An Opportunity for Young Writers

Today, I want to pass on an opportunity for teachers who work with students on their creative writing. Unfortunately, I will not be able to take advantage of this chance to submit student work, but maybe some of you can.

Right now, I do not have a group of writers. I am wondering about the logistics of having such a group in the near future again. My last “group” consisted of two students this summer for an eight-week session on creative writing. Unfortunately, I am having trouble finding venues for such a group. I used the public library’s community room this summer but through a series of miscommunications, I was told that although I reserved it, the space was not free because I had charged my students. This was the first time that I ever charged a fee ($25.00 each for eight weeks) to be in one of my enrichment groups. I’ve run these groups in the past through the school system and never charged a cent. I served over 600+ students over 15 years. I thought it was time to be paid for my knowledge and services and time. Let me be clear, I do not think anyone is disputing that but, the library is not an option due to use fees associated with their community room. I might be able to offer a group through our community center. I am looking into applying to use that option. If you have other ideas, please let me know in the comments.

The second reason I cannot take advantage of this opportunity for young writers is that the deadlines are too close. Both contests open now end on February 11, 2022. Since I do not even have a group, that is something I cannot even consider. On the other hand, it is a full month away for those of you that already have students at your disposal.

But, I did something else. I contacted the group running the contests. I asked if as a community educator, I could still have students submit work and use their submission portal for future contests. They got back to me this morning and what I asked is entirely possible with verifying my contact information and the age of students I work with (3rd – 8th grade). This sets me up for future student contests. Their response shows their receptivity to engagement in the opportunities they are providing.

I realize that writing with students is an ongoing process during the course of a year and through the formative years in their K-12 education as well. This is why I am passing the opportunity on to those of you that are currently teaching and might be able to use this information for your students. I know that even during these tough times there are students that need and crave more. This is what I’ve always tried to provide – enrichment for those above benchmark students, gifted students, and/or extremely motivated students.

Go to: https://youngwritersusa.com/ for more.

The two contests they currently have open are:

  1. This Is Me for elementary students
  2. Empowered for middle and high school students.

Submissions can be through their portal or hard copies can be sent (I was told via email this morning that they allow a limited time for the entries to reach them following the deadline). But, I would recommend confirming that yourself before you send any close to the deadline.

Lastly, I have never used this organization for submitting student writing. However, I do know that working towards something like a possible publication is very motivating for some students. Of the 36 writers circle students I had in the past 33 were published through another compilation. Those students were so very proud that their work was in a book!

Some might gaffe at this way of motivating or sharing student work but even if the organizations are not the best in terms of literary prowess or thought to be out just to make money by selling books that contain student work, the students do benefit from having an externally motivating source.

Pixabay. Free for use licensing.

Today is Slice of Life Tuesday. I thank TWOWRITINGTEACHERS.ORG for developing and continuing to host a welcoming and supportive community of writers each Tuesday throughout the year.

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