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Get your book published by Stone Soup! 

Stone Soup is thrilled to announce that we are accepting submissions for our annual book contest.

This year we plan to accept two books for publication: one novel or short story collection and one book of poems. However, we do consider all submissions for potential publication.

Contest Details

Genre: Fiction (novel, novella, short story collection) or Poetry

Length: For fiction submissions, the minimum length is 20,000 words. For poetry submissions, the minimum length is 40 pages, with no more than one poem per page. Novels in verse should be a minimum of 50 pages. There is no maximum word or page limit.

Age Limit: For this contest, we will accept manuscripts written by those age 14 or under.

Deadline: Sunday, August 21, 2022 11:59 pm (Pacific Time)

Entry fee: $15.00

Submissions of multiple manuscripts by the same author are accepted but you must submit each as an individual entry and pay the fee each time.

Results and Prizes: We will select two winning manuscripts—one in fiction and one in poetry—to be published and distributed by Stone Soup in both print and ebook forms, available for sale on Amazon, in the Stone Soup store, via our distributors, and advertised along with the rest of our books to libraries and other vendors.

We will also name a handful of finalists.

Publication: We will consider all work submitted as part of the contest for potential publication in the magazine or as standalone volumes.

Previous Submissions: If you submitted to last year's contest and have substantially revised your manuscript in the meantime, you are welcome to resubmit it this year.

Submission Fee: The submission fee is important to us; it helps us defray the costs of the contest and of producing and publishing the two winning books. However, if the submission fee represents a financial hardship to your family, please write to editor@stonesoup.com.

If you have questions, please review our FAQ page. If you can't find the answer to your question there, please write to stonesoup@stonesoup.com.

We reserve the right to select no winners in a given year.

Reader Interactions


  1. Hi,

    A quick question, if writer is 14 and a few months old, she should be able to submit for the annual book competition correct? Age limit is 14 and under, sounds like she’s ok. Double checking. Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Amy,

      Yes, as long as the author is 14 at the time of writing/submitting, they are eligible for the contest. Thanks for your question!

  2. Hi!
    I just have a quick question.
    If you submitted last year and did not win, could you rewrite your book entirely but keep the previous name?

  3. Hi- can a poem be longer than one page long, or can poems be across multiple lives as long as there are no other poems on that page?

    • Hi Isla,

      I think either 12 pt Times New Roman or Arial should suffice. And then any spacing 1-2 pt should be fine.

  4. Hi,
    Will we have an editor or someone help us if our book or poetry collection is selected, or do we have to complete our final draft on our own before submission?
    Just wondering,

  5. Hey,
    I already posted this comment, but I don’t see it on my screen, so I’m going to post it again – sorry if you see it twice on your screen!
    If I write a book, can a friend who is older than 14 illustrate it? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Hosanna,

      If your question is regarding the entirety of the short story/poetry collection, please refer to this answer from the FAQ:

      Can I submit a manuscript that I co-wrote with one (or more) friends?

      Yes, you may. Although only the Submittable form only allows you to list one author, you should name all of the authors in your cover letter on the submission form as well as on the title page of your manuscript. Please include ages and parent emails for all authors.

      Otherwise, if your question refers to only one or two poems/stories within a manuscript, it should be okay for a piece to be co-written as long as both participants are under 14 and due credit is given.

  6. Hello,

    Can I use a pen name if my work is selected for publication and/or announcements? I can send in my work with my actual name, but if my book is shared with the public, can I use a pen name?


    • Hi Claire,

      Yes, absolutely. Just make sure to submit with your actual name and to make a note in the submission that if accepted you’d like to publish under a pen name.

    • Hi Claire,

      Yes, just make sure to submit under your real name and to make a note in your submission that if accepted, you’d like to publish under a pen name.

    • Hi Nyla,

      Yes, as long as all contributors are under 14. And make sure when submitting to submit under one name, but to include the names of all who contributed in the cover letter.

  7. Hi! I was wondering if you had a preferred tense for us to write it in. Past, or present?
    Thank you so much!!

    • Hi Delphine,

      No, no required length for each story. Though the entire collection should be at least 20,000 words.

  8. What application do we use to submit our manuscripts? I know a friend who published a book of her own and she used the app “Words” since there’s a particular format. Do we need a format? Because I’m more used to using Google Docs to write things.


    • Hi Taryn,

      You may use whichever application you like to write the manuscripts, but they should be submitted via Submittable either as a docx file or pdf file.

  9. Hi, I was just wondering if your book can have a bit of cursing and minor swears like “damn” or “crap”?

  10. Hi, I was just wondering if your book can have a bit of cursing and minor swears like “damn” or “crap”?

  11. I would also like to know the answer to the above question of whether we can have minor slurs such as “damn”

  12. Hello. I was wondering if you are allowed to add pictures to the story?
    And can it be like a journal? An adventure the author has partaken in?

    • Hi there. Yes pictures can be added but you must still adhere to the word count minimum. Not sure what you mean by like a journal… Do you mean memoir?

  13. Hi, if we have our book published, who would be owning it? Who would have the copyright? And if it is the Stone Soup will we get a percentage of profit for every book sold?

  14. I don’t know if it duplicated because it didn’t show. If it did I’m sorry.

    I was wondering who would own the book if it got published? Who would have the copyright? If it’s StoneSoup will we get some percentage profit for every book sold?

    • Hi John,

      Stone Soup maintains copyright over the book and would provide royalties to the author, yes.

  15. Hi, I was wondering in what type of document should I send my story. Google Doc, Word, OfficeSuite, or some other?

    • Hi Hannah,

      You can submit a fantasy novel, yes, and you should submit the entire novel. And I suppose you could choose not to be published if you won, however I’m not sure why as publication is the only prize for winning.

  16. Hi, I was wondering if there should be a acknowledgements page. If there is, how long should that be, and does it count towards the number of words I wrote?

    • Hi John,

      It is up to the author if they would like to include an acknowledgements page. These are typically just one page and no, it would not count towards total word count.

    • Hi Isabella,

      The number of stories is up to you, as long as the word count meets the 20,000 word minimum.

  17. Hi!
    If I’m writing my story in Google Docs, which has computer-size pages, I’m wondering if the number of pages would change due to the page size of the published book (if it gets chosen as the winner)? Also, should we include a title page or an about the author page?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Una,

      Don’t worry too much about the change of pages between google docs and your submission. As long as you hit the 20,000 word minimum there won’t be a problem, and the actual page count of the books changes a bit after editing. And you are welcome to include an author and title page, though these are more likely to be crafted after a given book is accepted.

  18. if i’m 13 now and i finished my book when i was 13 but i missed the submission date for the contest and the next one is after i turn 14 can i not submit?

    • Hi Talia,

      This is a great question. I’d say that as long as you didn’t write the majority of the book after turning 14, including major edits, then it should be fine to submit to next year’s contest.

    • There is no word nor page maximum! But this contest window is now over. We will however likely have a new contest next year.

    • This would certainly be okay, though you should know that Stone Soup wouldn’t necessarily publish any other books in the series if the first book was chosen as a winner.

  19. Also, what if we don’t hit the 20,000 minimum but have like 19,000 or something like that? Can we still submit or will it just get disqualified?

    • Hi Amalie,

      Manuscripts should be in a 12 point serif font (Times New Roman, Arial, Garamond, though Times New Roman would be your best bet).

      And yes, all manuscripts must meet the 20,000 word minimum.

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