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Rattle the Page - Teen Short Story Contest banner

Calling all teen writers! Join San Diego Public Library's 2023 Teen Writing Contest, Rattle the Page! All teens in grades 6-12 in the San Diego County area are invited to submit a short story which will be judged by a panel of SDPL librarians.

This year's theme is your story, your voice.

This contest is limited to San Diego County youth in middle school and high school. Middle school and high school will be judged as separate categories.

  • Entries should center around the theme of “your story, your voice” however one interprets it.
  • Entries should be previously unpublished.
  • Entries should be typed (preferred) or handwritten clearly and legibly.
    • Should you need to type your contest entry, you can come into any San Diego Public Library and use one of our public computers.
  • All stories, regardless of format, should not include your name or any other personal identifying details as entries will be judged blind.
  • Entries must be between 1,000 -3,000 words and entirely the work of the author. No copyrighted characters or settings should be used in the work.
  • Submissions should be appropriate for a general audience.
  • By submitting this entry form, you give the San Diego Public Library permission to reproduce creative works resulting from your (or your child’s) participation in this contest.
  • Submissions can be submitted digitally (preferred) via e-mail to or through the electronic form. They can also be turned in in person to your local San Diego Public Library. A signed entry form must be submitted with your short story.
  • Entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, August 16, 2023.
  • Limit of two entries per person.

Entries will be judged on theme, style, voice, creativity, and technical proficiency.

Prizes for the top entries for each age group will be announced shortly.

Our top entries will be collected in a volume that will be available for checkout at the library and published online. Winners will be announced at the end of September!


Your Future

  • Mapping Your Future
  • Peterson's Planner
  • College Board - A great resource web site for college planning tips, ideas for finding and getting into the right college, and college payment options.
  • College - Excellent resource for U.S. students from different backgrounds.
  • All About College - This site provides a school directory, information on studies abroad and financial aid, and links to careers and test preparation guides.
  • CollegeNET
  • California Student Aid Commission
  • Federal Student Aid - This Department of Education site includes links to the federal financial aid form (FAFSA), Title IV Federal School Codes, and a step by step explanation of the financial aid process.
  • FinAid - Find information on college scholarships, loans, grants, and other various financial resources. There is even a cost calculator to help you determine your financial needs.


  • Occupational Outlook Handbook - Search for career information by occupation at this U.S. Department of Labor site.
  • Career Builder - Search for jobs or careers using 13 different criteria, or post resumes and let employers with job openings find you. Also has a section of advice and career-related information resources.

Job Search

  • SDUSD Job Board - Compilation of San Diego jobs for teens.
  • JobStart - San Diego Public Library Career and Employment Resources.
  • CalJOBS - Search job listings and post resumes for prospective employers. From California's Employment Development Department (EDD).
  • USAJOBS - The official job site of the U.S. Federal Government. Provides federal job opportunities with over 17,000 listings worldwide.
  • CareerJet - This is an employment search engine. In just one search access 15,128,230 jobs published on 63,943 websites in the world. 2,760,170 jobs published in the USA.

Other Resources

  • Brainfuse HelpNow - HelpNow can provide you with online tutoring, resume and essay review, and access to eParachute, where you can discover college majors and careers that fit your skills and interests.
  • - Free DMV Practice Tests