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Two AACC Young Writers Awards (one in fiction and one in poetry) will be offered annually for Anne Arundel County resident high school students in grades 11 and 12. The winning entrants will receive $500 and their winning pieces will be featured in Amaranth, AACC’s award-winning journal of literature and and the arts. Winners also will be invited to read at Amaranth’s release reading.

Who Can Enter?

  • Contest is open to all Anne Arundel County resident high school students attending grades 11 and 12 in public, private or home-schools within Anne Arundel County who have not yet earned a high school diploma or equivalent.
    • Proof of residency and high school grade level will be required of the winning entrants.
  • Entrants who meet the residency and grade 11 and 12 eligibility requirements and who are enrolled at AACC (either through Dual Enrollment or standard credit courses) are eligible for this contest.
  • To avoid potential conflicts of interest, students currently or previously enrolled in AACC’s creative writing classes (ENG-200, ENG-201, ENG-202, ENG-203, ENG-204, or ENG-205) are not eligible to enter.

How Does it Work?

  • All entries must be original work and be based on characters and situations created by the author (i.e., no fan fiction).
  • Entries may be simultaneously submitted to other contests and may have been previously published in a high school literary magazine. Entries that have been previously published in college or professional journals are not permitted.
  • Entrants may submit only one piece to each category, but entrants may submit to both categories (i.e. a short story and a poem).
  • There is no entry fee.
  • Entries will be judged by AACC English and creative writing faculty.
  • AACC welcomes submissions from all eligible members of the community and prohibits all types of discrimination on the basis of race, including hair style and texture, color, religion or creed, ancestry or national origin, sex, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, citizenship, and genetic information.
  • The winner of each category will receive $500, will be featured in Amaranth, and will be invited to read their work at the Amaranth release party at the AACC campus in the spring.

How Do I Submit?

  • Entries must be submitted through our submission form.
    • Upload one story or one poem as a Microsoft Word document.
    • No name or contact information may appear in the uploaded document.
    • Entries must have titles.
    • Short story entries should be double spaced and between 1,000 and 5,000 words in length.
    • Poetry entries should be single spaced (double spaced between stanzas) and should not exceed three pages in length.
    • If submitting to both categories, a separate form/upload must be completed for each entry.
    • The submission period is open from Sept. 15 to Feb. 14.

What's the Timeline?

  • Submissions open on Sept. 15 of each year.
  • All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 14 of each calendar year. Submissions received after that date and time will not be considered.
  • You will receive an email acknowledging your submission.
  • Winners will be contacted and asked to produce proof of high school grade level and residency in late March or early April.
  • All entrants will be notified of the results via email.
  • Winners will be publicly announced in mid- to late-April.


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School of Liberal Arts

Garrett Brown, professor


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