The Justine Magazine Contest

Invite You to Write a Modern Classic…and Get Published!

Romeo and Juliet meet at a school dance. He’s from a rival school. His team is the Mountain Lions, and hers are the Catapults.

Ahab is a top-notch computer hacker. But for all of his victorious heists, he’s never managed to win the great White-Hat Hacker contest. He’d go to any lengths to win, regardless of the consequences for his team, the P-quads.

Jay Gatsby is the new kid on the block. He’s clever, smooth, and flush with cash. His first weekend in town, he throws a massive party in his huge mansion—and not a parent in sight. Daisy, head of the cheerleading team, can’t help but be charmed. But doesn’t she know him from somewhere?

You can’t beat a classic story, but you can update one (and get your story published in Justine Magazine)! Figment and Justine Magazine want all girls aged 13 to 21 to write a short story modernizing any classic work of literature in no more than 1,200 words. Submit your entry by July 24, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The twenty most-hearted entries will become semi-finalists, which will be narrowed down to five finalists by the Justine editorial team. Those fantastic five will be read by YA author Amanda Hocking, who became a bestseller with her self-published Trylle trilogy, and whose books have sold over one million copies! Amanda will choose the winner and two runners-up!


How to Enter:
1. Read the full rules.
2. Create an account on
3. Start a new writing of 1,200 words or fewer.
4. Tag your writing with JustineMagContest on the Details tab.
5. Press “Publish Now.”
6. You should receive a pop-up confirmation of your entry, and in about two hours or so, your piece should appear among the submissions.

The winner will receive an awesome e-book reader—and will become a published author when her story appears in Justine Magazine in the October/November 2012 issue. The runners-up will also be featured in the issue and will receive a backpack filled with the latest YA books!

You have until 11:59 p.m. ET on July 24  to submit your entry. Voting runs until 5:00 p.m. ET on August 5. The winner and runners up will be announced on Note: the winning entry may be edited at the discretion of Justine‘s editorial staff for publication.

59 thoughts on “The Justine Magazine Contest

    • Hey Kiersten-

      Found your comment! Retell as much of the story as you can within the word limit. As long as it is clear what story you’re updating.

  1. Hi! I have two questions.

    Do the characters in my work have to have the same personality as those in the original?

    Do they have to look the same?


  2. What is considered a classic story in this contest?
    Does it have to be on the official list of classics?
    Also: What story does ‘Wake’ modernize?

    • Hey Halle-

      The definition of classic is flexible. And WAKE isn’t a modernization–it’s just the upcoming story of the contest’s judge!

  3. Do modern books such as House of Night by P.C and Kristin Cast or Nevermore by Kelly Creagh count as a classic work of literature?

    • Hey Sierra-

      Since the contest makes you modernize a book, the story should be set in or before the 20th Century, otherwise, it’s already in modern times!

  4. Whenever I ask a question on here lately it just says “awaiting moderation” even though other questions still get answered… am I doing something wrong or do you guys just not know the answer to my question?

    I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on?

    Thanks! Kiersten

    • Hey Kiersten-

      I’m sorry- we try to go through the comments regularly and answer them all. What was your question?

  5. Do they have to have the same name as the person in the original story? For example, if someone’s doing Romeo and Juliet, would the girl character still have to be named Juliet?

  6. where do you want us to put the title of the story that we are remaking? where we write the summary?

  7. SO, I did this with Romeo and Juliet already but I went line by line so it’s eight thousand words long so guess who won’t be entering this contest! 🙂

  8. I’m having a little bit of doubt….

    I wrote kind of a Shakespeare mash up. Where my characters are doing ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in their school play, but their outside lives is exactly like ‘A Midsummer nights dream.’

    Can I do that? Would that be alright if I put two different Shakespeare stories together?

  9. Can this ‘classic works’ be modern, like a recent novel such as House of Night or Nevermore or even Twilight if we wanted?

    • Hey Sierra-

      It needs to be a piece set in the 20th Century or earlier. It couldn’t be Twilight since that is already modern.

  10. It says a ‘classic work of literature’. Can it be something like Tristan and Isolde’s story or something like Cleopatra and Mark Antony?

    • Hey Krystal-

      It can be a story, myth, tale, poem, or play. Both of those stories have been fictionalized in literature, so you’re set!

  11. I was wondering if using the same names in my rewrite as the original story would be copyrighting. I’m doing Sleeping Beauty and was going to change pretty much everything execpt the plot line and the names. Would it be safer to change the names?

  12. So, I’m planning to do something with a particularly long book. Would it be detrimental if I only did a portion of it? It’s very difficult with the word limit.

  13. Would i be able to do, for example, alice in wonderland where she goes back to wonderland? because its not really retelling but more like continuing

  14. My comments haven’t been answered…
    All I want to know if modern books count like House of Night or Nevermore or even Twilight if someone waned??

    • Hey Sierra-

      Sorry for the delay! I had to double check that I was getting you the correct answer. You may use newer classics, but since the contest is about updating a classic, the original story should not be set in the modern times. Let me know if I can help you with anything else!

  15. I have a question. I’m doing to kill a mockingbird, can I have Atticus (probably will be renamed) be the older brother of Scout? ‘Cause I have and idea, but It wouldn’t work unless I could do this.

    • Sorry I meant the family would be like:
      Atticus-Oldest Brother (Senior in High School)
      Jeremy-Middle Child (Eighth Grader)
      Jean (Scout)–Youngest Child (Fifth or sixth Grade)

      Could I have it like this?

  16. Just to be clear, how modern exactly does my update have to be? Would stories set in say anywhere from the 1930s to the 1990s count or do they all have to be set in the now?

  17. Sorry if this was already asked, but one of the fairy tales from the Grimm brothers or Hans Christian Anderson is good?

    what about Goldilocks and the three bears?

  18. why can’t people who don’t live in the united states or that area participate in this? it feels a little unfair… i mean there are so many awesome contest going on and i can’t enter anyone of them because i live in taiwan… when will there be a contest that people across the oceans can enter?

    • Hey Micaela-

      We hope to open up contests to international participants in the future, but in the meantime we are limited to the US and parts of Canada with contests that offer tangible prizes. Many of our newsletter contests are international, though, so stay tuned!

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