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.

"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.
"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.
"Your Dream House" Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
Though not every participant can win the Fall 2012 writing contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Dee Williams Response to Fall 2012 Essay Winners
by Dee Williams
Dee Williams, who downsized from a three-bedroom to an 84-square-foot house, responds to essay winners of the Fall 2012 writing competition.
"Your Dream House" High School Winner Ritika Mazumder
by Ritika Mazumder
Ritika Mazumder is a student at Houston High School in Germantown, Tennessee. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Living Large in a Tiny House," by Carol Estes. Read Ritika's essay about her desire to have a smaller home as long as she can spend time with the people she lives with.
"Your Dream House" Middle School Winner Rowan Treece
by Rowan Treece
Rowan Treece is a student at Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Living Large in a Tiny House" by Carol Estes. Read Rowan's essay about the sustainable dance community home she would build so she could live with her ballet sisters every day and save the planet.
"Your Dream House" Powerful Voice Winner Paw Soe
by Paw Soe
Paw Soe is a student at New Tech Academy at Wayne High School. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Living Large in a Tiny House," by Carol Estes. Read Paw's essay about how her Burmese roots taught her that no matter the size of your home, an abundant garden is essential.
"Your Dream House" College Winner Chris Harrell
by Chris Harrell
Chris Harrell is a student at Appalachian State University. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Living Large in a Tiny House" by Carol Estes. Read Chris's essay about how growing up in Kenya influenced his conscious choice to live intentionally here in the States.
Author Response to Spring 2012 Essay Winners
by Katherine Gustafson
Katherine Gustafson, author of YES! Magazine article, "You Are Who You Eat With," responds to the winners of the Spring 2012 writing competition.
"Eating Together" College Winner Willis Reed
by Willis Reed
Willis Reed is a student at Edmonds Community College and a member of the King County Explorer Search and Rescue. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "You Are Who You Eat With" by Katherine Gustafson. Read Willis's essay about brotherhood forged around the dinner table.
"Eating Together" Middle School Winner Kate LeBlanc
by Kate LeBlanc
Kate LeBlanc is a seventh grade student at Metro Montessori Middle School in Portland, Oregon. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "You Are Who You Eat With" by Katherine Gustafson. Read Kate's essay about lessons learned at the table.
"Eating Together" Powerful Voice Winner Hanna Walker
by Hanna Walker
Hanna Walker is an eighth grade student at Cowles Montessori in Des Moines, Iowa. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "You Are Who You Eat With" by Katherine Gustafson. Read Hanna's essay about how the dinner table brings together more than just people.
"Eating Together" High School Winner Clara Lincoln
by Clara Lincoln
Clara Lincoln is a high school student at Capital City Charter School in Washington, DC. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "You Are Who You Eat With" by Katherine Gustafson. Read Clara's essay about the benefits of family dinners - no matter what form they take.
"The Ethics of Hunting" High School Winner Johnny Bobo
by Johnny Bobo
Johnny Bobo is a student at Federal Hocking High School in Guysville, OH. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "What's the Harm in Hunting" by Alyssa Johnson. Read Johnny's essay about responsible hunting.
Author Response to "The Ethics of Hunting" Essay Winners
by Alyssa Johnson
Alyssa Johnson responds to the winners of the Winter 2012 YES! National Student Writing Competition.

