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Second Annual Creative Writing Contest

The theme for the 2021 Creative Writing Contest is Freedom.  All entries must relate to this theme.  Writers may use their imagination to integrate the theme, Freedom, in so many ways.  The first thing that comes to mind when one hears the word ‘freedom’ is our country, but the ideas are limitless.  For example, we would love to read about wild freedom from a caged bird’s perspective, the freedom found in wide open spaces, the freedom of running barefoot on freshly cut grass, the freedom to achieve one’s dreams, etc.  Writers, let your imagination loose!

The contest is open to two distinct groups from the MACOA service region which includes Iron, Madison, Perry, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, and Washington Counties in the state of Missouri.  The first group is open to high school students who will be in the 10th – 12th grades in the 2021-2022 academic year.  The second group will combine all other adults.  One winner will be chosen from each group in each of three categories: essay, poetry, and short story, for a total of six winners.

Official guidelines and the entry form can be found by clicking on the links below.  The six winning entries will receive a cash award and be given a public reading at Mineral Area College Fine Art Gallery next to the Theater on October 23, 2021.  Entries will be published on the MACOA website.  In addition to these six winning entries, one overall winner will be chosen.  The overall winner’s entry will additionally receive the honor of being published in the “Daily Journal”.

The judging is completed by a rich source of six local volunteers with credentials as educators in the field of English and/or published authors.  Each judge receives the entries of two categories anonymously.  Once the winners are chosen for the six categories as listed above, all six judges vote for the overall winner.

Entries will be accepted August 2 – September 30, 2021 by email at or by mail at MACOA, P.O. Box 1000, Park Hills, MO 63601.

The inaugural contest in 2020 was a great success and we anticipate having even more spectacular entries in 2021!

This contest is made possible with financial assistance of the Missouri Arts Council and our generous community donors.

2021 Creative Writing Contest Official Guidelines

2021 Creative Writing Entry Form