YES! National Student Writing Competition

An opportunity for students to write for an audience beyond the classroom, and personally reflect on topics that can be transformational, even life-changing.

 

inspired writingThe YES! National Student Writing Competition 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 exemplary writing.

Each quarter, students will have the opportunity to read and respond to designated YES! Magazine articles, using the same writing prompt to write a 700-word essay. One essay per age category is selected by YES! for being the most well-written and compelling, and for capturing the spirit of the article.  Read these model essays—some from the former YES! Exemplary Essay Project— in addition to responses from the articles' authors.

Learn how you and your students can participate in the YES! National Student Writing Competition.

Winter 2017 National Student Writing Competition: Your Sacred Place
Want a motivator to take your students' writing to a higher level? Here's an opportunity to write about something meaningful and for a bigger audience beyond the classroom.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" Middle School Winner Isabel Hardwig
Read Isabel's essay, "The Bullfighter," about querencias—and the trampoline where she draws strength.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" High School Winner Imogen Rain Cockrum
Read Imogen's essay, "Half of Who I Am," about her mother's war-torn, crayola-bright hometown in El Salvador.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" University Winner Valerie Hoffman
Read Valerie's essay, "My Dressing Room," about the office space at school that gives her the privacy and freedom to be herself.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" Powerful Voice Winner Saef-Aldeen Elbgal
Read Saef's essay, "Standing Up for My Mosque," about the precious guidance he receives from the Oakland Islamic Center—and his plans to protect it.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" Powerful Voice Winner Mara Peruzzi
Read Mara's essay, "Candelight," about how meditative drawing helps her cope with misophonia, a disorder that causes the hatred of specific sounds.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" Powerful Voice Winner Ella Vonada
Read Ella's essay, "Noni's House," about the scratchy records and soft chairs in her favorite house—where she'll always have someone to catch her if she falls down.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" Literary Gems
We received many outstanding essays for the Winter 2017 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard's Response to "Your Sacred Place" Essay Winners
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard responds to the winners of our Winter 2017 National Student Writing Competition.
Spring 2017 National Student Writing Competition: Gender Pronouns
Want a motivator to take your students' writing to a higher level? Here's an opportunity to write about something meaningful and for a bigger audience beyond the classroom.
Fall 2016 National Student Writing Competition: Why Bother to Vote?
Want a motivator to take your students' writing to a higher level? Here's an opportunity to write for a real audience, and the chance to get published by an award-winning magazine.
Fall 2016: "Why Bother to Vote?" Middle School Winner Red Sheets
Read Red's essay, Your Voice, Your Vote," about how a vote isn't just for a person, but also for an idea, a policy, and, even, your integrity.
Fall 2016: "Why Bother to Vote?" High School Winner Catherine Skubiz
Read Catherine's essay, "Make a Choice," about how time and time again voters have proven that when we make the choice to vote, we give ourselves the power to change the nation.
Fall 2016: "Why Bother to Vote?" University Winner Ben Marcus
Read Ben's essay, "The Voting Superhero," about how we may not be able to fly or have an arsenal of high-tech crime-fighting tools, but we do have the power to vote.
Fall 2016: "Why Bother to Vote?" Powerful Voice Winner Tyler Kim
Read Tyler's essay, "With Great Asians Comes Great Responsibility," about how some of the same people who urge us to vote are the same people who neglect what should be their real responsibility—caring about people on the margins.

Also in this section

Winter 2017 National Student Writing Competition: Your Sacred Place
Want a motivator to take your students' writing to a higher level? Here's an opportunity to write about something meaningful and for a bigger audience beyond the classroom.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" Middle School Winner Isabel Hardwig
Read Isabel's essay, "The Bullfighter," about querencias—and the trampoline where she draws strength.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" High School Winner Imogen Rain Cockrum
Read Imogen's essay, "Half of Who I Am," about her mother's war-torn, crayola-bright hometown in El Salvador.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" University Winner Valerie Hoffman
Read Valerie's essay, "My Dressing Room," about the office space at school that gives her the privacy and freedom to be herself.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" Powerful Voice Winner Saef-Aldeen Elbgal
Read Saef's essay, "Standing Up for My Mosque," about the precious guidance he receives from the Oakland Islamic Center—and his plans to protect it.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" Powerful Voice Winner Mara Peruzzi
Read Mara's essay, "Candelight," about how meditative drawing helps her cope with misophonia, a disorder that causes the hatred of specific sounds.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" Powerful Voice Winner Ella Vonada
Read Ella's essay, "Noni's House," about the scratchy records and soft chairs in her favorite house—where she'll always have someone to catch her if she falls down.
Winter 2017: "Your Sacred Place" Literary Gems
We received many outstanding essays for the Winter 2017 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard's Response to "Your Sacred Place" Essay Winners
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard responds to the winners of our Winter 2017 National Student Writing Competition.
Spring 2017 National Student Writing Competition: Gender Pronouns
Want a motivator to take your students' writing to a higher level? Here's an opportunity to write about something meaningful and for a bigger audience beyond the classroom.
Fall 2016 National Student Writing Competition: Why Bother to Vote?
Want a motivator to take your students' writing to a higher level? Here's an opportunity to write for a real audience, and the chance to get published by an award-winning magazine.
Fall 2016: "Why Bother to Vote?" Middle School Winner Red Sheets
Read Red's essay, Your Voice, Your Vote," about how a vote isn't just for a person, but also for an idea, a policy, and, even, your integrity.
Fall 2016: "Why Bother to Vote?" High School Winner Catherine Skubiz
Read Catherine's essay, "Make a Choice," about how time and time again voters have proven that when we make the choice to vote, we give ourselves the power to change the nation.
Fall 2016: "Why Bother to Vote?" University Winner Ben Marcus
Read Ben's essay, "The Voting Superhero," about how we may not be able to fly or have an arsenal of high-tech crime-fighting tools, but we do have the power to vote.
Fall 2016: "Why Bother to Vote?" Powerful Voice Winner Tyler Kim
Read Tyler's essay, "With Great Asians Comes Great Responsibility," about how some of the same people who urge us to vote are the same people who neglect what should be their real responsibility—caring about people on the margins.
Fall 2016: "Why Bother To Vote?" Powerful Voice Winner Norbu Sonam
Read Norbu's essay, "A Voice for the Voiceless," about how his father's treacherous escape from Tibet to America in 1949 shaped his appreciation for the rights—like voting— that Americans have today.
Fall 2016: "Why Bother to Vote?" Literary Gems
We received many outstanding essays for the Fall 2016 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Yessenia Funes' Response to "Why Bother to Vote?" Essay Winners
Yessenia Funes responds to the winners of our Fall 2016 National Student Writing Competition.
Spring 2016 National Student Writing Competition: What We Fear
Want a motivator to take your students' writing to a higher level? Here's an opportunity to write for a real audience, and the chance to get published by an award-winning magazine.
Spring 2016: "What We Fear" Middle School Winner Deedee Jansen
Read Deedee's essay, "How Do You Spell: Afriad, Dislexsa, Faer," about how people's biases toward dyslexia can lock her in a cage, but having dyslexia can also be a blessing for seeing things differently.