Creative Writing

This contest is open to all registered members of the National Junior Classical League. The names of any winners in attendance at the convention will be announced, but it is NOT necessary to attend the NJCL convention to win.

The 2024 Creative Writing Contest theme will be multa, quae impedita natura sunt, consilio expediuntur - many things which are naturally difficult are solved with ingenuity, from Livy's Ab Urbe Condita 25.11.  You can view the contest flier here.

The timeline for the Creative Writing Contest has changed for the 2023-2024 school year.  The deadline for entries is February 2, 2024.  By moving the deadline earlier in the school year, we hope to be more able to judge entries and share results in time for participating schools to present and share awards prior to the end of the school year.  Thank you for understanding and accommodating this change; if this change presents an unusual hardship or presents a barrier to participation, please contact both the contest chair at AND the Programs & Scholastic Services chair at to discuss reasonable accommodations for your school.

All entries must:

  • be 900-1200 words in length. (Indicate the word count under the title; stories too long or too short will not be judged.
  • be typed and double-spaced.
  • have the title of the story and the page number on EACH page.
  • NOT have the student’s name on the pages of the story.
  • have a bibliography of any sources used in research.
  • be free of artwork or graphics.
  • be carefully proof-read.

The judging criteria are:

30% Creativity and originality (concept, imagination, ideas, entertainment value)
10% Quality of content (adherence to topic)
15% Historical accuracy (including bibliography worth 5%)
15% Organization, development and clarity (including length)
10% Style (word choice, vocabulary, sentence structure)
10% Mechanics (grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization)
10% Overall impression

Teachers: If your school or school district does not allow sharing of or access to documents via google from outside entities, then please have your students submit their entries to you in a word document. Then, you can upload those documents into a non-school restricted account. If you have any specific questions, please email the contest chair at or the Programs & Scholastic Services chair at for more help.

2016 Results 2017 Results 2018 Results 2019 Results
2020 Results 2021 Results