The Tempe Writing Contest is set to spark the imagination of Maricopa County residents once again. With a theme centered around “Celebration,” the contest invites submissions of original fiction, creative nonfiction, including memoirs and essays, and poetry. These works will be featured in the 10th volume of “Tempe Writes: An Anthology,” showcasing the creative talents of high school and college students, as well as adults from the community.

This year’s contest, sponsored by the Tempe Public Library, Arizona State University, and The Friends of the Tempe Public Library, encourages participants to explore various aspects of celebration in their lives, from triumphs and losses to memories and accomplishments. The theme is a reflection on how we acknowledge significant moments in our hectic lives.

Contest rules stipulate that entries must adhere to the designated theme to qualify, and any work not incorporating the theme will be automatically disqualified. Participants are categorized into Maricopa County high school students, community college and university students, and adults. It’s important to note that previous winners must wait three years before they are eligible to win again.

Entries will be judged by members of ASU’s creative writing community, with anonymity maintained throughout the judging process. One winner from each entry category will be chosen for each genre, which includes poetry (up to 100 lines), fiction (a short story up to 3,500 words), and creative nonfiction (up to 3,500 words).

Submission guidelines require that each entrant can submit only once, and the work should not be concurrently submitted to other contests or literary journals. Entries must be submitted online between January 8 and February 20, and should adhere to formatting guidelines, including double-spacing, and using 12-point Times New Roman font.

Winners, to be announced in March 2024, will be published in print and online on the Tempe Public Library website. They will also receive a copy of the anthology and a cash prize. A special celebration event to honor the winners is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, subject to change.
In addition to written submissions, the contest also calls for cover design entries. The cover design must include the title, subtitle, volume, and date information, and adhere to specific size and text placement guidelines.

For more information on submission guidelines and contest details, visit