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Creative Minds Writing Contest

We invite submissions for Imagine’s Creative Nonfiction Contest.

The first-place winner will be published in the January/February issue of Imagine. Second- and third-place winners will be excerpted in print and published in full online. Winners will receive copies of the issue in which their work appears.

Winners will be announced in the Jan/Feb issue of Imagine and on the Imagine website.

Contest Guidelines
Please read these guidelines carefully. Essays that do not meet these requirements will be disqualified. 

  1. Entrants must be 18 years old or younger.
  2. Entries must be received by 5:00 pm ET on Thursday, November 3, 2016. Essays received after this deadline will not be considered.
  3. There is no theme or topic for this competition. Essays may be any work of creative nonfiction including, but not limited to, memoirs, personal essays, travel writing, and lyric essays. We will not accept book reports, critical works, or research papers.
  4. Essays must not exceed 1,000 words and must be titled.
  5. Entrants may submit up to two essays.
  6. Entries must include text only. Do not include photographs, illustrations, or background graphics or colors.
  7. Essays must be entrant’s original work. Essays that have won other contests or that have appeared in any print or online publications are not eligible. 
  8. Save all essays in a single Microsoft Word document or PDF with your last name as the file name. Submit your entry online here

Questions may be directed to

See the winning essays from previous years in our essay archives.