Random House, Inc. Creative Writing Competition

February 5, 2016
Maximum Award: 
High school seniors
You must be a high school senior attending a New York City public high school

The Random House, Inc. Creative Writing Competition recognizes New York City public high school students for original poetry, memoir, fiction, drama and graphic novel compositions.

There are approximately 1300 applicants to this competition. 35 students will win financial awards and there will be 75 honorable mentions.

Here are some of the details about each category:

Poetry/Spoken Word
This category includes traditional poetry and spoken word poetry which can be defined as performance poetry, where the poem read is specifically written to be performed aloud. Spoken word entries must be submitted on CD and accompanied by a typed entry.

This category includes fiction and drama entries. Given the ten page limit for all entries, all drama entries are to be submitted as one-act plays.

Personal Essay/Memoir
This literary genre is often compared to an autobiography. However, we are not looking for autobiographies or college essays. Author Gore Vidal best defines a memoir as "how one remembers one's own life, while an autobiography is history, requiring research, dates, facts double-checked."  

Graphic Novel
A graphic novel can be defined as a novel, usually in comics form, where the narrative is related through a combination of text and art, i.e. manga).  



  • You must be 12th-grade New York City public high school students graduating in the spring 2013 
  • You must be age 21 years and under.