(COMING SOON!) Young Writer’s Friday offers young writers an opportunity to show off their work. Submit your fiction up to 800 words to Some stories may be commented on by published writers or editors. If your story is chosen by a panel of three to five judges (meet the judges below) as the best in each age category for a given submission time, it will be published on Debi O’Neille’s blog at
Young writers must be between the ages of 11 and 17. Submit either to the category for 11-13-year pre-teens or for 14-17-year-old teens. Submissions accepted on Fridays only. Winning stories will be published on the first Friday of each month, following the time of submission.


1. Typed submissions must be sent via e-mail on Fridays only.
2. Subject line must read “Young Writer Friday Contest, age ___ .”
3. Do not put your name on your story, but do put your age and title to your story.
4. Include a title page with your name, age, school's name, and title to your story.
5. Also on your title page include a short paragraph telling a little about yourself,  why you like to write, and either your favorite authors and books, or what triggered the inspiration for the story entered in this competition.

The name of the winner and the winner’s school will be highlighted with the winning story on Debi O’Neille’s blog.

For over four years, Debi O’Neille worked as one of the editors of My Little Magazine, a quarterly print publication distributed to schools and young writers during 1997-2002. She has given workshop conferences to young writers through community events and a Young Writer’s Conference at Minnesota State University.  

She was an honorable mention recipient of an annual Writer’s Digest Competition, children’s cagegory, for her short story “Kitten-Sitting with Poopsie;” an honorable mention recipient in the 79th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition, mainstream fiction category; a first prize winner of the Stella Wade Children’s Fiction Award sponsored by Amelia magazine; and a third-place finalist for a writing competition through The Storyteller magazine. Her work has appeared in magazines and in newspapers.

Debi is a member of SCBWI and studied writing at Minnnesota State University and through Iowa Summer Writing Festivals. Writers’ groups Debi belongs to include Washington Avenue Writer’s Group, Albert Lea, Minn.; RochesterMNWritersGroup, Rochester, Minn.; and the Deep Valley Writers’ Group of Mankato, Minnesota.

 Meet the judges:

Terri DeGezelle: As an author and photographer, Terri has more than 60 children’s non-fiction titles published as well as several photos in national publications. Recently, she was awarded the Shabo Award from the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The goal of the Shabo program is to help emerging children’s picture book writers develop “nearly there” manuscripts into publishable pieces. Terri belongs to the monthly Deep Valley Writers’ Group and is a national and Minnesota member of SCBWI and a charter member of Children’s Literature Network.

For the past twelve years she has presented at Young Writers’ and Young Artists’ Conferences around the Upper Midwest. Last year, Terri visited more than 150 classrooms, traveling over 1,000 miles, connecting with more than 2,000 students on the topics of reading, writing and photography and is on pace to visit with even more students this year.

Currently Terri is president of the Bend of The River Photography Club in Mankato, Minnesota. She facilitates monthly meetings, organizes photography shows, receptions and speakers. Visit Terri’s website at:

At age eight Elma Schemenauer wrote a poem about spring, stuck it in a bottle, and threw it into a pond on her parents' farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. That was her first foray into writing and publishing. They've been her passions ever since. She's the author of 75 books published in Canada and the USA. Most are for young people. Titles and publishers include: SALMON (Grolier), FISH AND SHIPS (short stories—Globe/Modern), JACOB JACOBS GETS UP EARLY (novel—Nimbus), GUATEMALA (The Child's World), THE WRITING PROGRAMME (Globe/Modern, co-author), NEWTON MCTOOTIN AND THE BANG BANG TREE (picture book—McClelland & Stewart). Elma has also edited hundreds of books, many of them as a Toronto-based freelancer. Publishers she's edited for include Pearson, Prentice Hall, Scholastic, Gospel Folio, and Nelson. Elma lives on a pine-shaded mountainside in Kamloops, British Columbia, where she takes long walks, trying to avoid the bears and cougars. She blogs at Her web site is


  1. May I share this info on my blog for girls at ?
    What a wonderful opportunity.