissions can be any length
  • Entries must be typed, double-spaced, and include page numbers and work title on each page
  • Do not put your name anywhere on the work
  • Entries must be in English
  • Your work must be original and unpublished. Plagiarism or copyright infringement will be grounds for disqualification and return of any awarded prize money.

How to Enter

Complete the online submission form and upload your document (Word format is preferred).

If you have any questions or need assistance, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Contest Timeline

Submission deadline: Wednesday June 30, 2021.

Judging will take place over the summer, with winners and runners-up contacted in September or early October. 

Mentorship meetings will be scheduled for Fall 2021, pending scheduling with winners and writers.