35th Annual Stanley Shalit Short Story Competition Grades 4-5

Completed work must be submitted in print/hard copy form.  Email submissions will NOT be accepted.  

About the theme:  
Consider a short story based on a backpack. Use your imagination. Maybe the story could be on the type of backpack, its use for school, camping, hiking, traveling, or even hiding secret valuables. It could also be about something unexpected happening because of what is in the backpack, or maybe the effect of the backpack on the owner or anyone else.

The theme is not intended to be the title of the story. It is meant to help provide a creative focus to deliver a story that touches the meanings or thoughts that come to your mind when thinking about the theme. 

About the story: The story should revolve around an experience, setting, problem, challenge, tragedy, triumph, or any circumstance that will intrigue readers and bring characters to life.   Describe to readers what the characters look like, how they communicate, and how they act, feel and think. Develop the main character(s) by using and including supporting characters. Use the main character(s) and supporting characters to describe the place and time in which the story is set. 

Submission Guidelines: 
  • Each work must have a cover letter that includes the participant's name, age, home address, phone number, email address, school name, teacher's name, and grade level.
  • The story must be fiction, original and 4 to 8 pages.
  • All work must be typed; pages must be numbered, double-spaced and margins justified.
  • The story must have a title page that includes the title of the story and the writer's name. 
  • The completed work must be postmarked by, or submitted in person to Largo Public Library, no later than 5:00 P.M. on Saturday, October 20.
  • Failure to follow these rules will disqualify the entry.
  • Submitted work will not be returned. Please be sure to keep a copy of your work.  
Winners and Prizes:
Ten finalists will be selected. 

Prizes Awarded:
  • 1st Place, $100
  • 2nd Place, $75
  • 3rd Place, $50
  • Runners Up, $20
The ten finalists will be notified prior to the awards ceremony which will take place Thursday evening, November 1, 2018.  At the ceremony, the final standings will be revealed and prizes awarded.  

Sponsored by the Friends of the Largo Library 

The school is neither endorsing nor sponsoring this event nor approving nor endorsing the views or the organization sponsoring the activity.