As the story and contest brochure (PDF) explain, there are four grade categories. The stories from grades 3-8 can be 500 words long, 25% longer than the stories from writers in grades 9-12 and above. But we all know that writing short is harder than writing long.
Entries in each category have to include certain words. For writers in ninth grade and above (including adults), those words are:
1. Magic 2. Forest 3. Courage 4. Hourglass 5. Danger 6. Rescue 7. Castle 8. Home 9. Soldiers 10. Wish 11. Crystal 12. Cyclone 13. Wizard 14. Witch 15. EscapeEntries must be submitted by mail before 8 May. Check out the article and booklet for all the rules and the requisite registration form. First-place winners in each category will be published in the Post-Standard as part of the June festival.