One Teen Story Contest

Contest Deadline

The 2025 One Teen Story Teen Writing Contest will open in fall 2024.

About the Contest

One Teen Story publishes 3 stories a year and accepts submissions from teen writers ages 13-19. For a list of writers we have published in the past and short samples of their stories, please visit our past issues page.

For our One Teen Story contest, we ask writers ages 13-19 to enter their original, unpublished fiction. We are interested in great short stories of any genre about the teen experience—literary, fantasy, sci-fi, love stories, horror, etc. What’s in a great short story? Interesting teen characters, strong writing, and a beginning, middle, and end.


The winning stories will be published in forthcoming issues of One Teen Story, which will reach over ten thousand readers. The contest winners will receive $500 upon publication and 25 copies of the magazine featuring their work. The contest winners will also have the opportunity to work with a One Teen Story editor prior to publication. Honorable mentions will be chosen in three age categories: 13-15, 16-17, and 18-19, and each will be announced on our website, by email announcement, and on social media.


  • To enter, you must be between the ages of 13-19 as of November 27th, 2023.
  • Short stories should be between 2,000 to 4,500 words and be the writer’s own original, previously unpublished work.
  • Previously published stories and stories forthcoming at other publications cannot be considered. This includes stories that have been self-published online on personal websites or other publishing platforms, including blogs and school publications.
  • By submitting your work, you are acknowledging that it is your own creation, that it has not been borrowed from any other person’s work (including film, video, and online content), that it has not been created with any assistance from AI tools or software, and that the characters and situations are of your own invention.
  • Stories should have teens as their main characters and be about the teen experience.
  • No entry fee is required.
  • Only one submission per person.
  • One Teen Story reserves the right to approve all final, edited content.
  • A parent or legal guardian must sign a consent form for One Teen Story to publish the names of winners who are under the age of 18 on our website and social media platforms.
  • A parent must sign a consent form for One Teen Story to publish the names of the winners and honorable mentions on our website.
  • You must submit through Submittable.
  • Proof of age must be provided by all winners and finalists.

How to Submit

When you are ready to submit, please go here and select One Teen Story Contest followed by your age group (13-15, 16-17, 18-19). You will receive a confirmation email upon submitting. This is also where you can view the status of your submission or withdraw a submission.

IMPORTANT: Please note that we only accept work by writers ages 13-19. If your story is being considered for publication, we will ask that you provide us with proof of your age. 

Important Information for Teachers

Teachers: if you would like to use this contest for a class project, please email us at with your email and mailing address, and we’ll send you a desk copy of one of our previous winners, along with a PDF for you to share with your classroom.


What kind of stories is One Teen Story looking for?

One Teen Story is looking for great short stories written by teens about the teen experience. Some examples of stories we look out for are ones that deal with issues of identity, friendship, family, and coming-of-age. Gratuitous profanity, sex, and drug use are best avoided. We’re open to all genres of well-written young adult fiction between 2,000 and 4,500 words. Because of our format, we can only accept stories that are strong enough to stand alone (as opposed to excerpts from novels-in-progress). Proof of the author’s age will be required for all stories accepted for publication.

Does One Teen Story pay?

Yes. One Teen Story pays $500 and 25 contributor copies for first North American serial rights. All rights will revert to the author following publication.

Does One Teen Story accept simultaneous submissions?

Yes, but please withdraw your submission through Submittable immediately if your submission is accepted for publication elsewhere, as publishing it elsewhere will disqualify it from consideration. Also be aware that self-publishing the work online—on personal websites, blogs, or other publishing platforms—will disqualify your story from consideration.

Does One Teen Story consider stories translated from other languages?

Yes, however, all manuscripts must be written in English when submitted and must not have appeared online in any form or language. Translations are accepted, but we will ask to see a copy of the original text.

What file types can I submit?

One Teen Story does not accept paper submissions. All paper submissions will be recycled upon receipt. We accept DOC, DOCX, PDF, and RTF files. Please include the story title and all writer contact info on the first page of the submitted file. Please also double-space your submission and include page numbers. (Submissions that aren’t double-spaced and don’t include page numbers will go unread and be withdrawn from the system.)

Does One Teen Story consider international submissions?


I accidentally submitted under the wrong age category. What do I do?

Please withdraw your submission through Submittable and re-submit to the correct age category. Do not submit to multiple age categories. Duplicate submissions will be disqualified.

When will the contest winners be announced?

The winners will be announced in March 2023. All contestants will be notified of the results.

More Questions?

If you have any other questions, please email us at