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Let Your Imaginations Run Wild for 2017 Short Story Contest


The Gaithersburg Book Festival wants high school students to express their creativity in the seventh annual short story contest. The 2017 contest marks the first time that students have the freedom to write about whatever they want, with no opening lines or artwork to serve as inspiration.

“We’ve read some pretty amazing writing by some very talented young people during the past six years,” said Jud Ashman, festival chair and Mayor of the City of Gaithersburg. “This year we are changing up the contest and look forward to seeing what students can produce when there are no limits, no constraints.”

To participate in the short story contest, students must be enrolled in grades 9-12 at a public or private school, or be in a homeschool program, for the 2016-17 school year, and must reside in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia.

Stories cannot exceed 1,000 words and must be submitted as a Word document to by midnight ET on Friday, February 17, 2017.

Up to 12 stories will be selected as finalists and posted on the Gaithersburg Book Festival website prior to the Book Festival. The first-, second- and third-place winners and the fan favorite will be announced at the Festival on Saturday, May 20, 2017, and will be awarded $100, $75, $50 and $25 gift certificates, respectively, courtesy of the Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus.

Complete rules and regulations can be found at

CATEGORY: K-12 Outreach, In The Community