HMH is home to many of the world's great authors and stories, from J.R.R. Tolkien's tales of Middle-earth to Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. We believe in the power of a good story to take us to new places, spark our minds, and change our lives. That's why we're launching Spark a Story as part of our Spark a Mind initiative, where we hope to find the best and brightest stories from young writers.

Submit your story.

What you need to know

With Spark A Story, we're looking for the best stories from young storytellers. If you are in any grade in high school, whether you have already written many short stories or are considering writing one for the first time, we want to read your work! To sign up for contest notifications or to find out more, including full contest rules, click here. We can't wait to find the best of the best!

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Submit your story

The Spark a Story Contest opens for online submission on August 1, 2016, and continues through October 7, 2016. Entries must be the entrant's original work, be no longer than 5,000 words, and are limited to one per high school student. The HMH editorial team will choose winners based on creativity, originality, and overall quality of writing. Potential winners and/or their parents or guardians will need to sign a publication agreement with HMH. Winners will receive $100 and a copy of the published anthology, slated for release in June 2017. Other rules apply. Please see the official rules for more details.

You may also submit your short story as a PDF or Word document, along with the completed entry form, by e-mail to SparkaStory@hmhco.com or by US mail to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 222 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116.

All fields required
First Name:
Last Name:
Story Title:

Enter Your Story:

Name of Parent/Guardian or School Official


Check out The Best American Short Stories® 2015 & get an inspiration for your own story!

Award-winning author T. C. Boyle guest edits The Best American Short Stories, the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction.

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Spark Tracker
155 Books Donated
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How to Spark a Mind

Here are some resources to Spark a Mind at home, in the classroom, and through books and beyond.

At Home: Curious World

StudyPop App

A fun, interactive study game students can play with their friends and classmates, anywhere anytime. Try it FREE!

Classroom: Read 180 Universal


The world's leading blended learning solution-proven to raise reading achievement by merging brain science, growth mindset, professional development, and knowledge necessary for school and life.

Trade: Curious George


Get curious with Curious George and open up a lifetime of learning and fun!

Eligible tweets must use #CuriousWorldTour or #SparkAMind. HMH will donate up to 10,000 books to schools and/or nonprofit organizations; both the books and recipients will be selected at HMH's sole discretion.