Circle City Scholars

CCS logo-page-001

Circle City Scholars (CCS) is an annual writing contest for underserved Indianapolis students, hosted by After the Pause literary magazine and small press. Currently, CCS only accepts submissions from students attending one of our partner schools. Please see “School Partnerships” below to discover how you can partner with CCS to bring this impactful opportunity to your students. In future, we hope to expand this contest and offer it to every Indianapolis student who attends a school within the city-center.

Our Purpose: We believe Indianapolis students deserve to have their voices heard, their writing published, and greater opportunities afforded to them. CCS aims to serve as a vehicle for publishing students’ work, thereby amplifying their voices and showcasing their unique talents not only within their schools but also to their communities and beyond.

Contest Timeline: The contest begins every calendar year on September 1st and runs until December 14th.  All submissions must be received during that window to be eligible for publication/consideration. Finalists for this year’s contest will be selected the second week of February, 2019. The Grand Prize Scholar and Runner-up Scholars will be announced the first week of March in tandem with the publication of the Circle City Scholar’s 2019 anthology (comprised of all accepted submissions).

Submission Guidelines: Students may submit poetry, fiction, or nonfiction in any form, style, or genre. Students are especially encouraged to submit writing that pertains to social justice issues or other issues that particularly effect their lives as students and humans in Indianapolis. There is no word limit or restriction on how many pieces an individual student may submit. All submissions must be in a Google doc shared with afterthepause@gmail.com or emailed to afterthepause@gmail.com as a Word doc or docx attachment. If emailing, please write “Circle City Scholars Submission” in the subject line.

Every submission will receive personalized feedback from CCS’ contest officiator, Michael Prihoda (lead editor and publisher of After the Pause). Pieces must meet editorial expectations to be considered for judging and publication. Please view our Editing Checklist before submitting your writing to ensure your piece is correctly formatted.

Judging and Publication: For its inaugural year, CCS plans to publish all submitted student work in the form of a perfect bound paperback, which will be distributed to all student contributors as well as available for purchase online through a…p press’s bookstore. Five finalist pieces will be selected from the range of submissions and a panelist of judges will select the Grand Prize Scholar alongside two Runner-up Scholars according to the contest timeline.

CCS 2019 Judges: Anyone currently working in a public school within the boundaries of the circle (Highway 465) is eligible to serve as a contest judge. Please reach out by emailing afterthepause@gmail.com should you have an interest in becoming a contest judge.


School Partnerships: CCS is thrilled to partner with KIPP Indy College Prep Middle School for our inaugural 2018-19 contest year. We hope to reach and amplify the voices of as many Indianapolis students as possible. Thus, we hope your school or school network will consider partnering with us for future contest years. Please contact Michael Prihoda by emailing afterthepause@gmail.com or calling/texting (715) 965-6082 to indicate your interest and learn more about how you can partner with us to bring this opportunity to your students.

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