Bringing Tacoma’s History to Life: Youth Historical Fiction Contest

Youth historical fiction competition graphic.color


Submit your writing to Tacoma’s inaugural Historical Fiction Competition, “Bringing Tacoma History to Life!”

What’s in it for me?

This new historical fiction competition, geared towards high-school students, offers an opportunity to dig into the history of our city and create an original piece of fiction. The competition will be judged by a panel of local writers and historians, and the top three winners are eligible to win cash prizes – and to share their award-winning stories at an event as part of Historic Preservation Month in May.

I’m a young writer – how do I get started?

All of the information needed to get started is in a resource guide for students and teachers. The resource guide offers a choice of four prompts about decisive but little-known moments in Tacoma’s history.  For each prompt, the guide offers context, historic images, newspaper quotes, and more. To spark your imagination, the guide also walks you through a brainstorming process before you start writing.

Write253 is also excited to host four workshops at the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch (1102 Tacoma Ave. S.) on Feb. 3, Feb. 24, Mar. 10, and Mar. 24 as part of the Saturday Writers Studio. Workshops are free and will help generate ideas, edit drafts, and get your stories ready for the competition!

I’m a teacher – is this appropriate for my classroom?

Yes! The resource guide is designed for use by teachers. It includes a discussion guide for teachers around an excerpt from Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, and an essay by local historian Michael Sullivan. In addition to the resource guide, we have a slide show that can be shared with students to introduce them to the four prompts.

What else do I need to know?

Submissions to the Historical Fiction Competition should follow these guidelines:

Length. The story should be no longer than 2,000 words.

Bibliography. The document should contain a short bibliography that lists the primary and secondary sources that you used as inspiration.

Submission. The document should be submitted to the Creative Colloquy Website, www.creativecolloquy.submittable.com/submit, as a Microsoft Word document. No other document types will be accepted.

Deadline. Submissions will be accepted between February 15-March 30. Winners will be announced by May 1st.

Prizes. Three winners will be awarded the following prizes:

  • Cash prize of $200 for 1st place, $100 for 2nd, $50 for 3rd, and 2 honorable mentions
  • Publication on Creative Colloquy website (www.creativecolloquy.com)
  • Opportunity to share your work at a reading on Monday, May 21st

Writers. Writers should live in Pierce County and be 18 or under (or enrolled in high school.)


Contact histfiction@write253.com

The competition is presented by the City of Tacoma’s Historic Preservation Office, in partnership with local literary nonprofits Write253 and Creative Colloquy, with additional support from the Tacoma Public Library.