Also in this section

"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.
"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.
"Your Dream House" Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
Though not every participant can win the Fall 2012 writing contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Dee Williams Response to Fall 2012 Essay Winners
by Dee Williams
Dee Williams, who downsized from a three-bedroom to an 84-square-foot house, responds to essay winners of the Fall 2012 writing competition.
"Your Dream House" High School Winner Ritika Mazumder
by Ritika Mazumder
Ritika Mazumder is a student at Houston High School in Germantown, Tennessee. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Living Large in a Tiny House," by Carol Estes. Read Ritika's essay about her desire to have a smaller home as long as she can spend time with the people she lives with.
"Your Dream House" Middle School Winner Rowan Treece
by Rowan Treece
Rowan Treece is a student at Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Living Large in a Tiny House" by Carol Estes. Read Rowan's essay about the sustainable dance community home she would build so she could live with her ballet sisters every day and save the planet.
"Your Dream House" Powerful Voice Winner Paw Soe
by Paw Soe
Paw Soe is a student at New Tech Academy at Wayne High School. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Living Large in a Tiny House," by Carol Estes. Read Paw's essay about how her Burmese roots taught her that no matter the size of your home, an abundant garden is essential.
"Your Dream House" College Winner Chris Harrell
by Chris Harrell
Chris Harrell is a student at Appalachian State University. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Living Large in a Tiny House" by Carol Estes. Read Chris's essay about how growing up in Kenya influenced his conscious choice to live intentionally here in the States.
Author Response to Spring 2012 Essay Winners
by Katherine Gustafson
Katherine Gustafson, author of YES! Magazine article, "You Are Who You Eat With," responds to the winners of the Spring 2012 writing competition.
"Eating Together" College Winner Willis Reed
by Willis Reed
Willis Reed is a student at Edmonds Community College and a member of the King County Explorer Search and Rescue. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "You Are Who You Eat With" by Katherine Gustafson. Read Willis's essay about brotherhood forged around the dinner table.
"Eating Together" Middle School Winner Kate LeBlanc
by Kate LeBlanc
Kate LeBlanc is a seventh grade student at Metro Montessori Middle School in Portland, Oregon. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "You Are Who You Eat With" by Katherine Gustafson. Read Kate's essay about lessons learned at the table.
"Eating Together" Powerful Voice Winner Hanna Walker
by Hanna Walker
Hanna Walker is an eighth grade student at Cowles Montessori in Des Moines, Iowa. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "You Are Who You Eat With" by Katherine Gustafson. Read Hanna's essay about how the dinner table brings together more than just people.
"Eating Together" High School Winner Clara Lincoln
by Clara Lincoln
Clara Lincoln is a high school student at Capital City Charter School in Washington, DC. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "You Are Who You Eat With" by Katherine Gustafson. Read Clara's essay about the benefits of family dinners - no matter what form they take.
"The Ethics of Hunting" High School Winner Johnny Bobo
by Johnny Bobo
Johnny Bobo is a student at Federal Hocking High School in Guysville, OH. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "What's the Harm in Hunting" by Alyssa Johnson. Read Johnny's essay about responsible hunting.
Author Response to "The Ethics of Hunting" Essay Winners
by Alyssa Johnson
Alyssa Johnson responds to the winners of the Winter 2012 YES! National Student Writing Competition.
"The Ethics of Hunting" Powerful Voice Winner Lisa Schwartz
by Lisa Schwartz
Lisa Schwartz is a high school student at Presentation Academy in Louisville, KY. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "What's the Harm in Hunting" by Alyssa Johnson. Read Lisa's essay about changing her opinions on hunting.
"The Ethics of Hunting" Middle School Winner Stro Hastings
by Stro Hastings
Stro Hastings is a middle school student at Mountain Sun Community School in Brevard, NC. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "What's the Harm in Hunting" by Alyssa Johnson. Read Stro's essay about hunting fair.
"The Ethics of Hunting" College Winner Jenny Courtney
by Jenny Courtney
Jenny Courtney is a student at American River College in Sacramento, CA. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "What's the Harm in Hunting" by Alyssa Johnson. Read Jenny's essay about meat production and hunting.
"Bridging Differences" Writing Competition Literary Gems
by Jing Fong
Exceptional excerpts from essays submitted to the Fall 2011 YES! National Student Writing Competition
Author Response to "Bridging Differences" Essay Winners
by Kate Sheppard
Kate Sheppard, author of, "Why My Dad's Going Green," responds to the winning essays of the Fall 2011 writing competition.