Young Writers Contest

Winners of the 2023 Young Writer’s Contest


FIRST PLACE: Liam Hoke, 5th grade, New Cumberland, PA.

“No Alien Left Behind”: Always help others because one of them may be an alien who will reward you with super powers.

SECOND PLACE: Makayla Dinner, 7th grade, Lancaster, PA.

“Dinosaurs Make a Comeback”: And mankind tried to survive when they do.


FIRST PLACE: Alison Xu, 12th grade, Rockland, MD.

“Destiny’s Crossroads”: The relationship between a man and a dragon.

SECOND PLACE: B. S. Raagul, 9th grade, Tamil Nadu, India.

“The Truth Behind the Doctor”: A mad scientist and enemy space aliens.

Reminder of the rules for the contest:

The Philadelphia Science Fiction Society invites you to enter its 2023 Young Writers’ Contest. 

  • The contest is open to all students in grades 5-12, not just in Philadelphia.
  • There will be separate winners for Middle School (grades 5-8) and High School (grades 9-12).
  • Each contest will have a prize of $100 for first place and a prize of $50 for second place.
  • The winners will also each receive two full memberships for this year’s Philadelphia Conference of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror (Philcon; November 17-19, 2023).  If the winner is already a member of the 2023 Philcon, these memberships may be used for the 2024 Philcon. 
  • Both science fiction and fantasy stories are eligible.
  • Stories should be 1,000 words or less for grades 5-8 and 3,000 words or less for grades 9-12.
  • Each contestant may submit only one story.  This story must be accompanied by a copy of the submission form, which can be found below.
  • A contestant’s contact information (name and address) must NOT appear in the story.  All contact information should be on the submission form.  The title should be on every page of the story.
  • The contest opens Monday, May 15, 2023.  Your stories must be postmarked or sent electronically by midnight on Saturday, October 7, 2023.  A hard copy entry should be mailed to: Young Writers’ Contest; Philadelphia Science Fiction Society; P.O. Box 8303; Philadelphia, PA 19101. An electronic entry should be sent by e-mail to:  Stories may be submitted electronically in .pdf, .doc, .rtf, or .txt format. Please put “2023 Writing Contest Entry” in Subject Line of the email.
  • Stories will be judged by members of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society. 
  • Prizes will be awarded at the 2023 Philcon, November 17-19, 2023.   Winners are welcome to bring guests to the award ceremony. 
  • The Philadelphia Science Fiction Society (PSFS) reserves the nonexclusive right to publish each winning story, with written consent of parent or guardian. It is recommended that you and your parent or guardian also provide your signatures in the spaces provided on the submission form to acknowledge acceptance of these terms.  You do NOT have to give PSFS publication rights in order to enter the contest.

Good Luck!

Lew Wolkoff, Contest Chairman