Write a story that celebrates engineering design and problem solving.

The EngineerGirl writing contest is, for the first time, asking students to submit works of creative fiction.

We want stories about women and girls saving the day with their wits, skill, and whatever resources they can find to solve the problem. Maybe they are working alone, maybe they are part of an elite team. Maybe they just find themselves in an unusual situation that requires some innovative thinking.

We want stories that inspire EngineerGirl readers to think, “I want to be able to do that” or “I can do that.”

To enter the contest:

Write an original, fictional story in which the main character is a female who uses engineering skills to solve a problem.

There are three basic rules:

  1. Your main character must be female.
  2. Your main character must use engineering design principles to solve a problem - she cannot use or rely on magic or supernatural powers.
  3. Your story must be under the word limit for your grade level, which is listed below.

    Elementary (grades 3-5): 800 words.
    Middle School (grades 6-8): 1100 words.
    High School (grades 9-12): 1500 words.

All stories must be original work. Any evidence of plagiarism will immediately disqualify an entry.

Remember: Writers spend time doing research to ensure that story characters — their clothes, their tools, and especially their actions — are authentic. Take time to learn about engineers and engineering. The better you understand the engineering design process, the better and more believable your story will be.  You are also encouraged to include with your submission information on one or more resources your readers can go to for more information.

Be sure to read the full Rules & Requirements
Read Online  | Download PDF

Contest Deadline: February 1

Essay must have been submitted via the
Online Submission Form
by February 1, 2019 at 11:59pm EST.

This competition is made possible by the generous support of our contest sponsors:

Chevron Logo                 KIETS Logo

Other Important information:


Submissions will be judged by a slate of volunteers that include professionals from various engineering fields. In addition to checking that submissions meet all of the basic rules, they will be looking for:

  • How well engineering design principles are conveyed by the actions of character(s) in the story
  • How inspirational the main character is: how well she models the thinking habits and attitudes of great engineers
  • How original, creative, and well-written the story is

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Winners in each grade category will receive the prizes listed below:

First-place winners will be awarded $500.
Second-place entries will be awarded $250.
Third-place entries will be awarded $100.

Winning entries, along with honorable mention stories, will be published on the EngineerGirl website.

More Information


Because these stories are works of fiction, a reference list is not required with your submission.

HOWEVER.  You are encouraged to submit an annotated bibliography with your story. This is a list of resources that your readers could go to for more information about something you mention or use in your story. The quality of the annotated bibilography submitted with a story may be used to break a tie.

The annotated bibliography does not count toward your word limit.

More Information

Good fiction is grounded in fact.
Do research and think carefully about the details you include in your story.

Read the full Rules & Requirements
Read Online  | Download PDF