YES! National Student Writing Competition

An opportunity for students to write for an audience beyond the classroom, and personally reflect on topics that impact them and their world.

 

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.

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 2018: "Letters of Hope" Middle School Winner Lucy Shuler-Morgan
Read Lucy's letter to Emma González, activist and survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, about how González inspires countless kids like her who sometimes feel they are too young to make a difference in the world.
Spring 2018: "Letters of Hope" High School Winner Charlotte Wagner
Read Charlotte's letter to Mary Magdalene about how she's working to make sure the stories and struggles of women like her will be truthfully told and recognized.
Spring 2018: "Letters of Hope" University Winner Carly Nelson
Read Carly's letter to her friend Peach about the paradox of support systems and finding hope from those who share struggles of being disabled and fighting bureaucracy.
Spring 2018: "Letters of Hope" Powerful Voice Winner Malena Vargas Sáez
Read Malena's essay, "The Righteous Path of María the Sage," a letter to her grandmother that seeks to harness her strength and resilience in order to overcome today's corrupt and turbulent times.
Spring 2018: "Letters of Hope" Literary Gems
We received many outstanding essays for the Spring 2018 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Carolina De Robertis Response to "Letters of Hope" Essay Winners
Carolina De Robertis responds to the winners of our Spring 2018 Student Writing Competition.
Spring 2018 National Student Writing Competition: Letters of Hope
For the 2018 spring writing competition, students will write a letter to someone they look up to, describing a future they imagine and hope for our country.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" Middle School Winner Eva Vallier
Read Eva’s essay, “Stolen Stories,” about longing to hear her family’s stories about the Japanese internment and experiencing the weight of history.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" High School Winner Alejandra Wagnon
Read Alejandra’s essay, “Broken Mirror,” about the challenge of living up to people's expectations and wanting to be true to one’s self.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" University Winner Remy Stewart
Read Remy’s essay, “To Walk the World on Trembling Legs,” about traveling while disabled and disrupting the notion of "go as you please" that many take for granted.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" Powerful Voice Winner Rhys Hardiman-Mostow
Read Rhys's essay, "A Break From Racism," about standing up to racism as a young Black woman with big dreams.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" Powerful Voice Winner Jake Hill
Read Jake’s essay, “Kayla,” about the experience of unexpected loss and learning to trust the journey.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" Powerful Voice Winner Heriberto Nava
Read Heriberto’s essay, “Same Dreams, Different President,” about using the power of his voice to stand up for immigrants and DACA recipients, especially those he holds close.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" Literary Gems
We received many outstanding essays for the Winter 2018 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.

Also in this section

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 2018: "Letters of Hope" Middle School Winner Lucy Shuler-Morgan
Read Lucy's letter to Emma González, activist and survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, about how González inspires countless kids like her who sometimes feel they are too young to make a difference in the world.
Spring 2018: "Letters of Hope" High School Winner Charlotte Wagner
Read Charlotte's letter to Mary Magdalene about how she's working to make sure the stories and struggles of women like her will be truthfully told and recognized.
Spring 2018: "Letters of Hope" University Winner Carly Nelson
Read Carly's letter to her friend Peach about the paradox of support systems and finding hope from those who share struggles of being disabled and fighting bureaucracy.
Spring 2018: "Letters of Hope" Powerful Voice Winner Malena Vargas Sáez
Read Malena's essay, "The Righteous Path of María the Sage," a letter to her grandmother that seeks to harness her strength and resilience in order to overcome today's corrupt and turbulent times.
Spring 2018: "Letters of Hope" Literary Gems
We received many outstanding essays for the Spring 2018 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Carolina De Robertis Response to "Letters of Hope" Essay Winners
Carolina De Robertis responds to the winners of our Spring 2018 Student Writing Competition.
Spring 2018 National Student Writing Competition: Letters of Hope
For the 2018 spring writing competition, students will write a letter to someone they look up to, describing a future they imagine and hope for our country.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" Middle School Winner Eva Vallier
Read Eva’s essay, “Stolen Stories,” about longing to hear her family’s stories about the Japanese internment and experiencing the weight of history.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" High School Winner Alejandra Wagnon
Read Alejandra’s essay, “Broken Mirror,” about the challenge of living up to people's expectations and wanting to be true to one’s self.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" University Winner Remy Stewart
Read Remy’s essay, “To Walk the World on Trembling Legs,” about traveling while disabled and disrupting the notion of "go as you please" that many take for granted.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" Powerful Voice Winner Rhys Hardiman-Mostow
Read Rhys's essay, "A Break From Racism," about standing up to racism as a young Black woman with big dreams.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" Powerful Voice Winner Jake Hill
Read Jake’s essay, “Kayla,” about the experience of unexpected loss and learning to trust the journey.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" Powerful Voice Winner Heriberto Nava
Read Heriberto’s essay, “Same Dreams, Different President,” about using the power of his voice to stand up for immigrants and DACA recipients, especially those he holds close.
Winter 2018: "Less Stuff, More Heart" Literary Gems
We received many outstanding essays for the Winter 2018 Writing Competition. Though not every participant can win the contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Christopher Zumski Finke's Response to “Less Stuff, More Heart” Essay Winners
Christopher Zumski Finke responds to the winners of our Winter 2018 Student Writing Competition.
Fall 2017 National Student Writing Competition: Standing Up for Our Neighbors
Want to inspire your students to write? Here's an opportunity to write about something meaningful and for an audience beyond the classroom.
Fall 2017: "Standing Up for Our Neighbors" Middle School Winner Ruby Rose Coney Wynne-Jones
Read Ruby's essay, "It Would Mean the World to Me," about not labeling students with dyslexia as stupid and instead getting them the help they need.
Fall 2017: "Standing Up for Our Neighbors" High School Winner Adithi Ramakrishnan
Read Adithi's essay, "Escaping the 'Other' Side," about embracing both her Indian and American roots—and how to get beyond unfriendly stares in public.
Fall 2017: "Standing Up for Our Neighbors" University Winner Amber Huff
Read Amber's essay, "To Know Her is to Love Her," about what she found beneath the hoodie and ink-stained knuckles of a new library visitor.