2018 Story Writing Contest


The Circle C Adventures (and Goldtown) 2018 short-story writing contest runs August 1, 2017 through January 15, 2018. 

Get a head start on your story now! Download the 2018 Official Contest Rules to see what (if anything) has changed from previous years. Scroll down to read about this year's judges and peek at their books!


INFORMATION IN A NUTSHELL
Greetings, young writers! I'm excited to announce the 2018 Circle C Adventures (and Goldtown) story-writing contest. Anyone between the ages of 6 and 17 may enter. There is  no fee, and no purchase is required. However, since the writing contest revolves around the characters and settings from the book series, you might want to find a copy of the books in your local library to familiarize yourself with the premise. If you would like to see previous contest winners' story, both book are available on Amazon as print and Kindle editions.

You may also download the PDF file of the 2016 winning entries in Along the Western Trail to see what some winning stories look like.

This page gives you a quick summary of the contest rules. However, you will also need to read the OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES and print out the entry form in order to enter. The entry form (which your parent will need to sign) must be scanned and emailed to me (or sent via snail mail) in order to be officially entered in the contest. NOTE: I need at least eight (8) entries in each category to run the contest. So far, this has not been a problem. :-)

CATEGORIES and WORD COUNT
There are three (3) categories for contestants, based on age.
       A. Ages 6-9 (500-1,000 words)  (Children in this age category may narrate their story.)
       B. Ages 10-13 (1,500-2,500 words)
       C. Ages 14-17 (2,000-3,500 words)

CONTENT
The stories must revolve around the characters and settings from the Circle C and Goldtown books. Any characters from any of the five (5) series may be used in any combination. You may also create new characters, as long as the characters from the original series are part of the story in some way.

To learn the basics of writing a character/problem/solution story, on which this contest is based, click the link for a PDF file: Five Elements of a Story: Ages 10 and up
Younger contestants can go here: Five Elements of a Story: Ages 6-9 

PRIZES
There will be a FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD place winner for each category, as well as one Honorable Mention for each category. 

(Note: due to high shipping rates, international first-place winners receive $10 (US funds) via PayPal. For all international winners, money (via PayPal) will be sent in order to allow the winner to purchase their winning copy of the book via Amazon UK or Canada. Other international winners will receive an Ebook. No other physical prizes will be shipped.)

 

To read more about how your story will be judged, how to submit your story, and the rest of the details for the contest, download the OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES.

If you have questions (after reading the Official Rules), you may leave a comment on this page. I will address your questions in follow-up comments. Before you ask a question, check the FAQs (frequently asked questions) and see if somebody has already asked it.

Have fun! Deadline: January 15, 2018. Winners announced on or before April 1, 2018.

Here you can read about our fantastic, independent judges for the contest. They have read and are familiar with the characters and situations in the Circle C Beginnings / Circle C Stepping Stones / Circle C Adventures / Circle C Milestones / Goldtown books.

Judges for Ages 6-9:

 Award-winning Christian author Colleen L. Reece grew up in a former one-room schoolhouse where her mother once taught all eight grades. Blessed with a woodsman father and a teacher mother, her adventures ranged from rescuing orphaned kittens to solving the “Mystery of Mom’s Sandwiches.” God later led Colleen into full-time writing. Her nephew named her new home STORYBOOK HOUSE because of the hundreds of books and stories she wrote. Read more on Colleen's Amazon Author Page.





Heather FitzGerald wears disguises and avoids showing her face in public for fear of retaliation from Trolls and Dark Dwarves. Ever since she wrote her YA fantasy novel, The Tethered World—which reveals their existence and chronicles their hostilities with Gnomes and Nephilim—Heather must take precautions to protect herself. Her trilogy, The Tethered World Chronicles, will be complete on June 1, 2017 with the release of The Genesis Tree. Learn more about The Tethered World, The Flaming Sword, and The Genesis Tree at www.heatherllfitzgerald.com 

 
Judges for Ages 10-13:
 
Donna Alice Patton is a freelance writer and history buff living in rural Ohio. She is the author of five books: The Search for the Madonna, the upcoming sequel, The Mystery in the Maze, Snipped in the Bud: A Tale from the Garden of Mysteries, and Saddle Up!—a  fictionalized adventure based on a real California camp—Rawhide Ranch. Roses are Red, Diamonds are Blue is a mystery/thriller for adults coming June 2017. Learn more at www.DonnaAlicePatton.com




Rebekah A. Morris is a home-school graduate, an enthusiastic freelance author, and a passionate writing teacher. Her books include, among others, Home Fires of the Great War, Gift from the Storm, and her best-selling Triple Creek Ranch series. Some of her favorite pastimes—when she isn't writing one of many different stories—include reading and coming up with dramatic and original things to do. She calls the Show-Me state home. Learn more at www.rsreadingroom.blogspot.com



