Get Published!

We are now accepting submissions for our Summer issue!

Imagination guides kids writing

Open call

We’re very excited to see all of your short stories of any genre, personal narratives, poems, song lyrics, as well as screenplays, scripts, and book excerpts. Please take a look at the guidelines below to help you get started. Submit here using our Google forms:

A bit of inspiration

After seeing many-a-boy getting shot down by girls on the elementary playground, 9-year-old Alec Greven authored How to Talk to Girls as a guide for “boys who have trouble with crushes.” The book became a New York Times bestseller, and includes such tips as combing your hair, cutting down on goofiness (and sugar, if that’s what drives it) and the importance of moving on.

Kid typesA boy named Christopher Beale didn't wait until the ripe age of nine. The 6-year-old wrote a five-chapter novel This and Last Season's Excursions that was published in 2006. But the youngest published author ever is considered to be Dorothy Straight, who wrote and illustrated her book How the World Began at the age of four.

Storytelling comes naturally to children. All you need is to want to be heard. And what’s a better way to share your ideas, thoughts, impressions, and observations than to write about them? The technical skills of writing will be perfected over time, but it is never too early to create your own stories!

Steps to getting published

  1. Write. This is the most important step! Write about your thoughts, dreams, experiences, family, events, adventures, pets, plants, street, town, hobbies, travel, school, friends (imaginary ones count too), and anything and everything that brings you joy and happiness, makes you laugh, wonder, admire, and strive. Or, maybe something makes you sad—write about that too. It will make you feel better!
  2. Edit. It’s an important part of the process. Ask your friend, parent, teacher or family member to read what you wrote and tell you what they liked the most and what could be improved.
  3. Either type up your piece in a text file, or scan it into PDF format.
  4. Use our students’ or teachers’ Google forms (buttons above) to submit your piece(s).

Submission guidelines


If it’s written, we’d like to read it! We welcome submissions of short stories of any genre, personal narratives*, poems, song lyrics, as well as screenplays, scripts, and book excerpts. If you’d like to illustrate your piece, see below for how to go about submitting art.

*If you do go the personal narrative route, be sure that any real person you write about and mention by real name (other than well-known public people) is comfortable with being included in a published story.

When to submit

CYWR uses rolling submission. Each new submission is considered for the upcoming issue in the order it is received.

How to submit

  1. Please upload your submissions using our students’ or teachers’ Google forms (buttons above).
  2. Entries can be fiction, non-fiction or poems.
  3. General submissions can be on any topic, as long as it is age-appropriate (for contests entries, see the rules of the contest).
  4. You can submit as many of your works as you like. However, if you are submitting entries to a contest, please indicate which three pieces you would like to be considered in the competition.
  5. Please have your work typed in a Word document, txt, or PDF file (convert Google docs into docx format.)
  6. Young writers who can’t type yet can ask a parent or another kind person to help type their story.
  7. A simple format is best: Times New Roman 12 pt. font, standard margins, and 1.5 lines spacing.
  8. If you submit art to accompany your piece, you may note if there is a particular part of the story to which it corresponds (for example, “the castle at the beginning, the daring escape at the end”).
  9. We ask that you keep your illustration submissions to two pictures per written work.
  10. There are no reading, contest entry, editing, or publishing fees at CYWR! Ever! Our publications are free as well.
  11. Manuscripts accepted for publication will appear in the subsequent issues of the Chicago Young Writers Review in the order they were submitted.

Accepted submissions

If your written work is accepted for publication, you will hear from us within seven to twelve days prior to the issue’s publication date.

If we publish your work, you grant us exclusive electronic rights to it for one month (if not previously published) and non-exclusive electronic rights thereafter so we can include it in our online archives. All other rights remain yours. If you are submitting previously published work upon permission by the original publication, please let us know the details.

We accept simultaneous submissions, but if your piece is accepted elsewhere before it is published in CYWR, please let us know. We will consider pieces published on your personal web site or blog.

What if my piece is not published?

That just means that you have a potential to grow in your writing. Don’t give up, show your next piece to a friend, teacher, or family member, and ask them how you can make it better. Then submit it for the following issue.

What not to submit

We can’t accept pieces using characters created by somebody else, such as fan fiction. We appreciate good fan fiction when we see it, but for legal reasons, we can’t publish it.

Word count guidelines

A word on writing contests

Getting one’s writing published is a reward in itself. However, in addition to regular submissions, CYWR also periodically holds writing contests. Please visit this page to learn more and see if any contests are open at this time.

Help us spread the word about CYWR

Download our printable Get Published poster, share it with friends, or post it at your school, library, or community center. Thank you!