The American Library in Paris is proud to be the organizer of the Young Authors Fiction Festival (YAFF). The YAFF is a city-wide writing intiative that aims to strengthen community among English-speakers in the Paris area through the art and craft of storytelling. The YAFF is free of charge and open to all students ages 5-18 in the greater Paris area who write in English.
The 2016 Young Authors Fiction Festival is now closed. We received over 400 story submissions, making this year the biggest festival thus far! The stories are currently being judged. Nominees will be notified that their stories have been selected in mid-May.
All YAFF participants are invited to join us for the YAFF Celebration Event on Friday 3 June at the American Church of Paris. More details on this event will be forthcoming.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I'm a teacher, what can I do to promote the Young Authors Fiction Festival?
A. Spread the word about the YAFF amongst students and staff at your school and encourage them to participate. Paper your school and/or library or bookstore with the YAFF Flyer and make available the YAFF Guidelines. Please forward this events page to all other teachers you know for more details.
Q: What is the cost of entering YAFF?
A: The Young Authors Fiction Festival is absolutely free of charge to enter.
Q: What are the prizes for the winners of the YAFF?
A: The goal of YAFF is to encourage and support children and young adults to complete a creative written project. All participants of YAFF are invited to attend the Celebration Event normally scheduled in mid-June, where we honor all the writers and announce the finalists of the YAFF.
Q: Can I submit my story after the 1 April deadline?
A: No, all qualifying entries must be submitted by midnight on 1 April. Unfortunately we cannot consider any stories submitted afterwards.
Q: How do I know that you have received my submission?
A: You will receive a personalized e-mail several days after submitting your story, letting you know if the story meets the YAFF guidelines. (If it doesn’t, then we’ll offer some suggestions to help you modify it). If you don’t receive an e-mail within one week, please re-submit the story.
Q: Will you accept a story that is over the word count?
A: All stories must be within the word count requirements. If you submit a story that contains more words, we will send it back for further editing so that it falls within the guidelines (maximum of 750 words for students in GS-CM2 -- maximum of 1,000 words for students in collège or lycée.)
Q: Do the story title and page numbers count towards the word count?
A: No, only the body text count towards the word count.
Q: How does YAFF define an “original story”?
A: Each submission to YAFF must be original: the participant must come up with the content and write the story on his own. Parents and teachers are encouraged to help only insofar as they create “teachable moments”, e.g., guiding young writers through revisions by asking questions instead of giving answers. For example, asking “can you express this idea in fewer words?” to help a child write more concisely. We require that all students pledge on their honor that their submission is their original work.
Q: Can parents or teachers proofread submissions?
A: Part of the objective of YAFF is to help young people develop new skills and a deeper understanding of the English language. We like to avoid, if at all possible, that parents or teachers correct the "mistakes" for the students. But neither do we want teachers/parents to have so light a touch that a potentially good story submission doesn't make the grade due to issues that might easily have been improved upon, while teaching new skills at the same time.
Q: I’m confused about the French and American grade levels. Which do I use?
A: Please see the American and French Grade Level Comparison chart above. If your child is in the British or American system, we encourage you to tell us the French equivalent so we can ensure his submission is entered into the appropriate category.
Q: Can teachers submit one or more entries on behalf of their students?
A: Absolutely! Please make sure to submit each student’s entry in a separate e-mail, with their name/grade in the subject line, the submission form pasted into the body of the e-mail, and the story attached as a PDF or .doc.
Q: Can parents type up stories on behalf of their young children?
A: We suggest that parents have young children write out their story, then type it up for them including any spelling or grammar mistakes. That way the story that is submitted is indeed the original work of the child.
Q: Does my consent for my child’s name, story or picture to be used to promote the festival affect his submission?
A: Not at all. All stories are judged independently of entry information except for the title of the story and the age / grade of the author.
Q. Is there an award ceremony for the winners?
A. The culminating YAFF Celebration at the American Library is on Friday 5 June 2015. At the YAFF Celebration we honor all participating authors and burgeoning storytellers as well as announce the finalists. Finalists will be notified prior to the event, but all young authors are encouraged to attend this celebration of books for youth and children.