Please note: submissions are now closed.


This summer, we'd love to hear about what you would invent to help your community or city. What would it do? Whom would it help? How would you build it? Tell us all about your idea—every exciting detail!


Who can enter?

All New Yorkers between the ages of 6 and 18 are encouraged to enter!


What could I win?

Prizes for this year’s Summer Writing Contest will be awarded to the winning entry in each of the following three categories:


How do I enter?

Write out your idea and send it to us along with your first and last name, age, phone number, and nearest New York Public Library branch library. You must include this information for your entry to be considered.

Send your entry and info to us by email no later than August 6:

Or you can send it by mail, postmarked no later than August 6, to:

The New York Public Library
ATTN: Writing Contest / CHPRG
445 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016


Make sure to get a parent or guardian’s permission before entering!


Terms and conditions

No purchase or payment of money is necessary to enter or win. Limit of one entry per person. There will be 3 prizes awarded. No returns or substitutions. Winners will be notified by phone and/or email on or before September 17 and may be asked to sign and return a short affidavit to confirm eligibility and agreement to abide by these official rules. The odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received. Available to all New York City residents. Sponsor, and its affiliates and their employees and families, are not eligible to enter. NYPL interns and volunteers are eligible to enter. Applicable taxes are the sole responsibility of the winners. Sponsor reserves the right at any time to cancel or modify this sweepstakes in whole or in part in the event of technical or other difficulties. By participating in this drawing, entrant agrees to be bound by these official rules. Prize will be awarded to alternate winner if prize notification cannot be made or is otherwise undeliverable.