photo credit: pixabay
Oh, snow owls, your beautiful sound
from the heavens lets light
through the clouds in the sunset.
Snow owls, when you rise at the dawn of winter,
your wings shimmer from the frosty bits
and you fly like a dove.
You are as majestic as an eagle,
soaring in the salty breeze.
Your eyes are like diamonds floating in the angry sea,
a tsunami of delighted sadness
trapped in a cage of anger.
Your feathers are like snow
falling from the dusk of twilight.
stay in the heavens of midnight.
by Eva, 3rd grade
My best Christmas was two years ago because somebody my dad knew from work invited us to his apartment to celebrate. When my dad and I got to the apartment, we marveled that it was so pretty. All the decorations were nice because the guy my dad knew from work put a lot of effort into them. Decorations were all over the apartment. There were candles, presents, lights, and lots of food. My dad and I sat on the sofa. We met some people at the party who we didn’t know, friends and relatives of our host. All of us ate chicken sandwiches and drank sodas. I couldn’t help staring at the tree and how it was decorated with lights, ornaments, a star on top, and especially, presents underneath.
When it was time to open the presents, everybody did, except me and my dad because our host didn’t get us any, and his guests didn’t know us. So you might think that I was sad. But here’s the best part of all: a lady at the party gave me a present. She went to her room and came back and gave me a present! I opened the present, and it was a shirt, and it fit, and I thanked her because she gave me a present. I didn’t know her, but she was nice to me. To tell the truth, I prefer a Wii or Xbox game for a gift rather than a shirt. My dad didn’t care about himself. He was happy that I got a present. My dad felt as good as I did.
When it was at 12 o’clock, it was time for my dad and me to go. When we got back home, my dad and I went to sleep. The next day I wore the shirt.
By Onasis Rodriguez, 8th Grade
This essay was written by a WITS student a number of years ago but remains a favorite. We thought we’d re-share it with you today.
Light the glittering candles
Chant the ancient prayers
Spin the colorful dreidels
Eat the crunchy latkes
Sing a holiday song
Remember a Jewish miracle
Tear open a hundred gifts!
Is your teen looking for something to do over winter break? They could be writing original work and submitting to these amazing publishing opportunities.
ONE TEEN STORY
ONE TEEN STORY is an award-winning quarterly literary magazine that features the work of today’s best teen writers (ages 13 to 19). One Teen Story is looking for stories about the teen experience, especially dealing with issues of identity, friendship, family, and coming-of-age. They publish 4 stories a year, with subscribers receiving one great short story at a time in print or on their digital devices. Submissions are free and open from now until May. Read more here.
The Claremont Review publishes the best poetry, short stories, short plays, visual art, and photography by young adults (ages 13 to 19) from anywhere in the English speaking world. They publish work in many styles that range from traditional to modern, preferring pieces that explore real characters and reveal authentic emotion. Submissions are free and open from now until April 30th.
The Claremont Review also hosts an Annual Art and Writing Contest for contestants aged 13-19, with prizes of up to $1,000 CAD. Submissions open in January and should be postmarked by March 15th. Read more here.
2017 Foster-Harris Prizes for Young Writers
The University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, in recognition of the Professional Writing Program’s 65th anniversary in the college, invites submissions for the 2017 Foster-Harris Prizes for Young Writers. Two $500 awards will be given, one for a short story of up to 1000 words by a high school student and another for a short story of up to 2000 words by an undergraduate student. There is no entry fee.
The University of Oklahoma’s Professional Writing Program offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees focused on creative writing for publication, including fantasy, horror, mystery, suspense, romance, and other popular fiction genres, as well as screenwriting and commercial nonfiction. The program focuses on building a writing career by learning the business of publishing while studying creative writing under award-winning, best-selling professors with long and successful publication histories. For more information, click here.
Entrants will retain all rights to their entries. Entries must include a header with the student’s name, school, and email address. They should use a 12-point font and be formatted with one-inch margins and page numbers.
To submit, email the story as a Microsoft Word attachment to Harris.PrizeATouDOTedu.
Students currently enrolled in a U.S. high school, grades 9-12, should use this header:
Harris Prize for High School Students
Students currently enrolled as an undergraduate in a U.S. college or university should use this header: Harris Prize for Undergraduate Students
Entries must be received by March 1, 2017 at noon. Winners will be announced in May 2017.
Mary Anna Evans, Assistant Professor
Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications
University of Oklahoma
For further information on Harris Prize, email Harris.Prize@ou.edu
For information on the Professional Writing program, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The outside of the house has bright red bricks and dark green tiles on the roof. Her path to the front door is so pretty. It has all kinds of rocks that are yellow and orange. Her front porch has a long swing where at least three people can fit. Her swing is hard as a rock, with flowers all over it, all a different color. It’s the only place where I can calm down and just relax. Her backyard is gigantic. She has her vegetable garden there: tomatoes, green beans, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, onion, and potatoes.
I can smell flowers, chicken soup, lemonade, and my favorite perfume: Chanel No. 5. All of these smells will never leave her house. Even when we clean her house and spray different things, these smells never leave. I will always remember these smells. Even though they are just scents, these scents can also have memories.
I can hear bird calls. Each time is different. I think they are singing, but really they’re just talking to each other. I can hear the leaves rustling whenever the wind is strong. I can hear the squirrels running around and playing, and sometimes it sounds like they are laughing. My grandma’s house is never silent and is always talking.
I can feel the warmth from the oven whenever my grandma is baking cake or cookies. I can feel the porcelain dolls my grandma collected. I can feel the love my grandma gives me, and anyone who enters her house can feel it, too.
