Call for submissions: Frederick Douglass wants your students’ essays

Their best words and ideas are needed now This morning, I learned about an organization taking essay submissions from students around the world for possible online publication. The organization is called Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives. Founded in 2007 and based in Rochester, NY, FDFI is  dedicated to the legacy of the abolitionist Frederick Douglass andContinue reading “Call for submissions: Frederick Douglass wants your students’ essays”

New writing contest: Book blurbs!

Whether you’re distance learning or at school, start fall with this new contest With talk of a second corona virus wave coming late summer, knowing what “school” will look like in August or September is impossible right now. However, one thing I know for sure: on the first day of school, my creative writing classContinue reading “New writing contest: Book blurbs!”

Contest #13: Carl Sandburg Student Poetry Contest

Try this contest for grades 3-12. Entries are due Feb. 25. I’ve stumbled upon another student writing contest that middle schoolers may enter:  the Carl Sandburg Student Poetry Contest.  The sponsors invite students to submit a poem to the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site’s annual Student Poetry Contest. “The contest encourages youth to explore writing their own poetry,Continue reading “Contest #13: Carl Sandburg Student Poetry Contest”

NCTE’s Promising Young Writer’s 2019 Contest Prompt has been released

A writing contest just for 8th-graders! The long-awaited 2019 prompt for NCTE’s Promising Young Writer’s contest has been released. This year, NCTE invites students to write about instances in their lives when they “made a conscious choice to welcome or show hospitality to an experience, feeling, or person.” Click this link for more information. This contest’s purposeContinue reading “NCTE’s Promising Young Writer’s 2019 Contest Prompt has been released”

Here’s the prompt for the 2018-19 VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest

This contest is a winner for middle schoolers! The Patriot’s Pen essay contest for grades 6-8 is getting started for the 2018-19 school year. The first step: learning the theme. And (drumroll please!)…here it is: Why I Honor the American Flag. This year’s theme will resonate with students as it recalls the national conversation aboutContinue reading “Here’s the prompt for the 2018-19 VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest”

Writing Contest #9: NCTE’s Promising Young Writers

An any-genre writing contest just for your 8th graders Full disclosure: this is a contest I have NOT tried with my students… yet. I’m a member of NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) and for some reason, I just found out about the group’s Promising Young Writers contest a few days ago while surfingContinue reading “Writing Contest #9: NCTE’s Promising Young Writers”

A good thing: Weekly in-class awards

I enjoy recognizing students for their on-time, on-target writing Last year, sometime during the second quarter, I decided to start awarding students for their hard work on their weekly written homework assignments. I came up with four awards to recognize students for being on-time and for doing a good job. The awards and the skillsContinue reading “A good thing: Weekly in-class awards”

Contest #7 That Works for My Students: Ozarks Writers League Youth Writing Contest

  Don’t forget to investigate any contest opportunities that may be available from a local writers group in your area. My principal received a flyer from a member of the Ozarks Writers League last fall. The flyer gave the basic details for the league’s annual youth writing contest. I’m always up for the extra motivationContinue reading “Contest #7 That Works for My Students: Ozarks Writers League Youth Writing Contest”

2017-18 VFW Patriot’s Pen Youth Essay Contest Results

Finally… here’s that follow-up post I promised plus the winning essay entry Photo: Pixabay Last winter, I wrote a post about a contest that my seventh-graders enter each fall: the Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. At the conclusion of that post, I wrote that I would update youContinue reading “2017-18 VFW Patriot’s Pen Youth Essay Contest Results”

Here’s the Poem that Won a National Silver Key Award

I’ve posted the poem below that one of my eighth-grade students wrote, which won Gold and Silver Key Awards, respectively, at the regional and national levels of the 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Read yesterday’s post here to find out more about the contest, such as guidelines, tips, and how to enter. Hint: it’sContinue reading “Here’s the Poem that Won a National Silver Key Award”