YES! National Student Writing Competition
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.
Winter 2014 National Student Writing Competition
Heal the Country, Heal the Warrior
This winter, students will read and respond to the YES! Magazine article, "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country," by Ed Tick. Ed's story is about the many veterans he sees physically and emotionally wounded from serving in the war, and how we, as community members, can help these warriors heal.
Ed Tick, who leads healing retreats for war veterans, sees too many veterans bearing the burden of war in silence, while the rest of the country lives “business as usual.”
Imagine what it’s like to serve in a war. Write a letter to a veteran—fictitious or someone you know. Whether or not you agree with U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, how might you welcome this soldier home, and express your support for the transition this soldier faces as he or she returns to civilian life?
How does it work?
- Complete the competition registration form by January 24, 2014 (see link at bottom of page).
- Students respond to the YES! article with a letter up to 700 words.
- Submit up to three essays per class period, along with student release forms, by February 21, 2014.
- For each of the following categories, YES! staff (and possibly the author of the article) will select one essay that we feel is well-written, compelling, and captures the spirit of the article:
- Grades 6-8
- Grades 9-12
- Powerful Voice (for an author whose essay is uniquely powerful or thought-provoking)
- The selected essays will be featured on the YES! Magazine website and in our online education newsletter, reaching thousands of YES! readers, including over 26,000 teachers.
- Teachers who submit essays will be entered into a drawing to win a Kleen Kanteen and a dozen YES! posters for his or her classroom. See what you could win here!
Common Core State Standards:
This writing competition meets several Common Core State Standards for grades 6-12, including W.9-10.3 and W.9-10.4 for Writing, and RI.9-10.1 and RI.9-10.2 for Reading: Informational Text *
*This standard applies to other grade levels. “9-10” is used as an example.
Who is eligible?
- You must be a classroom teacher—homeschool cooperative, resource centers, supervised writing groups, and schools outside the U.S. included—for your students to participate.
- Student writers should be in grades 6-8, grades 9-12, college/university, or adult continuing education.
What are the essay requirements?
- Respond to the article and writing prompt provided by YES!
- Provide an original essay title
- Reference the article
- No more than 700 words
- Must be original, unpublished work
- Teachers must read and submit their students' essays. Remember, the limit is three essays per class period! Please take time to read your students' essays to ensure they have met essay requirements, including correct grammar. Unfortunately, we cannot accept essays sent independently by students.
In addition, we are evaluating essays for:
- Strong style and personal voice. We encourage writers to include personal examples and insights.
- Originality and clarity of content and ideas
How do I submit the three best essays from my class?
- You must be registered for the competition by January 24, 2014.
- E-mail your three best student essays as word-processed document attachments (please no pdf or scanned documents) to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than February 21, 2014.
- Include a scanned, completed student release form with each submitted essay.
Questions? Please email email@example.com, and thank you for joining us!
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