High School Writing Contest 2017

“My Story, My Vision”


Tri-Valley Writers is proud to present our Sixth Annual High School Writing Contest.


Open to all students attending high schools in Danville, Dublin,

Livermore, Pleasanton, and San Ramon.



First Place winners also receive a


One-Year membership to CWC Tri-Valley Writers


Work may be submitted from February 19 through April 9, 2017.

No early or late submissions accepted

Winners announced in early May. Awards Ceremony: Sunday, May 21, 2017

Maximum of two (2) entries per student, in any combination from the categories listed below.

Entry Categories

  • Poetry: Up to 30 lines (title not included)
  • Personal Essay (non-fiction): maximum of 1200 words
  • Short Story: maximum of 1200 words

Entry Instructions

  • Font: Times New Roman or Arial. DOUBLE SPACED (except for poetry).
  • Title: At the top left of each page.
  • Page Number: At the top right of each page
  • INCLUDE SEPARATE COVER LETTER WITH EACH ENTRY, stating: Name, address, phone, email, high school you attend, grade level, age, title of entry and entry category (poetry, essay, short story)
  • No Name on Entry: The student’s name should appear ONLY on the cover letter.
  • No Images: No illustrations, graphics, or photographs.


Email your questions to: contest@trivalleywriters.org. 

Helpful Hints

The judges will focus on several areas when they evaluate the writing selections. You may want to keep these areas in mind as you edit and polish your piece before submission. Happy writing!


Quality of writing

  • Is it compelling and interesting?
  • Does it evoke emotion in the reader?
  • Is a sense of tension and/or conflict present?


  • Is the pacing – speed and rhythm of the story – appropriate for the type of story?
  • Are the characters well-drawn and multi-dimensional?
  • Are multiple senses used?


  • Are spelling, punctuation and grammar correct?
  • Are the tense and point of view (POV) consistent?
  • Is there a good use of dialogue?


Quality of writing

  • Is there “meaning” to the writing, and is that conveyed well?
  • Is it compelling and interesting?
  • Does it evoke emotion in the reader?


  • Can the reader feel and/or visualize the images presented?
  • Are the rhyme and/or rhythm natural and sensible, or artificial and forced?
  • Does the poem lead naturally to its conclusion?


  • Are spelling, punctuation and grammar correct?
  • Are the line endings/line breaks used effectively?
  • Does the word choice enable the poem to reach its intent?


We rely on generous donations from our members and the community at large to support our young writers. Anyone can make a tax deductible donation to the writing contest by sending a check to: Tri-Valley Writers, Attn: HSWC 4682 Chabot Drive #10953 Pleasanton, CA 94588 -or- by using their credit card or PayPal by clicking on the Donate button below:

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