Entries sought for Teen and Adult Writing Contest

Hand-written letter on top of a book

Teen and adult writers are invited to enter the Voices of the Past Writing Contest as part of Salem Reads 2022

​Teen and adult writers are invited to blend family lore with imagination, writing a fictitious entry into the diary of one of a grandparent (or similar ancestor). It can be from any time period and tell any story from their lives. This is a chance to share with readers the flavor and life of the people who helped shape you! 


Entries are accepted until 7 p.m. Thursday, February 10. Entries can be completed online through a Google Form. Alternate entry options include email or submitting in hard copy with a printed entry form at a Salem Public Library Ask Me Desk. Forms are also available to pick up at Salem Public Library.


Cash prizes will be awarded in each of two categories: teen (grades 6-12) and adult (age 18+). Prizes are:

  • 1st place - $50
  • 2nd place - $30
  • 3rd place - $20


Stories should be 200-800 words.Top entries will be read at a special awards and recognition event at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 26 on Zoom.


The Voices of the Past Writing Contest is a part of the 2022 Salem Reads: One Book, One Community, exploring A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. Additional activities and events are planned throughout the month of February 2022.


Guidelines for Entries

  • Each writer may submit no more than 2 stories.

  • Writers must live in the Salem area and/or attend a Salem area school.

  • Stories must not exceed 800 words.

  • Uploaded stories must be in PDF format.

  • Work must be wholly original. Stories with plagiarized content will be disqualified from the contest.

  • The title of the story must be printed at the top of each page.

  • Each submission must be accompanied by a completed Google entry form. Your name should NOT appear anywhere on the story.

  • Anyone unable to submit through the Google form has the option to (1) email the story and along with name, phone, and story title to [email protected] or (2) submit a hard copy of their story along with a printed entry form to any Salem Public Library Ask Me Desk.

  • Each entry must be typed on 8.5" by 11" paper.

  • Entries are judged on originality, voice, and overall impression.

  • Stories will not be returned at the end of the contest.

  • The decision of the judges is final.


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Salem Public Library

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