Judy Dearborn Nill is the author of Too Big, Ties That Blind, and Samuel & Sophia. A former journalist and journalism instructor, Ms. Nill works now as a licensed mental health counselor and writer of fiction for young people. Learn more on Judy's Amazon page







Judges for Ages 14-17:

Emily McConnell is a young Christian aspiring novelist. A nominee in four categories of fanfiction's Papa Bear Awards (including best story), she’s also had several articles published in magazines, newspapers and online newsletters. Her favorite thing writing genre is historical fiction, particularly WWII and the Cold War, though she also loves to write crazy stories, where her characters come to life and “hijack” her blog for a day. Emily lives in Washington state with five of her eight siblings, her parents, and her horse, Bodie. Learn more at www.emilybmcconnell.blogspot.com



Karla Cook is a free-lance writer, blogger, and aspiring novelist. She is currently working on a coming-of-age story set in Oklahoma during the Great Depression, inspired in part by her grandmother's letters and diary. She makes her home in the panhandle of Idaho with her husband, two homeschooled daughters, and an assortment of pets. She loves to read, research her family's history, and go on road trips every chance she gets. Learn more about Karla at www.roadstoeverywhere.com   






75 comments:

  1. This is so cool! Thanks for having it!

    - Cheyenne

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  2. Thanks for hosting this! I definitely want to enter. How do you send the stories in when they're done? Should I just email you with it?

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    1. When you download the Official Contest Rules, it will tell you everything you need to know about the entry form, submitting the story, etc.
      thanks!
      Mrs. M

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  3. Hi!

    On the entry form, there is options to say how you want to be recognized in the book if you win. There is First Name, Last Name, Age, City and State, and Pen Name. Could there be an option for Last Name First Initial? (For instance, if your name is Susie Smith, then you could be recognized as Susie S.)

    Thanks,
    ~R.H.

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    Replies
    1. Well, sure! Just put an "S." in the place where it asks for the last name on that part of the entry form. :-)

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  4. Instead of scanning the entry form, would it be ok to take a picture of it and send it to you with my story entry? (I'd make sure you could read everything on the entry form clearly in the pic)
    Thanks!
    Hannah M.

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    Replies
    1. You can just mail the entry form if you don't want to have to scan it. There is an address within the Official Contest Rules.

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    2. So i could email the story and then mail the entry form?

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    3. Yes, you can. But in the story email, tell me you are mailing the entry form. In fact, you can mail the entry form WAY before you even email the story. So you can email the entry any time.

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  5. Where can you purchase the tee-shirts if we don't win the contest?

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    1. I buy the T-shirts from Great Products, a homeschooling company that I met when we were vendors at various homeschool conventions. Very reasonably priced and great service. Here is the link:
      http://www.shopgreatproducts.com/

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  6. What time on the 15th do we HAVE to have it in?

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    1. You can turn it in on Saturday, since I'm out of town and can't organize the entries until I get home. YOur lucky weekend! LOL

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    2. Thanks! That is soooooooo helpful! I entered my story, finally!

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  7. Have you gotten enough entries yet? Sorry for being curious, I'm just *SO* excited!!

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    1. My sister emailed her and asked the same question! Mrs. M says she has enough!

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  8. Oh okay. Great minds think alike!
    Thanks for letting me know!!

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  9. How many entries did you get, Mrs. M? :)

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    1. Not as many as last year, but plenty to run the contest! Praise God! I've already sent the ages 6-9 to the judges.

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    2. Have you sent any of the other ages yet?

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    3. Yep. O have read all the stories, so fun, and sent them all of them to the judges. Can't wait to see which stories they choose!

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  10. Yay!! I'm excited too!!

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  11. I mean can't wait. I'm SO excited!!!

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  12. Have you sent the results yet?? (Email)

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  13. Wow, I'd love to enter, but I'm not that great at writing...
    And I don't even have a story started, or a plot line, but maybe I'll try.
    I've never entered before. ;-)

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    Replies
    1. There's always a first time, Sadie! You've got lots of time. :-)

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    2. That's true, thanks! I'll try to get something started today! :-)

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  14. Eeeeek!!! I'm SOOOO excited for this contest! Thanks for hosting it again, Mrs M!!

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  15. I'm excited for the contest!!I really think I'll enter if I can get a story wrote:) Thanks for hosting it, Mrs M!!

