The One Teen Story Teen Writing Contest is now closed. It will open for submissions in fall 2021.

One Teen Story Submission Guidelines:

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.

We’re excited to announce our newest One Teen Story Contest! From September 8th, 2020 through November 20th, 2020, we’re asking writers ages 13-19 to enter their original, unpublished fiction.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.


How to Submit:

We have an automated system for you to send us your work. It will securely send our editors your story and email you a confirmation that it has been received. To use the automated system, you’ll need to log in to your One Teen Story account. If you don’t have one, you will be able to create one on our Submission Manager when you submit your piece. Using this account, you will be able to check the status of your submission at any time by going to our login page. When you are ready to submit, please visit our Submission Manager. In the Genre drop-down menu, be sure to select your correct age group. 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.


November 20th, 2020 11:59pm ET

Important Information for Teachers:

Teachers: if you would like to use this contest for a class project, please email us at the address below 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.

If you have any questions, please email otscontest with the subject line One Teen Story Contest.

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 notify us 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 accept 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 PDF, RTF, and TXT files that are less than 500KB. 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.)

If you have any other questions, please email us at otscontest.