Annual Fiction Contest

Entries are received beginning March 15 and must be postmarked or received by email no later than August 15.


  • All submissions should include an accurate word count and the writer’s contact information – name, mailing address, and email address or phone number.
  • There is no set theme and no entry fee.
  • Stories should be 750–1,000 words. (Stories shorter than 750 words or longer than 1,000 words will be disqualified.)
  • Stories should contain lots of action, use believable dialogue, be simply written, and be relevant to the problems faced by this age group in everyday life. Children need to be able to see themselves in the pages of the magazine. It is important that the tone not be “preachy” or didactic. Use short sentences and paragraphs. When possible, use concrete words instead of abstractions. However, do not “write down” to children.
  • We do not accept stories about talking animals or inanimate objects.
  • Biblical and historical fiction based on real events is not accepted for the contest, but is welcome for regular submissions.
  • Multiple submissions are permitted.
  • Past winners are ineligible.
  • The winner will be announced November 1 at
  • Award: $500 and publication in the magazine.
  • Entries with a SASE will be returned.
  • Entries submitted by email will not receive a response unless they are held for further consideration or chosen for publication.



Lynn W. Gilliam, Editor

P.O. Box 340004

Nashville, TN 37203-0004

Please write “FICTION CONTEST” on the outside envelope.



Please write “FICTION CONTEST” in the subject line.



POCKETS is a publication of THE UPPER ROOM.  POCKETS, THE UPPER ROOM, and design logos are trademarks owned by THE UPPER ROOM, Nashville, TN.  All rights reserved.


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