The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said bid teams from Harbin, China; Innsbruck, Austria; Kuopio, Finland; and Lillehammer, Norway, have given details of operational and financial plans for the 10-day event.
Two of the contenders have already staged a full Winter Olympics.
Innsbruck hosted the Games in 1964 and 1976, while Lillehammer held the 1994 games.
A panel of experts will study the bid files and submit a report to the IOC Executive Board, which will select a shortlist of finalists.
IOC members will vote by postal ballot in November, with the winner announced in December.
The Winter Youth Olympics will feature about 1,000 athletes aged 14-18 competing in seven sports - skiing, ice hockey, biathlon, bobsled, curling, luge and figure skating.The first Summer Youth Olympics are due to be held in Singapore in 2010.