Writing Competition

Celebrating Student Writing

 

inspired writingThe YES! Exemplary Essay Project demonstrates how teachers can use YES! Magazine stories as the basis for thought-provoking writing. It also gives students an opportunity to voice their opinions and show off their stellar writing.

Learn how to participate in the YES! Exemplary Essay Project.

Fall 2014: "Digital Empathy" High School Winner Ally S.
by Ally S.
Ally S. is a student at a high school in northern Virginia. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "How the Real Teens Behind 'The Fault in Our Stars' Are Bringing Empathy to the Internet," by Christopher Zumski Finke. Read Ally's essay that tells how she found the strength to cope with mental illness through the support of the same Nerdfighter online community.
Fall 2014: "Digital Empathy" College Winner Shannon Hickey
by Shannon Hickey
Shannon Hickey, a student at Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama, read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "How the Real Teens Behind 'The Fault in Our Stars' Are Bringing Empathy to the Internet," by Christopher Zumski Finke. Read Shannon's essay about the solace and awesome she found on the Internet as a queer trans Catholic kid, and her desire to spread that acceptance to younger people experiencing suckiness.
Fall 2014: "Digital Empathy" Powerful Voice Winner Tori Gardner
by Tori Gardner
Tori Gardner is a student at Shawnee Mission Horizons High School in Mission, Kansas. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "The Real Teens Behind 'The Fault in Our Stars' Are Bringing Empathy to the Internet," by Christopher Zumski Finke. Read Tori's essay that reveals the unexamined misogyny of the Internet, and what we can do to fight against it.
Fall 2014: "Digital Empathy" Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
We received many powerful essays for the Fall 2014 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Fall 2014: Christopher Zumski Finke's Response to "Digital Empathy" Essay Winners
by Christopher Zumski Finke
Christopher Zumski Finke responds to the winners of the Fall 2014 "Fault in Our Stars" essay competition.
Spring 2014: "Restorative Justice" Middle School Winner Reagan Elliff
by Reagan Elliff
Reagan Elliff is a student at the Wildflower Open Classroom in Chico, California. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Reagan's essay about how her karate skills helped her classmate get the support he needed.
Spring 2014: "Restorative Justice" High School Winner Simone Phillips
by Simone Phillips
Simone Phillps is an incoming freshman at Fordham University in New York City, NY. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Simone's essay that illustrates the unnecessary hardships caused by the injustice of the punitive system.
Spring 2014: "Restorative Justice" College Winner Matt Flagg
by Matt Flagg
Matt Flagg is a student at Cascadia Community College at Bothell, Washington. He responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Matt's essay about the injustices a childhood friend endured and why he felt students didn't stand up for him.
Spring 2014: "Restorative Justice" Powerful Voice Winner Sohee Lee
by Sohee Lee
Sohee Lee is a student at A.K. Academics. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Sohee's essay that brings topics like ethnicity and self-confidence into the conversation of discipline and dignity.
Spring 2014: "Restorative Justice" Powerful Voice Winner Kayla Rice
by Kayla Rice
Kayla Rice is a student at the Peace and Justice Academy in Pasadena, California. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Kayla's essay that provides an example of a situation that failed to properly use restorative justice and why that was harmful.
Spring 2014: Fania Davis' Response to "Restorative Justice" Essay Winners
by Fania Davis
Fania Davis, co-founder and executive director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, responds to the winners of the Spring 2014 "Restorative Justice" essay competition.
Spring 2014: "Restorative Justice" Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
We received many powerful essays for the Spring 2014 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Winter 2014: "Support for Veterans" Middle School Winner Karla Gomez
by Karla Gomez
Karla Gomez is a student at ASTEC Middle School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country," by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Karla's letter that discusses ethnicity and the sense of belonging to a country.
Winter 2014: "Support for Veterans" High School Winner Jim Xie
by Jim Xie
Jim Xie is a student at Pierre Elliot Trudeau High School in Markham, Ontario. He responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country," by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Jim's letter highlighting the unimaginable hardships of war and his gratitude towards veterans.
Winter 2014: "Support for Veterans" College Winner Blaine Stine
by William Blaine Stine
Blaine Stine is a student at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. He responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country," by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Blaine's letter that uses the word "silence" to convey a powerful message to the soldier.