Winter 2012 Writing Competition Winners

Stro Hastings

The YES! National Student Writing Competition gives students the chance to write for a real audience and be published by an award-winning magazine. Each quarter, students have the opportunity to read and respond to a selected YES! Magazine article.

For Winter 2012, participants read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "What's the Harm in Hunting?" by Alyssa Johnson. Congratulations to our essay winners: Middle School: Stro Hastings, High School: Johnny Bobo, College: Jenny Courtney, and Powerful Voice: Lisa Schwartz.


Winning Essays


Middle School Winner Stro Hastings

Stro Hastings is a middle school student in Brevard, NC. Read Stro's essay about hunting fair.

Johnny Bobo

High School Winner Johnny Bobo

Johnny Bobo is a high school student in Guysville, OH.Read Johnny's essay about responsible hunting.


Jenny CourtneyCollege Winner Jenny Courtney

Jenny Courtney is a student at American River College in Sacramento, CA.  Read Jenny's essay about meat production and hunting.


Lisa Schwartz

Powerful Voice Winner Lisa Schwartz

Lisa Schwartz is a high school student in Louisville, KY.  Read Lisa's essay about changing her opinions on hunting.


Alyssa Johnson

Author Response from Alyssa Johnson

Alyssa Johnson responds to the winners of the Winter 2012 YES! National Student Writing Competition.



Literary Gems from the Winter 2012 Writing Competition


We received many powerful essays. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.


“The nasty side of hunting is all I ever saw growing up, so as I read the story, “What’s the Harm in Hunting,” I was surprised by how the hunters themselves portrayed hunting. The passage even swayed my opinion and made me realize that hunting can be respectful to the animal.”
— Pamela Thomas, Presentation Academy, Louisville, KY


"In our world there will always be death, and there will always be hunting. Death is a naturally occurring event and has to happen, for there are always equal and opposite forces; there is no light without dark, there is no life without death. There is a balance in the function of our planet where the death of one thing in turn creates life for another. Therefore, hunting causes a positive impact on the balance of our planet."

—Jeremiah Roy, Canyon State Academy, Queen Creek, AZ


"Hunting is not only a sport but also a tradition. It has been a tradition in my family for at least 40 years. Each year my dad, my brother, and I stay near Peshtigo, Wisconsin for the gun deer season. It is a great experience to be outside to hunt. If I had not gotten into hunting I don't think I would be outside as much as I am now."

—Spencer Fritz, Fox River Academy, Appleton, WI