Two Montana-Based Writing Contests for All Ages by Brittney Uecker

February offers two exciting writing contests for Montana writers of all ages, and the opportunity to win some awesome prizes and showcase your work.

The 13th Annual Missoula Writes contest is organized by the Missoula Public Library and accepts fiction, non-fiction and poetry submissions from Montana residents ages eight and up. Entries are judged by professional writers, editors, educators, librarians and booksellers and winners will be notified in early April. Prizes from the Missoula Downtown Association will be awarded for first, second, and third place for each category and each age group. There is no specified theme, so think outside of the box and dust off your best work. Visit the contest website at for entry guidelines and to submit. 

The Montana Memory Project is partnering with Distinctly Montana and the Museum of the Rockies to host the MMP Photo Prompt Contest. This writing competition utilizes historical photos in their collection as prompts for creative writing projects. Choose an image from over 3000 photos available for the contest and write a short story based on the photo. First prize for each age group included a gift certificate to Distinctly Montana store and publication in the fall issue of Distinctly Montana Magazine. Second place winners will receive four passes to the Museum of the Rockies and publication on the Distinctly Montana website. All winners will receive a one-year subscription to Distinctly Montana Magazine. Visit for submission and entry guidelines and find a photo prompt. MMP also offers a helpful walk-through of how to use photo prompts for creative writing.

Both contests end on Friday, February 12th, 2021. Don’t forget – youth librarian Brittney Uecker hosts Teen Writers every Thursday at 3:45PM. This program is a great opportunity for teens to get feedback on their writing and to participate in fun writing activities that flex their creative muscle.

Photo credit: RetroSupply
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