Young Author Competition

Oct. 20, 2023

It is that time of year!   The Young Authors contest for the 2023-2024 school year is beginning.

My name is Kena Wolf, and I am the district coordinator for the contest. I am also a Preschool Teacher at Overland.  I can be reached at school at 352-3430 (you’ll need to leave me a message), privately at 605-641-1276 (call or text) or by email   Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time with questions that you may have. I am excited to assist in this process and look forward to receiving the entries from your students.

Let me begin by giving you some general information. The contest is open to all students in grades Kindergarten through 12th grade. Fiction, nonfiction, graphic novel (New this year!) and poetry entries are accepted. The deadline for entries to reach me is January 18, 2024 This will give the judges time to score the entries and get them to the County committee. I have attached all the forms you will need for your students’ entries.  Please make as many copies as you need. I also attached the County guidelines for the contest. I would encourage you to read over them very carefully to ensure that your students meet all of the requirements. We will send one entry representing fiction, nonfiction, graphic novel and poetry from each grade level to county.  THERE IS A WYOMING STATE COMPETITION THIS YEAR!!!

Rubrics for fiction, nonfiction and poetry entries are attached.  There is a general graphic novel rubric attached.  A more precise graphic novel rubric will be sent as soon as it becomes available. Find templates for graphic novels at if guidance is needed.

I want to touch base on some of the common mistakes so that no entries will be disqualified.  Please check your students’ entry.

  • Fiction/Nonfiction books may not exceed 4,000 words. If it is over 3,000 words a word count must accompany the entry.
  • A book of poetry may either be an epic poem or a collection of exactly five poems, and must include a table of contents. (only 3 poems needed for Kindergarten authors)
  • A book of poems should not include the word poem in the title.
  • An author’s name should not appear on the book.
  • Illustrations are not required, but are judged as part of presentation at all levels.
  • Beginning this year, digital entries are recommended (More information in the guidelines).  All physical books should be in book form and no larger than 9” x 12”.
  • All books should have a front cover with a title, and a back cover, which is not part of the text.
  • A Young Author entry form must be included with the entry. If you do not want to attach it to the work, you can use a library pocket card.

 Judging at district, county and state level will be based upon the 6+1TM Trait writing model. At the District Level, prizes will be awarded to one First, Second and Third place book per grade, per category. At the County Level, prizes will be awarded to one First place and two honorable mentions books per grade, per category. I will announce date, time and place of district, county and state celebrations as that information becomes available. 

Again, if you would like more information or you have questions you can contact me anytime.

I look forward to reading your students’ entries.


Kena Wolf