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 2023 Creative Writing Contest theme will be suave mari magno magnum spectare laborem - it is sweet to watch a great struggle on the great sea, paraphrased from Book II, lines 1-2, of De Rerum Natura by Lucretius. You can also view the contest flier here.

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 Sherry Doerfler at for more help.

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