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Youth Historical Fiction Competition

Logo for Youth fiction competition

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


Go directly to the resource guide. 


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.


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.


Submission Guidelines

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-April 6th, 2018. Winners will be announced by May 1, 2018.


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
  • Opportunity to share your work at a reading on Monday, May 21, 2018

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.