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 2016: "Every Girl's Right" Literary Gems
We received many outstanding essays for the Winter 2016 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Winter 2016: Malala Fund Team's Response to "Every Girl's Right" Essay Winners
The Malala Fund Team responds to the winners of the Winter 2016 "Every Girl's Right" writing competition.
Fall 2015 National Student Writing Competition: Justice for All
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 2015: "Justice For All" Middle School Winner Cate Landry
by Cate Landry
Cate Landry is a student at Horizons K-8 School in Boulder, Colorado. She read and responded to the onlineYES! Magazine article, "I Can't Breathe Until Everyone Can Breathe," by Gerald Mitchell. Read Cate's essay, "Stay Tuned to Change the World" about how being aware of what's in the news is the first step in the path to justice.
Fall 2015: "Justice For All" Middle School/High School Winner Amani Lazarus
by Amani Lazarus
Amani Lazarus is a middle school student at Palmetto Scholars Academy in North Charleston, South Carolina. She read and responded to the online YES! Magazine article "I Can't Breathe Until Everyone Can Breathe," by Gerald Mitchell. Read Amani's essay, "A Deafening Silence," about how we can't stand quietly while others scream in pain, that we must speak for those who have been silenced by social injustice.
Fall 2015: "Justice For All" University Winner Elizabeth Schmidt
Elizabeth Schmidt is a student at Kent State in Ohio. She read and responded to the online YES! Magazine article "I Can't Breathe Until Everyone Can Breathe," by Gerald Mitchell. Read Elizabeth's essay, "Compassionate Communities: Where Mindfulness Starts, Injustice Ends," about the importance of regaining the depth in our feelings so that we may live with awareness and connect with the rest of the world.
Fall 2015: "Justice For All" Powerful Voice Winner Naomi Blair
by Naomi Blair
Naomi Blair is a student at Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Missouri. She read and responded to the online YES! Magazine article "I Can't Breathe Until Everyone Can Breathe," by Gerald Mitchell. Read Naomi's essay, "Black Girl, White Space" about the prejudice she faces in her AP class and the experiment she is doing to expose this injustice.
Fall 2015: "Justice For All" Powerful Voice Winner Karen Jordan
by Karen Jordan
Karen Jordan is a student at a therapeutic boarding school in northwestern Montana. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine online article "I Can't Breathe Until Everyone Can Breathe," by Gerald Mitchell. Read Karen's essay, "Love: Free of Fear and Judgment," about how feeling better in her own skin has helped her see the potential in our society.
Fall 2015: "Justice for All" Literary Gems
We received many powerful essays for the Spring 2015 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Fall 2015: Gerald Mitchell's Response to "Justice for All" Essay Winners
Gerald Mitchell responds to the winners of the Fall 2015 "Justice for All" writing competition.
About the YES! National Student Writing Competition
The YES! National Student Writing Competition is a quarterly writing opportunity to respond to a thought-provoking YES! article and writing prompt. Students not only write for a real audience and boost their writing to a higher level—they also have the chance to get published by an award-winning magazine.
Spring 2015 National Student Writing Competition: Learning that Matters
by Jing Fong
Want a motivator to take your students’ writing to a higher level? Here’s an opportunity for them to write for a real audience, and the chance to get published by an award-winning magazine.
Spring 2015: "Learning That Matters" Middle School Winner Nancy Cullen
by Nancy Cullen
Nancy Cullen is a student at Ethical Culture Fieldston Middle School in New York City. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine interview with Curtis Acosta, "When This Teacher’s Ethnic Studies Classes Were Banned, His Students Took the District to Court—and Won" by Jing Fong. Read Nancy's essay about how a classroom visitor helped her share a secret with her classmates.
Spring 2015: "Learning That Matters" High School Winner Jennifer Aguilera
by Jennifer Aguilera
Jennifer Aguilera is a student at the Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan, Illinois. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine interview with Curtis Acosta, "When This Teacher’s Ethnic Studies Classes Were Banned, His Students Took the District to Court—and Won" by Jing Fong. Read Jennifer's essay about two teachers who taught her to love learning.
Spring 2015: "Learning That Matters" University Winner Chiwon Lee
by Chiwon Lee
Chiwon Lee is a student at Cascadia College in Bothell, Washington. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine interview with Curtis Acosta, "When This Teacher’s Ethnic Studies Classes Were Banned, His Students Took the District to Court—and Won" by Jing Fong. Read Chiwon's essay about how her "Making It Real" class made her feel like a superhero in training.

Also in this section

Winter 2016: "Every Girl's Right" Literary Gems
We received many outstanding essays for the Winter 2016 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Winter 2016: Malala Fund Team's Response to "Every Girl's Right" Essay Winners
The Malala Fund Team responds to the winners of the Winter 2016 "Every Girl's Right" writing competition.
Fall 2015 National Student Writing Competition: Justice for All
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 2015: "Justice For All" Middle School Winner Cate Landry
by Cate Landry
Cate Landry is a student at Horizons K-8 School in Boulder, Colorado. She read and responded to the onlineYES! Magazine article, "I Can't Breathe Until Everyone Can Breathe," by Gerald Mitchell. Read Cate's essay, "Stay Tuned to Change the World" about how being aware of what's in the news is the first step in the path to justice.
