Themes for essays, short stories, and poetry may be evangelistic, inspirational, Biblical, Christian growth, patriotic, or historical. 

Please write the THEME of the essay, short story, and poetry on the Judge’s Forms where indicated. 



The contestant writes and submits a fiction composition. The story may be based on real 

experience; it may be purely imaginary; or it may be a fictionalized report of an historical 


1. The story MUST have an evangelistic, Biblical, Christian growth, patriotic, or historical 


2. The story must have been written after the termination of the previous International 

Convention and must be the original work of the student. 

3. Plagiarism of any kind will automatically disqualify the entry. 

4. A significant portion of the story must be written during school hours to verify authenticity. 

5. One entry per contestant. 

Checklist for Short Story: 

1. Length—600-1,000 words 

2. Format—Computer or typewriter, double-spaced on plain white paper; one full inch margin 

on all sides. On a computer use 10- to 12-point type and a letter-quality printer. 

Recommended fonts: Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Arial. No heavy, bold, or fancy 

fonts. On a typewriter a 50-space line equals 10 words; a 60-space line equals 12 words. 

3. Copies—Three (3) copies of the short story must be submitted as an early entry. All copies 

are to be inserted in a clear plastic page protector with the student's name, school name, 

customer number, school address, and telephone number clearly visible on the front of 

EACH copy. At Regional Student Convention, TWO COPIES OF THE SHORT STORY 

AND JUDGE’S FORMS WILL BE RETURNED. Entries submitted for competition at 

International Student Convention WILL NOT BE RETURNED. 

4. Creative Composition Affidavit (CF28) attached to entry and properly signed. You will 

need three (3) copies of the Creative Composition Affidavit form; attach one copy to 

each copy of your short story. 

5. Three (3) copies of JUDGE'S FORMS (CF27) are required at the Regional and International 



Judges look for stories that are original and imaginative yet believable. It is important that your 

Short Story contain a balance of all the elements of narrative fiction: plot, setting, 

characterization, conflict, and resolution. It should not overemphasize one to the detriment of 

the others. Because of space limitations, it is important that you develop each facet of your story 

carefully and thoughtfully, paying particular attention to your choice of words. Use words 

economically, that is, do not use several trite, colorless words when one strong, imaginative 

word could replace them and enhance the tone of your story. Neither should you waste good 

words. Make each one count. Consider it carefully. Is it there for a reason? Is it used 

accurately? Does it tell the reader exactly what you want him to know, or does he have to guess 

at your meaning? When you are satisfied that your story says what you want it to say, check it 

carefully to eliminate errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Also check the word count, 

since judges will subtract points if you exceed the limits. 

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