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.

"Digital Empathy" Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
We received many powerful essays for the Fall 2014 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
"Restorative Justice" Powerful Voice Winner Sohee Lee
by Sohee Lee
Sohee Lee is a student at A.K. Academics. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Sohee's essay that brings topics like ethnicity and self-confidence into the conversation of discipline and dignity.
"Restorative Justice" Powerful Voice Winner Kayla Rice
by Kayla Rice
Kayla Rice is a student at the Peace and Justice Academy in Pasadena, California. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Kayla's essay that provides an example of a situation that failed to properly use restorative justice and why that was harmful.
"Restorative Justice" College Winner Matt Flagg
by Matt Flagg
Matt Flagg is a student at Cascadia Community College at Bothell, Washington. He responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Matt's essay about the injustices a childhood friend endured and why he felt students didn't stand up for him.
"Restorative Justice" High School Winner Simone Phillips
by Simone Phillips
Simone Phillps is an incoming freshman at Fordham University in New York City, NY. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Simone's essay that illustrates the unnecessary hardships caused by the injustice of the punitive system.
"Restorative Justice" Middle School Winner Reagan Elliff
by Reagan Elliff
Reagan Elliff is a student at the Wildflower Open Classroom in Chico, California. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Reagan's essay about how her karate skills helped her classmate get the support he needed.
Fania Davis' Response to "Restorative Justice" Essay Winners
by Fania Davis
Fania Davis, co-founder and executive director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, responds to the winners of the Spring 2014 "Restorative Justice" essay competition.
"Restorative Justice" Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
We received many powerful essays for the Spring 2014 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"Support for Veterans" College Winner Blaine Stine
by William Blaine Stine
Blaine Stine is a student at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. He responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country," by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Blaine's letter that uses the word "silence" to convey a powerful message to the soldier.
"Support for Veterans" High School Winner Jim Xie
by Jim Xie
Jim Xie is a student at Pierre Elliot Trudeau High School in Markham, Ontario. He responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country," by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Jim's letter highlighting the unimaginable hardships of war and his gratitude towards veterans.

Also in this section

"Digital Empathy" Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
We received many powerful essays for the Fall 2014 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
"Restorative Justice" Powerful Voice Winner Sohee Lee
by Sohee Lee
Sohee Lee is a student at A.K. Academics. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Sohee's essay that brings topics like ethnicity and self-confidence into the conversation of discipline and dignity.
"Restorative Justice" Powerful Voice Winner Kayla Rice
by Kayla Rice
Kayla Rice is a student at the Peace and Justice Academy in Pasadena, California. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Kayla's essay that provides an example of a situation that failed to properly use restorative justice and why that was harmful.
"Restorative Justice" College Winner Matt Flagg
by Matt Flagg
Matt Flagg is a student at Cascadia Community College at Bothell, Washington. He responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Matt's essay about the injustices a childhood friend endured and why he felt students didn't stand up for him.
"Restorative Justice" High School Winner Simone Phillips
by Simone Phillips
Simone Phillps is an incoming freshman at Fordham University in New York City, NY. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Simone's essay that illustrates the unnecessary hardships caused by the injustice of the punitive system.
"Restorative Justice" Middle School Winner Reagan Elliff
by Reagan Elliff
Reagan Elliff is a student at the Wildflower Open Classroom in Chico, California. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Where Dignity is Part of the School Day," by Fania Davis. Read Reagan's essay about how her karate skills helped her classmate get the support he needed.
Fania Davis' Response to "Restorative Justice" Essay Winners
by Fania Davis
Fania Davis, co-founder and executive director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, responds to the winners of the Spring 2014 "Restorative Justice" essay competition.
"Restorative Justice" Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
We received many powerful essays for the Spring 2014 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"Support for Veterans" College Winner Blaine Stine
by William Blaine Stine
Blaine Stine is a student at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa, Oklahoma. He responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country," by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Blaine's letter that uses the word "silence" to convey a powerful message to the soldier.
"Support for Veterans" High School Winner Jim Xie
by Jim Xie
Jim Xie is a student at Pierre Elliot Trudeau High School in Markham, Ontario. He responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country," by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Jim's letter highlighting the unimaginable hardships of war and his gratitude towards veterans.
"Support for Veterans" Middle School Winner Karla Gomez
by Karla Gomez
Karla Gomez is a student at ASTEC Middle School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Heal the Warrior, Heal the Country," by Dr. Edward Tick. Read Karla's letter that discusses ethnicity and the sense of belonging to a country.
"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.
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.
"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.
"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.