Calling Young Writers to Spark a Story with HMH

Earlier this year, many of you joined us on social media using #SparkAMind to share moments that provide inspiration and fuel learning. As we kick off National Short Story month, I’m excited to introduce you to the next phase of this campaign -- Spark a Story.

HMH is home to many of the world’s great authors and stories, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s tales of Middle Earth to Virginia Woolf’s classic Mrs. Dalloway. We believe in the power of a good story to take us to new places, change our minds, and change our lives. I am proud of the work we do to find great authors and bring their stories to life.

Part of this work is the Best American Short Stories anthologies, which have been published by HMH for over 100 years. This annual collection shines a light on the best examples of one of the exacting and rewarding forms of fiction: the short story. Following in the spirit of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Spark a Storythis series, we’re on the lookout for the nation’s next generation of great short story writers. Who and where are the best young American storytellers? The Spark a Story contest will invite high school students to submit original short fiction to us at HMH that will be winnowed down to the twenty strongest stories. Those winning writers will have their stories published in a special anthology by our trade division next year.

One of the best parts of my job is finding new writers who have new stories to tell. If you are in any grade in high school, whether you have already written many short stories or are considering writing one for the first time, we want to read your work. Be creative and follow your imagination.

We can’t wait to find the best of the best.


About Spark a Story

The Spark a Story contest will open for online submissions on Aug. 1 and continue through Oct. 7, 2016.  Entries must be no longer than 5000 words and are limited to one per high school student. The HMH editorial team will look closely at creativity, originality and overall quality of writing. Winners will receive $100 and a copy of the published anthology, slated for release in June 2017.

Please visit our FAQ or contest rules for additional questions and information.