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  16. Dear Mrs. Marlow,
    I have a question, I just turned seventeen and I REALLY want to enter the contest.
    The problem is, I will turn eighteen before the contest winners will be announced in April, will I then be disqualified because I will then be eighteen?
    Thank-you!
    Deborah van der Stoel from Prince Edward Island, Canada

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    Replies
    1. As long as you are 17 sometime during the contest itself (i.e. August - Jan. 1) you qualify. Your entry form asks for your age when you ENTER the contest, not when it's announced.
      Thanks for your interest. Hope that helps. :-)

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    2. Thank you so much, Mrs. Marlow, I was just making sure that I wasn't breaking any rules or anything. :)
      I got the Courageous Love book for my birthday yesterday, it was so exciting!
      You write really nice, the stories and adventures get better and more exciting every time!

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    3. Thanks, Deborah! Happy writing yourself!

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  17. Can you add pictures to your story?

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  18. Yes, but the judges won't see them. They could be used in the book if your story wins. Original pictures. Nothing copyrighted. πŸ˜€

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  19. Hi! Can I use characters from the Circle C Milestone series? I was confused on what series I can use in the story. Thank you for doing this, I have never entered but have wanted to.. hopefully it will happen this year! :)

    - Emmalee E.

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    Replies
    1. Did you read the Official Rules? It states any and all series, and I think it even lists them. I updated the 2017 Rules to include the Milestones. At least, I think I did! :-)
      YES

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  20. Is the journal that u get so that U can write in it or is it like"Andi's" journal? Like the slice of life on Mondays

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  21. My story has a little over 2,500 words in it. I'm in the 10 to 13 age range. is it okay if it goes over word count a bit?

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    Replies
    1. Going over 50 to 100 words is okay. Any more than that and you should find ways to cut words. It

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  22. Ok, so I know u said for the 2018 writing contest 50 to 100 words over is fine. I'm 163 words over. Is that good enough? I've cut out as many words as i could already (I was at 181 words over).

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    Replies
    1. Great! Thank u sooooo much😊 *whew*πŸ˜‰

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  23. Have you found the judges for this year?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, and I think I have refreshed the page so you can see them and some of the books they right. :-)

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  24. So I haven't read any of the Goldtown books yet and I wrote my story and named it Peril in the River. Later I saw my brother's copy of The River of Peril I think it's called. Will that be ok or do I need to rename it?

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    1. You may title your story any way you like. Peril in the River sounds good to me. Sounds exciting!

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    2. Ok, thank you! Yes, I think it's very exciting!

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  25. Can I quote Shakespeare in my story? Would they know who he is?

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    1. you can do anything you want. now, whether the judges (readers) would find that interesting is another question. YOu have limited word count. Do you want to take up word count with quotes from William? :-)

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    2. Haha, don't worry it's a short one!

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  26. how do you send the entry form in ?

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    1. Mrs. Marlow will accept it mailed to her, or emailed, too. Just make sure not to send your story by mail :). Read the contest rules for further info. (Oh, and Mrs. Marlow's address is on the entry form, which is found in the contest rules).
      Hope this helps.

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  27. Yep! Thx for clarifying that. The official contest rules are your go-to for all you need to know. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ƒ

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  28. Hello! I wrote a story for the 2018 Story Contest category 14-17. The maximum word count for that category is 3500 words, and the FAQ page said you would accept stories with 50-100 words over the word count. My story has about 3610 words (some of which are counted by the word processor, but are merely stars to clearly indicate scene changes). I've cut out as many words as I comfortably can. Will that be acceptable? -Grace

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  29. I really like the journal so how can I get it if I don't win the writing contest?
    Thanks!

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  30. I don't own any of the Andi Carter books yet(even though I really really like them!!!) So where can I get the Andi Carter (Milestone) books?

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    Replies
    1. From the website, circlcadventures.com, Amazon, CBD, or any bookstore.

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  31. Can my younger sister (age 5) enter this contest even though she isn't old enough?

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    1. If she can read the little Andi books she can enter the contest. :-)
      She can narrate the story and you can type it.
      Mrs. M

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    2. In fact, if you are using the books as read a louds, and she has a story in her head, she can narrate it to you too.

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    3. Great, thanks! She reads them herself as she is a rather advanced reader...

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  32. How long does it take to get from the Circle C to Memory Creek? Thanks!

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    1. Since Memory Creek used to be (and still is) Andi's special spot, it's a good half hour of serious riding (not walking along at a snail's pace, LOL). Loping mostly. Hope that helps.

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    2. Yes, it does:) does Andi's mother still ride? If so what is the horse's name?

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    3. Absolutely! Her horse is Misty.

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  33. Thank you for doing the story contest I love love love your books and I love writing so I guess it can mix over the week that it took me to read the adventures I was creating stories even though I had no idea that there was a contest! Long story short I have read the adventures and the milestones and I love to to make stories about them! :)

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    1. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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