Through the Looking Glass Challenge - Uncharted

Through the Looking Glass Challenge


05/10/2024 – 05/30/2024

Judged by Voyage YA Editors

For this 20-day challenge Voyage YA by Uncharted is looking for young adult fiction that reinvents reality. Whether your work takes us all the way to another world or simply holds a warped mirror up to the ordinary, we want to see writing that contorts existence into something new, something we’ve never seen before. It’s not magic, it’s surreality, so send us your mind-bending work that twists the fabric of reality into a new shape!

Here is a nonexhaustive list of concepts to inspire you:

  • Dream worlds
  • Disembodied voices
  • Fortune tellers
  • Superstition
  • Hallucinations
  • Invisibility
  • Uncommon weather
  • Hypnotic happenstances
  • Abnormalities
  • Levitation
  • Time travel
  • Talking animals
  • Are they who they say they are?
  • Shadow creatures
  • Black holes
  • The Others

These are only examples—please interpret the prompt however you like. Remember, Voyage YA by Uncharted is a journal for young adult fiction. Your stories must be written for a teenage audience.

One winner will be awarded $500 and publication. All entries will be considered for general publication as well. Please review our guidelines given below before submitting. We look forward to reading your work!


  • The contest is open for submissions from May 10, 2024, to May 30, 2024.
  • The $20 reading fee allows for the submission of one <6,000-word standalone short story in English, in the YA genre. Excerpts are not accepted.
  • Stories must be written primarily in English, but some code-switching/meshing is welcomed.
  • We encourage multiple submissions, but each story should be submitted separately, each with a separate reading fee.
  • Reprints are not eligible. If your story has been published anywhere else, even on a blog or social media, it will be automatically disqualified from the contest.
  • If your story is a simultaneous submission, please withdraw immediately if it’s accepted elsewhere.
  • Submissions should be double-spaced and use Times New Roman 12, or larger if needed.
  • All submissions should include a cover letter, however brief, with your publication history, if applicable.
  • Please include a content warning, if applicable. This information will not factor into whether your submission is accepted, but will serve to safeguard our staff.
  • AI-generated stories will be automatically disqualified.
  • Optional: Participants are invited to request a two-page editorial feedback letter about their submission for an extra fee of $69, or three two-page editorial letters for $179. These letters will provide the recipient with valuable and personalized input from a qualified editor. If your story is selected for publication, no feedback will be prepared and your feedback fee will be refunded.
  • Voyage YA by Uncharted reserves the right to disqualify entries that don’t adhere to these guidelines.