Writing Competition

Celebrating Student Writing

 

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 2014: "Support for Veterans" Powerful Voice Winner Audrey Cameron
by Audrey Cameron
Audrey Cameron is a student at The Peace and Justice Academy in Pasadena, California. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country," by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Audrey's letters that show her unconditional support for her friend.
Winter 2014: "Support for Veterans "Powerful Voice Winner Jay Hagstrom
by Jay Hagstrom
Jay Hagstrom is a student at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire. He responded to the YES! Magazine article, “Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country,” by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Jay’s letter to a fellow veteran about the difficulties of not feeling like a true veteran.
Winter 2014: "Support for Veterans" Powerful Voice Winner Cheyanne Smith
by Cheyanne Marie Smith
Cheyanne Smith is a student at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. she responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Soldier," by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Cheyanne's letter that asks a soldier introspective questions about his journey as a soldier and veteran.
Winter 2014: "Support for Veterans" Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
We received many powerful essays for the Winter 2014 "Support for Veterans" Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Winter 2014: Dr. Edward Tick's Response to "Support for Veterans" Essay Winners
Dr. Edward Tick, co-founder of Soldier's Heart and author of "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country," responds to winners of the Winter 2014 "Support for Veterans" essay competition.
Fall 2013: "Simple Living" Middle School Winner Annika Holliday
by Annika Holliday
Annika Holliday is a student of Carter Latendresse at Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article “Growing Up in a Kenyan Slum Taught Me the Real Value of Stuff,” by Simon Okelo. Read Annika's essay about the uselessness of stuff—like trophies and goodie bags.
Fall 2013: "Simple Living" High School Winner Spencer Reed
by Spencer Reed
Spencer Read is a student of Mark Cline-Lucey at Vermont Commons School in Middlebury, Vermont. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, “Growing Up in a Kenyan Slum Taught Me the Real Value of Stuff,” by Simon Okelo. Read Spencer’s essay about his desire to level the economic playing field so that more people can have more—and then choose less.
Fall 2013: "Simple Living" College Winner Sana Naz
by Sana Naz
Sana Naz is a student of Professor Jamie Olson at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, “Growing Up in a Kenyan Slum Taught Me the Real Value of Stuff,” by Simon Okelo. Read Sana's essay about how her consumption habits shifted when she moved from Pakistan to the United States.
Fall 2013: "Simple Living" Powerful Voice Winner Nick Young
by Nick Young
Nick Young is a student of Jenny Campbell at Langley Middle School in Langley, Washington. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, “Growing Up in a Kenyan Slum Taught Me the Real Value of Stuff,” by Simon Okelo. Read Nick's essay about how giving up his iPhone4 and his beloved dog Lucas would greatly affect his life.
Fall 2013: "Simple Living" Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
We received many powerful essays for the Fall 2013 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Fall 2013: Simon Okelo's Response to "Simple Living" Essay Winners
by Simon Okelo
Simon Okelo, author of "Growing Up in a Kenyan Slum Taught Me the Real Value of Stuff," responds to essay winners of the Fall 2013 "Simple Living" writing competition.
Spring 2013: "Genetically Modified Food" Middle School Winner Sharon Lin
by Sharon Lin
Sharon Lin is a student of Michael Ferraro at William R. Satz School in Holmdel, New Jersey. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "A Month Without Monsanto," by April Dávila. Read Sharon's essay about how April Dávila inspired Sharon to adopt an organic vegan diet, and the increased energy and self-confidence she felt as a result.
Spring 2013: "Genetically Modified Food" High School Winner Erica Young
by Erica Young
Erica Young is a student of Jorge Muñoz at Arcadia High School in Arcadia, California. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "A Month Without Monsanto," by April Dávila. Read Erica's creative essay about how foods, like superheroes, should proudly display their logos to disclose their identities.
Spring 2013: "Genetically Modified Food" College Winner Ryan Barry
by Ryan Berry
Ryan Barry is a student of Professor Tom Hudspeth at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "A Month Without Monsanto," by April Dávila. Read Ryan's essay about his concerns surrounding the health effects of GMOs, and his recommendation to follow the European Union's lead and adopt the precautionary principle.
Spring 2013: "Genetically Modified Food" Literary Gem Author Omar Charles
by Omar Charles
Omar Charles is a student of Allison Stuart at General George A. McCall Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "A Month Without Monsanto," by April Dávila. Read Omar's essay about his realization that when it comes to fighting products that may harm people and the environment, he has to become his own hero.

