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.
SHORT STORY WRITING
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
HINTS FROM THE SHORT STORY JUDGES
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.