Shawnee Community College High School Writing Contest Returns


ULLIN, IL (October 2, 2023) – High school students around the region are once again invited to participate in the annual Shawnee Community College High School Writing Contest.


Each category has two divisions (9th/10th grade and 11th/12th grade)

Short Fiction

This category includes short stories or excerpts from longer works. Entries should be no more than 1,000-1,500 words—one entry per student.



Poetry of all kinds is encouraged. Each poem has no length limit, but please limit submissions to four poems per student. Poems will be judged individually.


Non-fiction Essay

This category includes more formal topics such as literary criticism, researched arguments, or informational research essays. They may include research, but it is not required. Entries should be no more than 1,000-2,000 words—one entry per student.


Submission Requirements

All entries must be computer-produced and printed on standard 8½ x 11 paper. Students may submit in any or all categories. Three copies of each entry should be paper clipped to one copy of the Entry Form.

Students’ names should appear only on the Entry Forms and not on their submitted work(s). The deadline for entries to arrive at Shawnee College is February 14, 2024. Qualified judges will evaluate the entries. No entries will be returned, so please keep copies of your work.


Writing Contest Entry Form (PDF)



Cash awards and prizes will be presented to winners in each division and each category. 

Division 1 (9th/10th grade) 

  • $100 (First Place)
  • $50 (Second Place)
  • $25 (Third Place) 

Division 2 (11th/12th grade)

  • $100 (First Place)
  • $50 (Second Place)
  • $25 (Third Place)


Awards Ceremony

A ceremony to celebrate the student writers will be held on April 18, 2024, at 5:30 p.m. in the Shawnee Community College Atrium. The winners in each division and category will be announced, and prizes will be awarded. The winning entries (or excerpts) will be read aloud during the celebration. Light refreshments will be provided at the ceremony. Please plan to attend this celebration of young writers, their teachers, and their families. 


Questions and entry packets should be directed to:

Dr. Ryan Thornsberry
Shawnee Community College
8364 Shawnee College Road
Ullin, IL 62992

Call 618-634-3329 or email