Nonfiction Writing Contest

Take part in our writing contest!

Submissions due May 22, 2022. Details below.

Pencil on a piece of lined paper


  • “Once when I was young…” 

Age Groups:

  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • High School
  • Adults


  • First, second, and third prize will be awarded in each age group
    • First Prize: $50 in Chamber Bucks
    • Second Prize: $15 in Chamber Bucks
    • Third Prize: $10 in Chamber Bucks


  • Participants must live in or attend school in Freeborn County or have a non-resident Albert Lea Public Library card
  • Stories must be works of nonfiction based on the prompt, “Once when I was young…” 
  • Length – no longer than two pages, single-spaced
  • Cover Letter – entries should contain a cover letter with the title of your story, your name, age group and contact information (phone number and/or email address)
  • Do not put your name on any pages of the story to help with anonymous judging
  • One submission per person
  • All short stories must be original works to the author and be unpublished
  • Story content should be appropriate for a wide audience
  • Winning submissions will be posted on the Albert Lea Public Library’s website with permission for the public to read


  • Submit entries by email to as a PDF or Word Document or drop off at the library
  • Entries must be received by midnight on Sunday, May 22, 2022