Saugatuck StoryFest: High School Contest

June 13, 2018

Calling all teens in the tri-state area of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey! In collaboration with the Friends of THIRTEEN, Inc., the Saugatuck StoryFest in Connecticut is searching for the most persuasive response for why your favorite book from The Great American Read book list should be chosen as America’s Best Loved Novel. To do so, use your creativity to showcase your love for this book. Options for contest entries include, but are not limited to:

● Newly imagined book jacket or cover
● Book trailer/mini film
● Fan fiction
● Bookstagram
● Blackout poem
● Comic of a scene
● Any poetic form
● Music
● Concept art
● Character design

No matter your choice of format, contest entries will be judged based on passion, creativity, and engagement with the text of your choice. This means that whatever format you choose, it must be clear as to WHY you believe this book should win the number one spot on The Great American Read. The winner of the national vote for most-loved novel will be announced on the final episode, October 22, 2018.

What’s The Great American Read?

Meredith Vieira, at the Library of Congress Jefferson Reading Room. She is host for the PBS show, The Great American Read.

Meredith Vieira, at the Library of Congress Jefferson Reading Room. She is host for the PBS show, The Great American Read. Photo: Stephanie Berger

PBS’ The Great American Read, hosted by Meredith Vieira, is an eight-part television and online series designed to spark a national conversation about reading and the books that have inspired, moved, and shaped us. The series will engage audiences with a list of 100 diverse books. Audiences are encouraged to read the books, vote from the list of 100, and share their personal connections to the titles. Watch the premiere episode now, and tune in to your PBS station in September for the next seven episodes.

How Do I Enter and Participate?

Send all work to as a Word document, PDF, GoogleDoc, audio file, or video. If you choose to submit an audio or video file, please include a transcript as well. In the body of your email, please include your full name, book title, school, grade, state, and phone number.

Please see the contest terms and conditions.


Text Information: Clearly states title and author.
Purpose/Main Idea: Precisely communicates passion for why chosen book should win the title of The Great American Read, and all creative choices relate to this purpose.
Relevance: Contains relevant information from the text, showcasing engagement with the reading of the book.
Presentation: Presentation of material is polished and free of unintentional grammatical errors.


1. This contest is open to all New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut students who are 14 or older and entering grades 9-12 for the 2018 – 2019 academic school year.
2. All entries must be based upon The Great American Read list. Download the list here.
3. Students may only submit one entry per title, but are able to submit entries for multiple titles.
4. In entering this contest, the student recognizes and agrees that entries may be shared on social media.

Deadline: September 7, 2018
Winners will be announced at the Saugatuck StoryFest keynote on Saturday, October 13, 2018, in Westport, CT. See the festival’s entire lineup. The prize will be awarded in November 2018.

What is the Prize?

The Friends of THIRTEEN, Inc. are excited to welcome the contest winners to the WNET offices in Manhattan for a behind the scenes tour of how public media is made, preview of upcoming programs, and luncheon with the station’s senior staff. Winners may also be featured on one of WNET’s websites, like

Contest winners and their chaperones (if under 18) will be responsible for their travel to and from the WNET offices in New York City.