Also in this section

Winter 2014: "Support for Veterans" Powerful Voice Winner Audrey Cameron
by Audrey Cameron
Audrey Cameron is a student at The Peace and Justice Academy in Pasadena, California. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country," by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Audrey's letters that show her unconditional support for her friend.
Winter 2014: "Support for Veterans "Powerful Voice Winner Jay Hagstrom
by Jay Hagstrom
Jay Hagstrom is a student at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire. He responded to the YES! Magazine article, “Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country,” by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Jay’s letter to a fellow veteran about the difficulties of not feeling like a true veteran.
Winter 2014: "Support for Veterans" Powerful Voice Winner Cheyanne Smith
by Cheyanne Marie Smith
Cheyanne Smith is a student at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. she responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Soldier," by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Cheyanne's letter that asks a soldier introspective questions about his journey as a soldier and veteran.
Winter 2014: "Support for Veterans" Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
We received many powerful essays for the Winter 2014 "Support for Veterans" Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Winter 2014: Dr. Edward Tick's Response to "Support for Veterans" Essay Winners
Dr. Edward Tick, co-founder of Soldier's Heart and author of "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country," responds to winners of the Winter 2014 "Support for Veterans" essay competition.
Fall 2013: "Simple Living" Middle School Winner Annika Holliday
by Annika Holliday
Annika Holliday is a student of Carter Latendresse at Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article “Growing Up in a Kenyan Slum Taught Me the Real Value of Stuff,” by Simon Okelo. Read Annika's essay about the uselessness of stuff—like trophies and goodie bags.
Fall 2013: "Simple Living" High School Winner Spencer Reed
by Spencer Reed
Spencer Read is a student of Mark Cline-Lucey at Vermont Commons School in Middlebury, Vermont. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, “Growing Up in a Kenyan Slum Taught Me the Real Value of Stuff,” by Simon Okelo. Read Spencer’s essay about his desire to level the economic playing field so that more people can have more—and then choose less.
Fall 2013: "Simple Living" College Winner Sana Naz
by Sana Naz
Sana Naz is a student of Professor Jamie Olson at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, “Growing Up in a Kenyan Slum Taught Me the Real Value of Stuff,” by Simon Okelo. Read Sana's essay about how her consumption habits shifted when she moved from Pakistan to the United States.
Fall 2013: "Simple Living" Powerful Voice Winner Nick Young
by Nick Young
Nick Young is a student of Jenny Campbell at Langley Middle School in Langley, Washington. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, “Growing Up in a Kenyan Slum Taught Me the Real Value of Stuff,” by Simon Okelo. Read Nick's essay about how giving up his iPhone4 and his beloved dog Lucas would greatly affect his life.
Fall 2013: "Simple Living" Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
We received many powerful essays for the Fall 2013 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Fall 2013: Simon Okelo's Response to "Simple Living" Essay Winners
by Simon Okelo
Simon Okelo, author of "Growing Up in a Kenyan Slum Taught Me the Real Value of Stuff," responds to essay winners of the Fall 2013 "Simple Living" writing competition.
Spring 2013: "Genetically Modified Food" Middle School Winner Sharon Lin
by Sharon Lin
Sharon Lin is a student of Michael Ferraro at William R. Satz School in Holmdel, New Jersey. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "A Month Without Monsanto," by April Dávila. Read Sharon's essay about how April Dávila inspired Sharon to adopt an organic vegan diet, and the increased energy and self-confidence she felt as a result.
Spring 2013: "Genetically Modified Food" High School Winner Erica Young
by Erica Young
Erica Young is a student of Jorge Muñoz at Arcadia High School in Arcadia, California. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "A Month Without Monsanto," by April Dávila. Read Erica's creative essay about how foods, like superheroes, should proudly display their logos to disclose their identities.
Spring 2013: "Genetically Modified Food" College Winner Ryan Barry
by Ryan Berry
Ryan Barry is a student of Professor Tom Hudspeth at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "A Month Without Monsanto," by April Dávila. Read Ryan's essay about his concerns surrounding the health effects of GMOs, and his recommendation to follow the European Union's lead and adopt the precautionary principle.
Spring 2013: "Genetically Modified Food" Literary Gem Author Omar Charles
by Omar Charles
Omar Charles is a student of Allison Stuart at General George A. McCall Elementary School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "A Month Without Monsanto," by April Dávila. Read Omar's essay about his realization that when it comes to fighting products that may harm people and the environment, he has to become his own hero.
Spring 2013: "Genetically Modified Food" Powerful Voice Winner Russell Chiang
by Russell Chiang
Russell Chiang is a student of Angela Halpin at Carmel Valley Middle School in San Diego, California. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "A Month Without Monsanto," by April Dávila. Read Russell's essay about how GMOs may harm one's body, and how monopolizing companies can harm the economy.
Spring 2013: "Genetically Modified Food" Literary Gem Author Constantin Metzger
by Constantin Metzger
Constantin Metzger is a student of Veronika Fröhlich at Pädagogische Hochschule University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "A Month Without Monsanto," by April Dávila. Read Constantin's essay about feeling dependent on large corporations, and his efforts to ensure that his decisions remain his own.
Spring 2013: April Dávila's Response to "Genetically Modified Food" Essay Winners
by April Dávila
April Dávila, a professional writer living and working in Los Angeles, and author of "A Month Without Monsanto," responds to essay winners of the Spring 2013 "Genetically Modified Food" writing competition.
Winter 2013: "Seeing the Unseen" Middle School Winner Sumaiyah Mustaphalli
by Sumaiyah Mustaphalli
Sumaiyah Mustaphalli is a sixth-grade student of Blakeney Miller at Orlando Science Middle School in Orlando, Florida. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "What Can Change When We Learn to See Each Other?" by Akaya Windwood. Read Sumaiyah's essay about how the smile of the young grocery bagger gave her hope for her soon-to-be-born sibling.
Winter 2013: "Seeing the Unseen" High School Winner Nizhone Hickman
by Nizhone Hickman
Nizhone Hickman is a student of Lisa Watson at Sonoran Science Academy in Tucson, Arizona. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "What Can Change When We Learn to See Each Other," by Akaya Windwood. Read Nizhone's essay about his challenge of opening up to strangers and his commitment to keep trying.