YES! National Student Writing Competition

An opportunity for students to write for an audience beyond the classroom, and personally reflect on topics that impact them and their world.

 

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.

Fall 2017 National Student Writing Competition: Standing Up for Our Neighbors
Want to inspire your students to write? Here's an opportunity to write about something meaningful and for an audience beyond the classroom.
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.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" Middle School Winner Alex Gerber
Read Alex's essay, "A New Design for Language," about the social and grammatical limits of gender-neutral pronouns—and how to get beyond them. Alex responded to the YES! article, "'They' and the Emotional Weight," by Cole, founder of the Brown Boi Project.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" High School Winner Ella Martinez
Read Ella's essay, "Language is a Many-Gendered Thing," about the challenges of using gender-neutral pronouns in a Puerto Rican American family. Ella responded to the YES! article, "'They' and the Emotional Weight," by Cole, founder of the Brown Boi Project.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" University Winner Avery Hunt
Read Avery's essay, "Existing Openly Is Half the Battle," about being the token nonbinary person at college while still learning about their own gender. Avery responded to the YES! article, "'They' and the Emotional Weight," by Cole, founder of the Brown Boi Project.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" Powerful Voice Winner Toby Greybear
Read Toby's essay, "The Thoughts and Struggle of a Two Spirit," about embracing a new gender identity—and rediscovering a tradition. This essay was in response to the YES! artricle, "'They' and The Emotional Weight of Words," by Cole of the Brown Boi Project.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" Powerful Voice Winner Madeleine Wise
Read Madeleine's essay, "The Right to Be a Little Bit Rude," about overcoming the discomfort of correcting people who use the wrong gender pronouns. Madeleine responded to the YES! article, "'They' and the Emotional Weight," by Cole, founder of the Brown Boi Project.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" Powerful Voice Winner Joanne Yang
Read Joanne's essay, "The Jintas of Conservative Korean Culture," about how words should never be allowed to limit who we are. Joanne responded to the YES! article, "'They' and the Emotional Weight," by Cole, founder of the Brown Boi Project.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" Literary Gems
Cole's Response to "Gender Pronouns" Essay Winners
Cole, founder of the Brown Boi Project, responds to the winners of our Spring 2017 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.

Also in this section

Fall 2017 National Student Writing Competition: Standing Up for Our Neighbors
Want to inspire your students to write? Here's an opportunity to write about something meaningful and for an audience beyond the classroom.
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.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" Middle School Winner Alex Gerber
Read Alex's essay, "A New Design for Language," about the social and grammatical limits of gender-neutral pronouns—and how to get beyond them. Alex responded to the YES! article, "'They' and the Emotional Weight," by Cole, founder of the Brown Boi Project.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" High School Winner Ella Martinez
Read Ella's essay, "Language is a Many-Gendered Thing," about the challenges of using gender-neutral pronouns in a Puerto Rican American family. Ella responded to the YES! article, "'They' and the Emotional Weight," by Cole, founder of the Brown Boi Project.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" University Winner Avery Hunt
Read Avery's essay, "Existing Openly Is Half the Battle," about being the token nonbinary person at college while still learning about their own gender. Avery responded to the YES! article, "'They' and the Emotional Weight," by Cole, founder of the Brown Boi Project.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" Powerful Voice Winner Toby Greybear
Read Toby's essay, "The Thoughts and Struggle of a Two Spirit," about embracing a new gender identity—and rediscovering a tradition. This essay was in response to the YES! artricle, "'They' and The Emotional Weight of Words," by Cole of the Brown Boi Project.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" Powerful Voice Winner Madeleine Wise
Read Madeleine's essay, "The Right to Be a Little Bit Rude," about overcoming the discomfort of correcting people who use the wrong gender pronouns. Madeleine responded to the YES! article, "'They' and the Emotional Weight," by Cole, founder of the Brown Boi Project.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" Powerful Voice Winner Joanne Yang
Read Joanne's essay, "The Jintas of Conservative Korean Culture," about how words should never be allowed to limit who we are. Joanne responded to the YES! article, "'They' and the Emotional Weight," by Cole, founder of the Brown Boi Project.
Spring 2017: "Gender Pronouns" Literary Gems
Cole's Response to "Gender Pronouns" Essay Winners
Cole, founder of the Brown Boi Project, responds to the winners of our Spring 2017 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.
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.