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Winter 2013 :: YES! National Student Writing Competition   Facebook Like button Twitter Follow button

Dear Educators,

As you plan your second quarter or semester curriculum, consider including the YES! National Student Writing Competition.

Teachers tell us that the contest—which meets Common Core Standards—raises the quality of student writing and gives students the courage to share their stories and opinions. Students are motivated because they know that editors from a real magazine will review their work.

Winning “YESsays” will be featured on the YES! Magazine website and in our online education newsletter, reaching thousands of YES! readers, including over 26,000 teachers.

We run the YES! National Student Writing Competition three times a year—essentially each school quarter.

This winter, students will read and respond to the YES! article, “What Can Change When We Learn to See Each Other” by Akaya Windwood.

Akaya’s story is about how her heart broke when she was thanked by a young African American man for saying hello. She wondered what it felt like to live in a world where people don’t acknowledge your existence. Intentional or not, there are probably people in your community who your students may overlook—the grocery clerk, the school lunch lady, the homeless man.

Your students will have plenty to write about as they reflect on what would happen if they accepted Akaya Windwood’s invitation to intentionally notice people they would normally ignore or not see.

The deadline for registration is January 30. Essays must be submitted no later than February 22.

Register today! Teachers who submit essays will be entered into a drawing to win a complete set of 23 YES! posters valued at $66.

Learn about details and register today.

Please join us!

Jing FongBest,
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Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine

P.S. Forward this email to interested teachers!


Quill pen graphic Motivate Student Writing, Meet Common Core Standards

The YES! National Student Writing Competition is an opportunity for middle school through university students to write for a real audience—not just you, the teacher—and the chance to be published by an award-winning magazine.

Each quarter, students are invited to read and write an essay on a selected YES! Magazine article. We divide contestants into four categories: middle school, high school, university, and Powerful Voice (for authors whose essays are powerful and passionate). Winning essays in each category are published on the YES! Magazine website and in our online education newsletter.
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Tolerance by Mary Mackay, East Side Gallery. Visiting the Berlin Wall in the East Side Gallery. Photo by JiveDanson flickr/jivedanson How to Enter the Winter 2013 Competition

  • Who is eligible? You must be a middle school through university classroom educator—homeschool cooperatives and resource centers included—teaching in the United States.
  • Register for the competition no later than January 30.
  • Have your students read the YES! article, “What Can Change When We Learn to See Each Other” by Akaya Windwood.
  • Your students should write an essay of up to 700 words answering the questions, “Imagine you accept Akaya Windwood’s invitation to intentionally notice people you would normally ignore or not see. Who would you notice? How would you acknowledge that person? And, what could possibly change for you? For them?”
  • This essay meets Common Core State Standards W.9-10.3 and W.9-10.4 for Writing, and RI.9-10.1 for Reading: Informational Text.*
    *This standard meets other grade levels. “9-10” was used as an example.
  • Teachers may submit up to three student essays per classroom. Students may not independently enter their essays. Deadline for submitting essays is February 22.
READ “What Can Change When We Learn to See Each Other” »
LEARN Competition details and how to sign up »
EXPLORE Essays from previous competition winners »

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