Writing Contests for Adults and Children

What’s the Story? from SRA/McGraw-Hill is a national writing contest for teachers to win the chance to be published as part of an SRA reading program.
SRA is seeking creative, original, and imaginative stories and poems (fiction and nonfiction) written for students in Grades Pre-K–6—anything you think your own students would enjoy reading.
Story winners will receive a cash prize of $1,000. Poem winners will receive a cash prize of $500. The deadline for entries is December 31, 2006.
I doubt if the term “teacher” includes homeschool teachers, but those who are former public or private school teachers and who enjoy writing should enter.

The Old Schoolhouse, a homeschooling magazine, is sponsoring a short story contest. The deadline is November 1, 2006, and there’s a $7.00 entry fee.

Olive Garden restaurant is asking students in first through twelfth grade: “If you could create a new holiday, what would you name it and how would it be celebrated?” Answers could be worth a trip to New York and a $2,500 savings bond, as part of Olive Garden’s 11th-annual Pasta Tales writing contest.
From Oct. 2 through Dec. 1, Olive Garden will accept essays of 50 to 250 words from students in the U.S. and Canada. Entry forms and complete rules will be available beginning Oct. 2 at local Olive Garden restaurants or by logging on to the Olive Garden website.
The grand prize is a trip to New York, dinner at the Olive Garden in Times Square and a $2,500 savings bond. A winner also will be chosen in each grade category and will receive a $500 savings bond and dinner with their family at their local Olive Garden.

Delacorte Press offers the prize of a book contract for a hardcover and a paperback edition, including an advance and royalties, awarded annually to encourage the writing of a novel of contemporary young adult fiction. Each award consists of $1,500 in cash and a $7,500 advance against royalties.

The Trollope Society has established an annual short story competition. The emphasis is on reading – and writing – for fun.
The worldwide competition is open to students twenty-one and younger. The winner receives a cheque for £1,000 ($1,750 USD) and his or her story is published in the Society’s journal, Trollopiana.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with Target Stores and in cooperation with affiliate state centers for the book, invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to enter Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre– fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or themselves. There are three competition levels: Level I for children in grades 4 through 6; Level II for grades 7 and 8, and Level III, grades 9 – 12. Winners receive cash awards at the national and state levels.

I happen to think contests are a wonderful way to motivate students to write—and even adults can use some motivation sometimes. So write that short story or YA novel, and send it in. Be sure and come to tell me if you (or one of your children) win any of these contests.

I’m adding this post to the Works-for-Me Wednesday list. Mosey on over to Rocks in my Dryer to find out how to make coke roast and to look at a list of links to lots of other nifty ideas.

4 thoughts on “Writing Contests for Adults and Children

  1. Umm, the Delacore press one is long over – though I suppose one could get a start on next year. And what’s the deal with the slew of “no prizewinner” for many years?

  2. Well, we’re both half right. I looked at the dates for the YA novel contest, and the deadline there is December 31, 2006. I asumed the dates for the children’s fiction were the same, but not. You”re right. That one is over. I’ve edited my post to give the right information.

    Thanks for pointing it out.

  3. Contests are wonderful for kids! My 7yos just won a history story contest sponsored by author Jennifer Armstrong, and the prize is her new book, autographed, which the entire family is excited about.

    Jennifer’s planning monthly contests on her website,
    http://www.jennifer-armstrong.com/contest.htm . I know one is for storytelling/writing and the other is a history knowledge quiz.

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