I always water the flowers whenever my grandma can’t. I like playing with the mysterious cat that comes to visit me. I also like playing with my best friends, the twins Liliana and Eva. Even though I can’t sit on my grandma’s lap like I used to, I sit next to her on her favorite couch and we talk for hours. I can never bear when we have to leave and come back to Houston, but there is always another summer vacation.
Hamilton Middle School
Soapbox Youth Nonfiction Slam
Date: December 3, 2016
Location: Morris Frank Library | 10103 Fondren Rd, Houston, TX 77035
Join the WITS Youth Advisory Council on Saturday, December 3rd, at 2pm at the Morris Frank Library for the Soapbox Nonfiction Slam. This event is free and open to youth ages 13-19. Bring your most interesting holiday story to share (5 minutes max) and wear your best holiday sweater. Prizes for the best stories!
RSVP to email@example.com
Call for submissions from teen writers in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico!
Who: Voices, a regional arts and literary journal published annually by students and faculty at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.
What: Imaginative, original works of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, art, and drama from high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico!
When: Submit by December 2, 2016
Why: If accepted, students work will be published in a university journal
Fiction: Short Stories or Flash Fiction of up to 3000 words
Creative Nonfiction: Essays or Flash Nonfiction of up to 3000 words
Poetry: Up to 4 to 5 poems (50-line maximum for each poem)
Drama: One act plays of up to 2000 words
Art: Entries must be submitted as a .jpeg. Initial submissions may be at 72 dpi, but if accepted, the artist agrees to supply a 300 dpi version of the submission.
REGIONAL STUDENTS- send email submissions to:voicesATmwsuDOTedu
Please include your genre in the subject line of the email.
MIDWESTERN STATE STUDENTS- please visit the Submissions page at mwsu.info/voices and fill out the online submission form.
For more information, click here.
I’m thankful for the sunshine and for food.
I’m thankful for warm weather, for clouds and for
I don’t like getting shots, I don’t like cheese,
And I Hate frogs!
by Delila, 1st grade
When I’m old enough to vote,
I’m going to vote with my feet,
my head, my heart, my voice,
my thoughts, my dreams.
I’m going to vote like I mean it.
By Ni’cole, 4th grade
#NaNoWriMo sounds like nonsense, right? But it’s a real thing — November is National Novel Writing Month — and there’s a version of the project retooled especially for young writers and their teachers. You can think of NaNoWriMo as a boot camp to help writers at any level produce a first draft of a novel in 30 days. Participation is free and so much fun. Check out the Young Writers Project.
As I look at the twists
and turns in your palm,
I see something,
something more than lines,
like a virus worming its
deeper into your veins,
riding them to your
Another hill is like a
weakness, trying to hide
until it is strong,
hiding in those little
creases, just waiting for
the right time to show itself.
But you will love-I see
it deep in your heart,
waiting for your future.
by Katie, 3rd grade
Oppression is a steaming kettle pot
in an endless black hole.
The steaming kettle pot
just like a human
holds the pressure of oppression.
Oppression is a steaming kettle pot
in an endless black hole
until you decide to let it go.
The streaming kettle pot will have no more
pressure to hold on to.
The black hole will finally have an end.
The end of something
is the beginning of something
new and beautiful.
By Jonathan, Hamilton Middle
The lamp light sounds like jazz.
Purple feels like soft lavender.
The future tastes like sweet honey.
Moonlight smells like deodorant.
A bee’s buzz is the color yellow.
Pop music is the color baby pink mixed with baby blue and purple.
A viola’s sound tastes like a chocolate strawberry.
The sun tastes like sour lemon candy.
A bee is the color black.
Leaves taste saltless.
The number 23 feels warm and fuzzy.
by Pinar, 7th grade
The beautiful sunset
eyes of the wandering beings
from their windows,
the golden yellow tree,
the sunset lake,
the blue leaves,
dark green haunting shadows,
a red horse,
people hard at work,
a bright sunny day,
trees reaching up to grow,
mothers making supper for their children,
and a door opening,
telling people to come,
this is the birth of color.
by Kirby, 3rd grade
Nature all around
Birds chirping, flowers growing
Colors singing songs
Blazing hot weather
Sun rays flashing down on us
Summer is now here
In Autumn leaves fall,
And you breathe the cool crisp air
Then, our school begins
Winter, a cold beast
Yet, gentle as a rabbit
Blanketing the ground
When times are tough, pick up a pencil
and write down your feelings and dreams.
When times are tough, believe that
things will get better.
When times are tough, pick some flowers
to give to a friend.
When times are tough, play with a
puppy, and you’ll feel better.
By Tasha, 4th Grade
She’s half boxer, half French bulldog
She makes me laugh
Her head is soft
Her eyes are like dark chocolate
She barks too much
But I love her more than gold
by Jocelyn, age 6
Toss glitter in the sea.
Get a mermaid tail of any color.
Loosen your hair
so it can get curly.
Stir pink on your dress.
Gather pink and white pearls
to make a mermaid city.
Use seashells for some pets.
Get some rocks for a house.
If I were a mermaid, I would be happy!
Minha, Patterson Elementary
Yellow looks like the sun shining in the sky.
Yellow sounds like a yellow bird cheeping.
I can smell yellow dandelions when they have their petals.
I can touch yellow banana peels.
I taste a yellow icing cupcake.
If yellow were a person, he would lie under the sun.
By Drake, Memorial Drive Elementary