The Best Coming of Age Short Stories
What is it about adolescence that makes it such fertile grounds for storytelling? Maybe it’s the intense emotions, the first-time experiences, the growing pains that come with transitioning to adulthood — but whatever it is, we all love a good coming-of-age story. Reading them can even transport us back to our own teenage years: stoking long-forgotten feelings and memories of youth and calling on us to remember that time when we knew everything had changed.
Coming-of-age stories hold a meaningful place not only in our hearts, but in the literary canon. The Catcher in the Rye and The Outsiders have been staples of high school English classes for more than fifty years. Entire generations have been influenced by the memorable prose of Stephen Chbosky and Judy Blume. And while coming-of-age tales are extra-influential because they’re often encountered during or just after the reader’s own adolescence, they can most definitely be enjoyed at any age.
It’s not just the classics, either! New coming-of-age stories are being written all the time, representing ever-more diverse versions of people’s “coming of age” and giving readers more works to find relatable and, indeed, impactful.
But where can you find the best new coming-of-age stories?
You’ll find a wide range of coming-of-age stories on this page, which lists all the coming-of-age pieces submitted to our short story contest. These works cover everything from homework to heartbreak, in voices ranging from light and humorous to wise beyond their years — sometimes all in the same piece! Look to the top to see which stories have been shortlisted by our judges, and dig deeper to see which hidden gems might be lurking.
Want to follow an author you love? Easy: just click the “Follow” button on their profile! And if you want other people to follow you, make sure to interact with their stories by liking and leaving comments. You can even enter the contest yourself, if you like. In fact, if you have a powerful, original coming-of-age story in mind, that’s exactly what we’d recommend you do. You may just walk away with a $250 cash prize — plus the chance to be published in Prompted, our new literary magazine!