“Tell Me a Story” High School Contest


The goal of our high school contest is to discover, mentor, and publish the next generation of amazing writers.

In 2015 we launched the Narrative “Tell Me a Story” High School Contest. And across these dynamic three years, our partner school network has grown to include students in public, private, parochial, and charter schools across the United States and as far away as New Delhi, India, and Seoul, South Korea.


Each spring, bestselling author and Narrative cofounder/editor Carol Edgarian, along with members of our staff, selects the first-, second-, and third-place winners and some finalists in the Narrative “Tell Me a Story” High School Contest. Each May, the winners receive $800 in prizes. The three winning entries are published in Narrative alongside the greatest writers of our time, are celebrated at their schools and, as in previous years, are recorded and featured on our podcast “Narrative Outloud.” The student writers of the three winning entries work closely with Carol throughout the spring to edit, refine, and record their work–in other words, to be mentored and to engage in all aspects of a professional publishing process. Last year, in what was certainly a time of great flux in our nation, students responded to the prompt “Dear America.” They shared with Narrative readers the hopes, fears, and questions of a new generation.


This year we expanded the contest to allow for submissions of personal narratives as well as short fiction in order to facilitate greater creativity in structure and style. All participating students responded in 600 words to the prompt When everything changed.


Past winners of the Narrative “Tell Me a Story” High School Contest:


The 3rd Annual High School Contest: When Everything Changed

The 2nd Annual High School Contest: Dear America

The 1st Annual High School Contest: Where I’m Going


Are you a student or teacher looking for resources? Check out our curated reading lists and video tutorials about the craft of writing, featuring bestselling author and Narrative cofounder/editor Carol Edgarian.


If you are a teacher interested in receiving information about future Narrative “Tell Me a Story” High School Contests, please email us and tell us a bit about your school.


If you are a student interested in future Narrative “Tell Me a Story” High School Contests, please ask your English teacher to reach out to us here.


Narrative’s “Tell Me a Story” High School Contest is supported in part by:



Additional Information:


Welcome | For Teachers | For Students |
Video Tutorials with Carol Edgarian | A Great Reading List