The San Antonio Book Festival (SABF) is inviting up-and-coming writers throughout Bexar County to put their talents on display by submitting work to its annual fiction contest. The 2017 competition, themed “Building Bridges,” will call on students in grades 7-12 to create a story about bridges, whether physical or symbolic.

“Our festival team has spent the past months reflecting on what we’ve built for San Antonio and how to accomplish everything else we want the festival to be,” SABF Executive Director Katy Flato stated in a press release. “As we continue to reach out to the community, the universal theme of ‘Building Bridges’ seemed like a perfect fit for our fiction contest.”

Participants will have until Jan. 16 to submit a piece. Detailed submission instructions can be found here.

Split into three categories by class year – grades 7-8, 9-10, and 11-12 – the contest will recognize the top three writers from each of the divisions during an awards ceremony at the San Antonio Book Festival, complete with cash prizes sponsored by the Texas Cavaliers. Third and second place winners of the competition will take home $100 and $150, respectively, and first place winners will receive $250 for themselves, $500 for their school, and a ride on the Cavaliers’ float during the Fiesta River Parade.

Parade attendees stand and cheer as King Antonio R. Hunt Winton III waves to the crowd. Photo by Scott Ball.
Parade attendees stand and cheer as King Antonio R. Hunt Winton III waves to the crowd. Photo by Scott Ball.

“We want to foster a love of writing among young readers, particularly those who are creative-minded and inspired to tell a story,” SABF Assistant Managing Director Lilly Gonzalez told the Rivard Report, explaining the connection between the competition and the festival’s broader goals.

The exterior of the Central Library in downtown San Antonio. Photo by Scott Ball.
The exterior of the Central Library in downtown San Antonio. Photo by Scott Ball. Credit: Scott Ball / Rivard Report

The SA Book Festival team also hopes the contest will spark student interest in the festival as a whole, which is set to take place on April 8, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Central Library and the Southwest School of Art.

The event will feature presentations, panel discussions, and book signings from celebrated authors, a bustling book market, recipe demonstrations, and more. Event organizers encourage local educators to promote contest participation and attendance to the free festival.

In addition to the activities open to all attendees, contest participants and their peers will have exclusive access to Geektown, a space in which all teenage book-lovers are invited to “geek out” over their favorite reads and authors. Last festival’s Geektown attractions included presentations from five young adult novelists, a festival-wide scavenger hunt, and Scrabble lessons from a national champion, and Geektown 2017 is sure to have more fun for in store for young bookworms.

To learn more about the San Antonio Book Festival, click here.

https://rivardreport.wildapricot.org

Top image: Families and book lovers survey the booths for novels and more.  Photo by Scott Ball. 

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Mason Stark

Mason Stark

Rivard Report intern Mason Stark graduated from Trinity University in May 2016 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a minor in arts, letters, and enterprise.