Submit to the
Young Authors Fiction Festival 2024

The American Library in Paris is proud to be the organizer of the Young Authors Fiction Festival (YAFF). YAFF is a short story writing contest that aims to support literacy development, broaden imaginations, and foster a life-long love of reading and writing in English speakers in France.

YAFF is free of charge and open to all students ages 5–18 in France who write in English.

The contest is administered by Library staff, with the support of over 120 volunteer judges. In 2023 the Young Authors Fiction Festival received 1018 story entries, with the participation of ninety schools and writing programs.

The Library offers many resources for creative writing, including writing guides, creative games, and workshops. Through YAFF, and together with parents, teachers, educators, and schools, we hope to nurture a passion for creative writing in the next generation of authors.

The Young Authors Fiction Festival originated as The Red Wheelbarrow Writing Contest in 2001, with the participation of l’École Massillon. A handful of members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) acted as judges. Today, YAFF is a highlight of the American Library is Paris’s programming, and is the only English-language creative writing initiative in the Paris area.

Submission Guidelines

All submitted short stories must follow these guidelines. Stories should:

  • Be written in English
  • Be an original work of fiction
  • Respect the word limits
    • 750 word limit for Kindergarten/Grande Section–5th Grade/CM2
    • 1000 word limit for 6th Grade/6ème –12th Grade/Terminale
  • Observe the formatting requirements
    • Typed in black, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, double-spaced.
    • Uploaded in a .doc file format.
    • Uploaded with the story title and participant’s grade as the file name.
    • Please don’t include the author’s name in the document or file name, to ensure the integrity of our anonymous judging process.
    • No handwritten stories, illustrations, or colored text, please!
  • Stories must be submitted through the online form at americanlibraryinparis.org/yaff,
    between 1 February 2024 and 1 April 2024 at 22h00.

    • No emailed, mailed, or hand-delivered stories will be accepted.

If you would like to know more about YAFF, or would like to become a volunteer judge or sponsor of the Festival, please email yaff@americanlibraryinparis.org.

Announcing the winners

Finalists will be honored at a Celebration Event at the Library on Friday 14 June 2024. The top five stories in each grade will be published in the YAFF Celebration booklet, which will be available for purchase during the event and will join the Library’s permanent collection.

YAFF Judging Process

All YAFF stories are judged anonymously by over 100 volunteer judges. Each story is read by a minimum of six judges over two rounds. Stories are judged on creativity, strong storytelling, and having a clear beginning, middle, and end. Also taken into consideration: how well the setting and characters are developed and described, the use of dialogue, a wide range of vocabulary, and the correct use of grammar.

YAFF Committee

The 2024 YAFF Coordinator is Laurine Lucie, the Library’s Assistant Children’s and Teens’ Librarian, with the support of Children’s and Teens’ Services Manager Celeste Rhoads, Library staff, and many dedicated volunteers from all over the world.