top of page

Longing & Dreamscapes

Pen&Quill's 2nd Annual Summer Competition

Welcome to the second edition of Pen&Quill's Annual Summer Competition! Calling all writers aged 12-21 to submit their best work for a chance to win monetary prizes and more! Submissions are now open.


“Longing and Dreamscapes” calls for works that intertwine the boundaries of fiction and reality. We invite you to explore the borders of past and present, old and new, desire and disgust. In the Northeast of the U.S., the summer heat can be so strong it makes everything feel like a dream. We invite you, too, to soak in your sweat and share with us the whispers of your dreams and the longings of your heart. 

submit - long.jpg

1st Place: $200

2nd Place: $100

3rd Place: $50

Middle School Standout: $20

Winners will also receive two books each, provided by Princeton University Press.


*Additional prizes are expected, and will be announced shortly.

submit - long.jpg

sponsors of our 2nd annual summer competition

gotham writers.png


  • We do accept simultaneous submissions, but please notify it as such and let us know as soon as it is accepted elsewhere (congratulations in advance)! 

  • The word limit for each individual piece regardless of genre is 3,000 words. 

  • You may submit up to three pieces of work in total, however, please attach them separately!

  • Please place your full name & state/country at the top of each document.  

  • Participants' information is ONLY visible to P&Q staff, and will not be shared without your explicit permission. 

  • If anything is unclear, unstated, or causes concern, please feel free to contact us. We don't want confusion to prevent us from seeing your work! Our email can be found at the bottom of this page. 

  • While trigger/content warnings are not needed, anything racist, transphobic, homophobic, misogynistic, plagiarized, or prejudiced in any form will be immediately disqualified. 

  • Why are submissions only open to writers aged 12-21?
    Pen&Quill is dedicated to supporting young writers on their creative journey. Recognizing a gap in resources, communities, and competitions specifically for young writers, we strive to provide a fair and inclusive platform for their work to be acknowledged and for them to develop their skills.
  • What are the publication rights Pen&Quill requests?
    Pen&Quill asks for First Serial Rights to your piece, granting us the exclusive right to publish it first (it won't appear elsewhere before our website). Upon publication, all rights revert back to you. However, should you decide to publish it elsewhere in the future, we'd greatly appreciate it if you could acknowledge Pen&Quill as the original publisher.
  • What other resources are available to help me improve my writing?
    Pen&Quill provides a variety of resources, including free editing services, recommended books, writing guides, and useful websites for writers. Explore our 'Resources' page for a comprehensive list and we encourage you to the most of them to build your writing skills!
  • When will I receive a response on my submission?
    Our competition winners will be announced approximately two months after the closing date. We kindly ask for your patience as we are a small team.
  • Do we accept simultaneous submissions?
    Yes, we do accept simultaneous submissions, but please email us before the deadline if it is accepted elsewhere.
  • What are the judging criteria for submitted pieces?
    Poetry is assessed across four key areas: meaning/originality, form, poetic techniques, and grammar/mechanics. Similarly, prose is evaluated on four criteria: meaning/originality, organization, language/characterization, and grammar/mechanics.
  • Is there an entry fee?
    Absolutely not! Pen&Quill is committed to maintaining equitable and fair access to our resources, which is why we do not have entry fees for our competitions.
bottom of page