How to Finish a Story or Poem

How to Finish a Story or Poem

You have a revised and ready story or poem!

We’re so proud of you for the work you have done! Sharing your words can be scary sometimes, but be brave! When you share your writing with readers, you make a connection and give them the gift of your creativity and perspective.

You may be done, but hold your horses one more moment... There are a few things you should double check before submitting to the Inklings Book Contest. In this mini-lesson, Naomi will walk you through your final steps and show you just how to submit. Download the checklist below to get started.

For the Inklings Book Contest, we’d also like your stories and poems to be in manuscript format. We've included a manuscript formatting guide below. After you run through the checklist, take a minute to adjust your document formatting based on the guide and you’ll be all set to go.

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As you check your final details, and if you’re working on a story, don’t forget to take one more look at the ending. Here are a couple excellent examples of strong endings:

But Lynn doesn’t take it as a joke. “There’ll always be one small light that will guide you in your darkness. The light that will always be there, no matter how dim. If you keep grasping at the light, I promise, I will always be okay. No matter what happens.”

Her words hit me hard, harder than she knew.

That one small light of hope. That light which I would always carry in my heart.

It would forever be Lynn’s light.

(2020, One Small Light by Suhani Gupta)

However, the energy she had used from the day was spent, and she could feel her eyes closing, too heavy with exhaustion to stay open.

As Audrey drifted into the hazy realm of sleep, she promised herself that she would never become like Mora. No matter what, she and Nova would stick together, and they could take on any evil witch or wizard the world sent their way.

(2019, Discovering Magic by Natalie Wong)

↓Here's your checklist and formatting guide:

Download these PDFs by clicking the links below.

Publishing Checklist.pdf194.7KB
manuscript_format.pdf80.2KB

🎉 C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S 🎉

You did it! You're ready to submit your work.

After January 15, we'll open the application link and provide it here.