What is the Central Valley Young Writer’s Prize?
An annual writing and illustration contest for school-age children in Mariposa, Madera, Fresno, Kings and Tulare Counties, in California

Who can enter?
Contest is open to all students, grades 3-12, residing in Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced & Tulare Counties.

What are the different categories?

  1. Fiction
  2. Non-Fiction
  3. Poetry
  4. Illustration

What are the different age/grade divisions for each category?

  • Writing:
    Grades 3-5 1,000 word maximum (roughly 2 pages)
    Grades 6-8 2,500 word maximum (about 5 pages)
    Grades 9-12 5,000 word maximum (about 10 pages)
  • Illustration
    Grades 3-5 Illustration size min 2″ x 2″; max 8″ x 11″
    Grades 6-8 Illustration size min 2″ x 2″; max 8″ x 11″
    Grades 9-12 Illustration size min 2″ x 2″; max 8″ x 11″

Can my child enter in more than one category?
Absolutely! Each applicant can submit one entry into the writing division and one into the illustration division.

Is there a specific topic?
The theme of the contest is “BOOKS”. Entries in any category should relate to books in some manner.

  • All writing submissions must be in English. (Use of other languages is fine, as long as it is minimal and fits into the story)
  • Submissions must be typed (double-spaced, 12 point font).
  • Entries must be submitted electronically, either through the CVYWP website or via e-mail to A Book Barn (
  • Submissions will be judged based on originality, writing quality, and relevence to theme. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation may also be considered.

When can we register?
Registration for the 2014 contest begins April 1st, so download or pick up your registration form now!

What is the contest deadline?
All entries must be submitted, either in person or electronically, before 5:00pm (PST) on Thursday, May 15, 2014. Late entries will not be accepted or submitted for judging.

How do I download and/or submit a registration form?
Just follow this link to the “Download Forms” page to download the forms. The forms will need to be printed and filled out manually then scanned (we’re working on an electronic version!), and submitted along with the child’s original work on the “Submit Entry” page.

  • A single entry cannot be considered for multiple categories.
  • All entries must include the following with the contestant’s original, unpublished work:
    1. TWO Title Pages: one with title and entrant’s name; one with JUST the title.
    2. An official Contest Entry / Permission Form (download form at or

What if I don’t have a printer or internet access on my computer?
Entry forms and rules may be picked up at any one of the following locations:

  • A Book Barn, 640 Clovis Ave, Clovis CA, 93612 (559.297.9052)
  • Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, Madden Library, CSU Fresno campus
  • Fresno County Public Library (any branch)

Return submissions with contest entry/permission form to: A Book Barn, 640 Clovis CA 93612

Who will be judging?
All judging will be anonymous. The decision of the judges is final and cannot be contested.

What are the prizes?
Each category, in each division: 1st Place – $50; 2 Honor Prizes – $25 each. There will be a Grande Prize per division of $100.

When will I know who the winners are?
All award submissions will be published in an anthology to be debuted at an awards ceremony in early December, 2014. Winners will be notified by August 15, 2014. Future publishing rights will remain the property of the individual authors. Contest reserves editing rights. Each winner will receive one copy of the anthology.

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