First Love: The Eleanor & Park Short-Story Contest

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellEleanor’s just trying to survive high school—and her awful home life. The kids on the bus might be mean, but they’ve got nothing on her stepfather. Eleanor certainly isn’t dreaming of a boyfriend when she unexpectedly finds a friend in Park. He’s a misfit, too, quietly trying to ignore the antics of the other riders. Sitting side-by-side, riding the bus to and from school, sharing comic books and mixtapes, Eleanor and Park fall head over heels in love.

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”


Rainbow Rowell’s new novel, Eleanor & Park, is all about the highs and lows of falling for the first time. Inspired by the book, we’ve got a new short-story contest for you! In 1,200 words or fewer, write a story about first love.


One grand prize winner will receive a signed copy of Eleanor & Park, an advanced copy of Rainbow Rowell’s new book, Fangirl (which won’t be in stores until September), Fall For Anything by Courtney Summers, The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda and Beneath the Glitter by Elle and Blair Fowler.

One second place winner will receive a copy of Eleanor & Park and an advanced copy of Fangirl.

One third place winner will receive a copy of Eleanor & Park.

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 FirstLoveContest 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.

You have until Tuesday, March 12 at 11:59 p.m. ET to enter your story. Voting will run until Tuesday, March 19 at 5:00 p.m. ET. Author Rainbow Rowell will choose the winners from the top 10 most-hearted entries.

Contest Entries

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