Maniac Monday: Writing Contests for Kids
April 19, 2010 in Elementary Educators, High School Teachers, Journal Writing, Maniac Mondays, Middle School Teachers, six traits of writing, Writing Skills Tags: kids writing, writing contests for kids, young writers
On Saturday, April 24, I am involved in a very exciting event in St. Peters, Missouri with a writing group I belong to–Saturday Writers. Every year, we sponsor free writing contests for kids and teens; and this Saturday, we hand out the awards. Basically, we have a short story/poetry contest for third and fourth graders in St. Charles, Lincoln, and Warren counties (in Missouri) and a short story contest for teenagers in the same counties. This year, we had 129 entries for the elementary students and close to 100 for the teens. How exciting! But what’s even more exciting is when I get a call or e-mail from parents or teachers, telling me how excited their students or children are to have received first place or honorable mention or even the participation award. These students wrote pieces from their hearts, took them through to their final drafts, entered them for someone else to read, and then felt validation (I am assuming) when they are awarded something for their efforts. And I have to hope that in this bunch of kids and teens, we are creating some life-long writers with Saturday Writers writing contests for kids!
I remember a writing contest I entered in second grade. Is it what led to my love of writing now? The writing contest was to write a cheer for our school mascot–the Dressel Dragons. I wrote one, turned it in at the office, and the student body voted on it. (I can’t ever imagine putting my writing through a vote now–but back then, what did I know?) Do you want to hear my award-winning, first-place cheer? I can still remember it!! Hey kids, listen here./ We’ve got a school that’s hard to beat!/ And we’ve got teachers who are super neat!/ So come on over and stomp your feet./ Yay! Dressel Dragons, yay! So, what do you think? The point is I entered a writing contest for kids, actually won, and today I can’t imagine doing anything else besides writing with my life.
As teachers and parents, we often see or receive notices of writing contests for kids, and we just kind of push them aside. Have you ever thought: We don’t have time for this writing contest. My kids don’t like to write. How will these students ever be able to write 1,000 words? I guess my point is that although you can’t do every writing contest that comes your way and neither can your students, it would be great if we gave them the opportunity to enter a few throughout the year–possibly in different genres. Work them into your language arts curriculum. Look for writing contests in the summer when you want your children/students to practice their skills. We just never know what getting an honorable mention certificate might do for a child’s self-confidence or even future.
Here are some contests to check out. Please read all the guidelines and rules yourself before entering your students or children into these contests:
If you know of any writing contests for kids in your area or nationwide, feel free to leave a link or description in the comments. Thanks!