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.

Eight Brilliant Student Essays on What Matters Most in Life
Read winning essays from our spring 2019 student writing contest.
“Border (In)Security” Student Writing Lesson
Get your students writing about anti-immigrant policies and the dangers of unfair assumptions.
Eight Brilliant Student Essays on Immigration and Unjust Assumptions
Read winning essays from our winter 2019 “Border (In)Security” student writing contest.
Spring 2019 National Student Writing Competition: Three Things That Matter Most
“Feeding Ourselves, Feeding Our Revolution” Student Writing Lesson
If you were to host a potluck or dinner to discuss a challenge facing your community or country, what food would you cook? Whom would you invite? On what issue would you deliberate? 
Six Brilliant Student Essays on the Power of Food to Spark Social Change
Read winning essays from our fall 2018 “Feeding Ourselves, Feeding Our Revolutions,” student writing contest.
Winter 2019 National Student Writing Competition: Border (In)Security
Want to inspire your students to write? Here's an opportunity for them to write about their position on the U.S. border as a barrier to immigration, and what can happen when someone makes an unfair assumption about them.
Fall 2018 National Student Writing Competition: Feeding Ourselves, Feeding our Revolutions
Want to inspire your students to write? Here's an opportunity to write for an audience beyond the classroom about what food they would cook if they were to host a potluck or dinner to discuss a challenge facing their community or country.
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.

Also in this section

Eight Brilliant Student Essays on What Matters Most in Life
Read winning essays from our spring 2019 student writing contest.
“Border (In)Security” Student Writing Lesson
Get your students writing about anti-immigrant policies and the dangers of unfair assumptions.
Eight Brilliant Student Essays on Immigration and Unjust Assumptions
Read winning essays from our winter 2019 “Border (In)Security” student writing contest.
Spring 2019 National Student Writing Competition: Three Things That Matter Most
“Feeding Ourselves, Feeding Our Revolution” Student Writing Lesson
If you were to host a potluck or dinner to discuss a challenge facing your community or country, what food would you cook? Whom would you invite? On what issue would you deliberate? 
Six Brilliant Student Essays on the Power of Food to Spark Social Change
Read winning essays from our fall 2018 “Feeding Ourselves, Feeding Our Revolutions,” student writing contest.
Winter 2019 National Student Writing Competition: Border (In)Security
Want to inspire your students to write? Here's an opportunity for them to write about their position on the U.S. border as a barrier to immigration, and what can happen when someone makes an unfair assumption about them.
Fall 2018 National Student Writing Competition: Feeding Ourselves, Feeding our Revolutions
Want to inspire your students to write? Here's an opportunity to write for an audience beyond the classroom about what food they would cook if they were to host a potluck or dinner to discuss a challenge facing their community or country.
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.