Submit your Mystery Story to the 2020 Betty Field Memorial Writing Contest!

Submit your Mystery Story to the 2020 Betty Field Memorial Writing Contest!

**The submissions for the 2020 Betty Field Memorial Youth Writing Contest are now closed. Winners will be announced in mid-late August, and all entrants will receive an email notification about their story. **

Submissions are open for the 2020 Betty Field Memorial Writing Contest. This contest is named after Betty Field, who served as President of the Friends of the Pikes Peak Library District, for her love of mystery stories and her dedication to the Library. This contest is open to 6th through 12th graders.

Enter your story using the link this link:
Submissions will be accepted until July 15 at 11:59 p.m. MST.

Submission Requirements:

  1. This story must be a mystery story.
  2. The FIRST paragraph of the mystery story must contain a sentence using this exact phrase and is in bold and underlined:
    ___ hadn’t prepared for this
  3. The mystery story must contain these SIX words (or a version thereof) anywhere in the story. Each required word must be in bold and underlined:
    audacity daunting mediocre odious tenacious vehement
  4. Your story must be no fewer than 1000 words and no more than 1200 words (excluding story title).
  5. You must follow these formatting instructions:
    • Do NOT put your name, school, or any identification on any page of the story.
    • Your story is typed in 12-point Arial and double-spaced.
    • Start the story with the title halfway down the first page. Do NOT include a title page or artwork.
    • Number each page in the upper right-hand corner (1 of 4, 2 of 4, et cetera) and add the first three words of your title below the page numbers.

Stories will be judged in five categories: 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, 9th-10th grade, 11th-12th grade

Prizes will be awarded in each category: 1st place - $100, 2nd place - $50, 3rd place -$25.

The stories will be judged anonymously by Library staff and the Friends of Pikes Peak Library District


Is this the new version of the writing contest from past years or will that be announced separately? If so, why has the genre scope narrowed into only mystery? Thanks!

This contest is not a new version of the teen fiction writing contest. The Betty Field Memorial Writing Contest has been run for many years by the Friends of PPLD. It focuses on mystery stories because of Betty Field's love for mystery writing.

Will you still be running the "All Pikes Peak Writes" adult writing contest and the Teen Fiction Writing contest this year?


Thank you for your question, and your interest in All Pikes Peak Writes and the Teen Fiction Writing Contest! Although it will look different than in previous years, we will still be offering an opportunity for the community to share their writing with us. Please stay tuned for more details!

is there any guidelines for maturity or censorship? (as in mature language or other themes) i know this is a teen writing contest but the standards vary for different contests.

Thank you for your question. We do not have strict guidelines for the content or maturity level of these stories, but consider what is appropriate or what level of language/mature themes serves the story you are trying to tell. If we compare it to movie ratings, you should aim for up to PG-13 and not R. Please feel free to ask follow-up questions.

Hello! Is this only open to students who will be in 6th-12th grade in the upcoming school year, or does it also apply to those students who have just graduated high school?

If you just graduated high school, you are eligible to enter. Submissions are open until July 15th.

Hello! Is a student still eligible to enter if they have just graduated, or do they have to be in 12th grade in the upcoming school year?

When do the results come out? And if you do not win, do you still get a notification that the contest is over? How will it be announced?

The results will be announced in mid-late August after the judges have been able to review the submissions. Winners will be announced on this blog, but you will receive an email notification about your story no matter what.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.