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: "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.
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.
Spring 2016: "What We Fear" High School Winner Clair Williamson
by Clair Williamson
Read Clair's essay, "A Different Kind of Relapse" about how her struggle with depression has motivated her to accept the love and kindness of those around her.
Spring 2016: "What We Fear" University Winner Dion Medina
by Dion Medina
Read Dion's essay, "Chronic Pain," about sacrificing an active lifestyle—and inheriting an unthinkable future—to manage avascular necrosis, a disease that causes bone to slowly die.

Also in this section

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.
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.
Spring 2016: "What We Fear" High School Winner Clair Williamson
by Clair Williamson
Read Clair's essay, "A Different Kind of Relapse" about how her struggle with depression has motivated her to accept the love and kindness of those around her.
Spring 2016: "What We Fear" University Winner Dion Medina
by Dion Medina
Read Dion's essay, "Chronic Pain," about sacrificing an active lifestyle—and inheriting an unthinkable future—to manage avascular necrosis, a disease that causes bone to slowly die.
Spring 2016: "What We Fear" Powerful Voice Winner Jazmyn Bryant
by Jazmyn Bryant
Read Jazmyn's essay, "A Serf in the Midst of Feudalism" about personally confronting racial injustice, and how necessary it is to act collectively for a reformed system.
Spring 2016: "What We Fear" Powerful Voice Winner Jonah Gold
by Jonah Gold
Read Jonah's essay, "A Future Me," about the challenge in balancing two different parts of himself, and his efforts toward becoming proud of the part he's less comfortable with.
Spring 2016: "What We Fear" Powerful Voice Winner Nicole Reiber
by Nicole Reiber
Read Nicole's essay, "The Monster Within" about relationships and career opportunities in her life that have been lost because of her self-sabotaging behaviors, and how self-respect has helped her fight this monster.
Spring 2016: "What We Fear" Literary Gems
We received many outstanding essays for the Spring 2016 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Spring 2016: Julie M. Elman's Response to "What We Fear" Essay Winners
by Julie M. Elman
Julie M. Elman responds to the winners of our Spring 2016 Student Writing Competition.