Fall 2015: "Justice For All" Middle School/High School Winner Amani Lazarus
by Amani Lazarus
Amani Lazarus is a middle school student at Palmetto Scholars Academy in North Charleston, South Carolina. She read and responded to the online YES! Magazine article "I Can't Breathe Until Everyone Can Breathe," by Gerald Mitchell. Read Amani's essay, "A Deafening Silence," about how we can't stand quietly while others scream in pain, that we must speak for those who have been silenced by social injustice.
Fall 2015: "Justice For All" University Winner Elizabeth Schmidt
Elizabeth Schmidt is a student at Kent State in Ohio. She read and responded to the online YES! Magazine article "I Can't Breathe Until Everyone Can Breathe," by Gerald Mitchell. Read Elizabeth's essay, "Compassionate Communities: Where Mindfulness Starts, Injustice Ends," about the importance of regaining the depth in our feelings so that we may live with awareness and connect with the rest of the world.
Fall 2015: "Justice For All" Powerful Voice Winner Naomi Blair
by Naomi Blair
Naomi Blair is a student at Kirkwood High School in Kirkwood, Missouri. She read and responded to the online YES! Magazine article "I Can't Breathe Until Everyone Can Breathe," by Gerald Mitchell. Read Naomi's essay, "Black Girl, White Space" about the prejudice she faces in her AP class and the experiment she is doing to expose this injustice.
Fall 2015: "Justice For All" Powerful Voice Winner Karen Jordan
by Karen Jordan
Karen Jordan is a student at a therapeutic boarding school in northwestern Montana. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine online article "I Can't Breathe Until Everyone Can Breathe," by Gerald Mitchell. Read Karen's essay, "Love: Free of Fear and Judgment," about how feeling better in her own skin has helped her see the potential in our society.
Fall 2015: "Justice for All" Literary Gems
We received many powerful essays for the Spring 2015 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Fall 2015: Gerald Mitchell's Response to "Justice for All" Essay Winners
Gerald Mitchell responds to the winners of the Fall 2015 "Justice for All" writing competition.
About the YES! National Student Writing Competition
The YES! National Student Writing Competition is a quarterly writing opportunity to respond to a thought-provoking YES! article and writing prompt. Students not only write for a real audience and boost their writing to a higher level—they also have the chance to get published by an award-winning magazine.
Spring 2015 National Student Writing Competition: Learning that Matters
by Jing Fong
Want a motivator to take your students’ writing to a higher level? Here’s an opportunity for them to write for a real audience, and the chance to get published by an award-winning magazine.
Spring 2015: "Learning That Matters" Middle School Winner Nancy Cullen
by Nancy Cullen
Nancy Cullen is a student at Ethical Culture Fieldston Middle School in New York City. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine interview with Curtis Acosta, "When This Teacher’s Ethnic Studies Classes Were Banned, His Students Took the District to Court—and Won" by Jing Fong. Read Nancy's essay about how a classroom visitor helped her share a secret with her classmates.
Spring 2015: "Learning That Matters" High School Winner Jennifer Aguilera
by Jennifer Aguilera
Jennifer Aguilera is a student at the Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in Waukegan, Illinois. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine interview with Curtis Acosta, "When This Teacher’s Ethnic Studies Classes Were Banned, His Students Took the District to Court—and Won" by Jing Fong. Read Jennifer's essay about two teachers who taught her to love learning.
Spring 2015: "Learning That Matters" University Winner Chiwon Lee
by Chiwon Lee
Chiwon Lee is a student at Cascadia College in Bothell, Washington. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine interview with Curtis Acosta, "When This Teacher’s Ethnic Studies Classes Were Banned, His Students Took the District to Court—and Won" by Jing Fong. Read Chiwon's essay about how her "Making It Real" class made her feel like a superhero in training.
Spring 2015: "Learning That Matters" Powerful Voice Winner Salma Arredondo
by Salma Arredondo
Salma Arredondo is a student at Everett Alvarez High School in Salinas, California. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine interview with Curtis Acosta, "When This Teacher’s Ethnic Studies Classes Were Banned, His Students Took the District to Court—and Won" by Jing Fong. Read Salma's essay about her experience as a Mexican American in an American English class, and how she gained the confidence to let her light shine.
Spring 2015: "Learning That Matters" Powerful Voice Winner Annabel Paul
by Annabel Paul
Annabel Paul is a student at Ethical Culture Fieldston Middle School in New York City. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine interview with Curtis Acosta, "When This Teacher’s Ethnic Studies Classes Were Banned, His Students Took the District to Court—and Won" by Jing Fong. Read Annabel's essay about why stories about transgender people should be included in the curriculum.
Spring 2015: "Learning That Matters" Powerful Voice Winner Noah Carey-Smith
by Noah Carey-Smith
Noah Carey-Smith is a student at the Aveson School of Leaders in Altadena, California. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine interview with Curtis Acosta, "When This Teacher’s Ethnic Studies Classes Were Banned, His Students Took the District to Court—and Won" by Jing Fong. Read Noah's essay about how self-directed learning inspires him to make the world a better place.
Spring 2015: "Learning That Matters" Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
We received many powerful essays for the Spring 2015 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Spring 2015: Curtis Acosta's Response to "Learning That Matters" Essay Winners
by Curtis Acosta
Curtis Acosta responds to the winners of the Spring 2015 "Learning That Matters" essay competition.