Encourage young writers to enter our NORTHWIND Storytelling Contest!

Encourage young writers to enter our NORTHWIND Storytelling Contest!

Encourage young writers to enter our NORTHWIND Storytelling Contest


Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group invites storytellers ages 10–14 to continue the adventure of literary legend Gary Paulsen’s final novel, the New York Times bestseller Northwind.

“Story, as far as I’m concerned, is everything. Simply everything.” —Gary Paulsen

Literary legend Gary Paulsen (1939–2021) takes readers on one last adventure with his novel Northwind, another stunning survival story from the author of Hatchet, set alongside a rugged mythical coastline centuries ago. All storytellers ages 10–14 are invited to continue the adventure in the Northwind Storytelling Contest. Entries are open February 4th through April 1, 2022.

The contest will be judged by Gary’s son, Jim Paulsen; Jennifer Flannery of Flannery Literary, his longtime agent, and Wesley Adams, Gary’s editor at Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers. The judges will be looking for a unique voice and a strong sense of storytelling. The winning storyteller will receive a $500 AMEX gift card, journal, a class set of Northwind, admission to a writing workshop, and see their short story published. Five runners up will be invited to a writing workshop and receive a journal and a copy of Northwind.

Rules and Requirements: NorthwindRules
Notice to Parents: NorthwindPrivacyNotice
Privacy Notice: privacy-notice

Many will enter, few will win. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 10-14. Parental permission is required to enter. Must enter by 12:00 a.m. on April 1, 2022. Void where prohibited. Subject to all applicable laws. For complete rules and requirements, visit NorthwindContestRules.

Writing Prompt: At the end of Northwind, Leif turns away from signs of civilization to head back off on his own in a canoe at sea with limited supplies. In 1,000–3,000 words, continue Leif’s story or write a story about your own character embarking on a journey alone at sea.

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About the Book

Encourage young

Northwind by Gary Paulsen
On Sale Now!
Ages 10-14

This stunning novel from the survival story master, set along a rugged coastline centuries ago, does for the ocean what Hatchet does for the woods, as it relates the story of a young person’s battle to stay alive against the odds, where the high seas meet a coastal wilderness.

When a deadly plague reaches the small fish camp where he lives, an orphan named Leif is forced to take to the water in a cedar canoe. He flees northward, following a wild, fjord-riven shore, navigating from one danger to the next, unsure of his destination. Yet the deeper into his journey he paddles, the closer he comes to his truest self as he connects to “the heartbeat of the ocean . . . the pulse of the sea.” With hints of Nordic mythology and an irresistible narrative pull, Northwind is Gary Paulsen at his captivating, adventuresome best.


Praise for Northwind:

“Paulsen… was not only a a master storyteller, but also a master world-builder… Wondrous… A grand and worthy journey.” —Neal Shusterman, The New York Times Book Review

★ “A voyage both singular and universal, marked by sharply felt risks and rewards and deep waters beneath.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ “Spare, survival-oriented prose keeps the reader immersed in scenes difficult and wondrous, offering a glimpse of the sheer awesomeness of nature, showcasing the beauty of the sea and its inhabitants, and regaling readers with a timeless and irresistible adventure that has resilience at its heart.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “Call this posthumously published novel The Young Man and the Sea . . . [A] splendid story . . . Beautifully written, it’s classic Paulsen at his best.” —Bookliststarred review

Remembering Gary Paulsen

Encourage young writers to enter our NORTHWIND Storytelling Contest!

Gary Paulsen (1939–2021) wrote more than two hundred books for children and adults, including the father-son comedy How to Train Your Dad, and the survival adventure Northwind. Three of his novels—HatchetDogsong, and The Winter Room—were Newbery Honor books. In 1997, he received the ALA’s Margaret A. Edwards Award for his contribution to young adult literature. His books have sold over 35 million copies around the world.

Find more books by Gary Paulsen here!