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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 Literary Gems Winter 2014 Literary Gems
We received many powerful essays for the Winter 2014 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Winter 2014 Powerful Voice Winner Jay Hagstrom Winter 2014 Powerful Voice Winner 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 Powerful Voice Winner Cheyanne Smith Winter 2014 Powerful Voice Winner Cheyanne 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 Powerful Voice Winner Audrey Cameron Winter 2014 Powerful Voice Winner 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 College Winner Blaine Stine Winter 2014 College Winner 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.
Winter 2014 High School Winner Jim Xie Winter 2014 High School Winner 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.
Winter 2014 Middle School Winner Karla Gomez Winter 2014 Middle School Winner 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.
Fall 2013 Literary Gems Fall 2013 Literary Gems
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 Fall 2013 Essay Winners Simon Okelo's Response to Fall 2013 Essay Winners
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 writing competition.
Fall 2013 High School Winner Spencer Reed Fall 2013 High School Winner 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 Middle School Winner Annika Holliday Fall 2013 Middle School Winner 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 College Winner Sana Naz Fall 2013 College Winner 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 Powerful Voice Winner Nick Young Fall 2013 Powerful Voice Winner 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.
Spring 2013 Literary Gem Constantin Metzger Spring 2013 Literary Gem 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 Literary Gem Omar Charles Spring 2013 Literary Gem 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.
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