Young Writers Invited to Participate in the Dandelion Cottage Story Contest

The Dandelion Cottage Young Writers Contest, organized by the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA), is now open to short story submissions by students in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Dandelion Cottage
Image @ Victor R. Volkman

The contest is accepting submissions from students of 5th to 12th grades who attend or are being homeschooled in an Upper Peninsula School District. The next contest deadline is January 31, 2021. Per rules of the contest, submissions are accepted in two categories: 5th through 8th grade and 9th through 12th grades. Any teacher in the Upper Peninsula School District may nominate up to two short stories per grade-segment. Stories entered should not exceed 5000 words in length. The top prize is $250 cash for the first place senior division winner and $150 for junior division winner, and there are no entry fees for writers.

The Dandelion Cottage Story Contest gives young authors an opportunity to participate in a literary event specifically organized for nourishing their creative writing talent. The top three prizewinning entries from high school writers and the best story from 5th through 8th grade will appear in the volume #5 of the U.P. Reader, an anthology of short stories and poetry from members of UPPAA. At least 100 copies of the U.P. Reader will be donated to rural libraries across the U.P. when it is released in April 2021.

Victor R. Volkman, President of UPPAA, tells more about the event.

How long has this contest been running?

Victor: This year marks the 4th anniversary of the contest and we have been thrilled to see more schools across the U.P. submitting entries each year. Really, the Dandelion Cottage has given a new purpose to UPPAA that was missing before – a way to nurture the next generation of great U.P. writers.

What is the significance of such an event for young authors or students in the eligible district?

Victor: The contest offers young writers real recognition and validation for their talents. Working with their teachers, they will discover new ways to improve upon their work. For the winners, a cash prize is nice but they will also receive a commemorative medallion, a hardcover copy of the book featuring their work, and when possible recognition in a school-wide award ceremony.

Do the stories have to relate to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in theme or setting etc?

Victor: This contest has no limits for young writers in terms of subject matter or setting. We have seen extremely well-crafted stories in many genres including science fiction, fantasy, historical, and contemporary fiction. Plot lines sometimes include real student concerns, such as date rape, suicide, and warfare. Writing is a great outlet for feelings that may not be easy or possible to express in any other way.

Interested readers can visit to learn more about the Dandelion Cottage Young Writers Contest.

About the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association (UPPAA)

Established in 1998 to support authors and publishers who live in or write about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, UPPAA is a Michigan nonprofit association with more than 100 members, many of whose books are featured on the organization’s website at UPPAA welcomes membership and participation from anyone with a UP connection who is interested in writing and publishing books.