Contest Winners Will Meet Jon Scieszka

Posted April 17, 2015 & filed under Contest, Event.


The Houston Public Library announces its 6th Annual Children’s Book Celebration Contest. Winners will get to have lunch with Jon Scieszka, author of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. Here is more information from their website:

Deadline: Friday, May 1, 2015
Winners will be notified by Friday, May 8, 2015.

The Good, The Mad and the Nerdy: a contest open to children in grades K – 6

Create an art masterpiece inspired by one of the many books written by the award-winning, world-famous author Jon Scieszka! He has sold more than 11 million books, including The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, and his latest series, Frank Einstein.

Enter to Win
Fifty winners and one adult guest each will be treated to a catered lunch 
with Jon Scieszka and receive an autographed copy of Frank Einstein & the Antimatter Motor! This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is scheduled to take place prior to the kickoff of the 6th Annual Books Alive! Children’s Book Celebration on Saturday, May 16, 2015.

For more information about this Houston Public Library event, click here.


Calling Poets in Grades 7-12!

Posted March 31, 2015 & filed under Contest, News, Poem, Student Writing.


A personal invitation from Flashbang! Writing Studio, which is seeking poetry by students in grades 7-12 for publication on its website during April, National Poetry Month:

As participants in NaPoWriMo, Flashbang!’s Sarah and Jeff are writing and posting a poem a day for the month of April. But we want more! We want your poems. Send us your love poems, hate poems, pet poems, unicorn poems, football poems, name poems, video poems, macro poems, gif poems, breakfast-lunch-and dinner poems.

Come back to the blog every day in April for a new writing prompt and at least one new poem. Note: The poems you submit do not have to be based on the prompts we publish. If they are, that’s awesome! Let us know! But more important than following our prompts is writing something you love. Send us what you love.

All poems accepted for publication on the blog will also be considered for publication in the inaugural issue of KaPow!, Flashbang!’s creative writing zine, scheduled for May publication. If your poem is published, you’ll receive a free copy of the zine. Additional copies will be available for $5, and all proceeds will benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. (Want to raise more money for GPLC? Learn more about and register for our Poem-A-Thon here:

To submit: Send an email with your poem attached as a Word document or just pasted into the body of the email to flashbangwritingATgmailDOTcom. Please include your name, age, and school name in your submission. (School names will not be published unless you explicitly ask us to do so.) Let us know where you heard about us, too. Deadline for consideration for KaPow! and the NaPoWriMo celebrations is 4/25. BUT we will still consider poems on a rolling basis after that deadline for publication on the blog.

Poetry Contest for Homeschoolers

Posted March 10, 2015 & filed under Contest, Student Writing.

croppedFrom the HSLDA website:

Poetry Contest 2015

Submission Dates: March 1st through May 1st 2015.

Entries must be postmarked by May 1st. We receive a high volume of entries around this date, so if you submit a poem toward the end of the submission period, please be patient. We will notify you via email when we process your entry!

HSLDA invites homeschooled* students to write a poem based on the theme prompts below. Each student may submit 3 different poems.

Submission Dates: March 1st through May 1st 2015

Entries must be postmarked by May 1st. We receive a high volume of entries around this date, so if you submit a poem toward the end of the submission period, please be patient. We will notify you via email when we process your entry!

HSLDA invites homeschooled* students to write a poem based on the theme prompts below. Each student may submit 3 different poems.

* For the purposes of this contest, an eligible student must have received a majority of his or her education in the past year through home education. The staff and immediate family members of HSLDA and all related entities (PRO, HSF, GenJ) are not eligible to participate in contests sponsored by HSLDA or any of the related entities.


Category 1: Ages 7-10 as of April 1st
“Green Eggs and Ham”

Dr. Seuss’s poem “Green Eggs and Ham” has become an American favorite, beloved for its humorous repetition and wacky illustrations.  Read the excerpt below and write a new, creative continuation of this zany poem, picking up right from where the excerpt leaves off!

Assignment: Keep the original rhyme scheme of AABB and keep your poem’s length to no more than 6 quatrains.

Category 2: Ages 11-14 as of April 1st

In 1871, Lewis Carroll published one of the best known English nonsense poems in his fanciful sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  Titled “Jabberwocky,” the poem uses nonsense words and whimsical language to transport Alice and all of its readers to a mythical land where strange creatures dwell. Carroll paints an unreal world using unreal words, but in doing so, he leaves a very real impression of mystery and mythology that brings the story vividly to life in the imagination!

Assignment: Be creative in a similar way: write a poem of similar length (5-7 quatrains) and rhyme pattern (ABAB or ABCB) that takes place in a fun, perhaps mysterious, new world!  Incorporate some of the techniques Carroll used, including made-up vocabulary, neologisms, words with strong visual impact, and rich creativity of expression and idea.

Category 3: Ages 15-19 as of April 1st
“To My Valentine”

With his characteristic humorous flair, American poet Ogden Nash uses unexpected metaphors and atypical expressions to convey his nonetheless powerful love in his poem “To My Valentine.”  Think outside the box to do the same: defy clichés and write a modern-sounding poem that expresses a positive emotion in an uncharacteristic way.  Let your choice of vocabulary, metaphors, examples, theme, and/or the very emotion expressed be laced with originality.

Assignment: Follow Nash’s rhyme pattern (ABAB or ABCB) and keep your poem’s length between 5 and 7 quatrains.


Cash congratulations, plus a wonderful transcript booster!

Visit the HSLDA website for information about how to enter. Good luck!

Who Will Be the Next Houston Poet Laureate?

Posted February 26, 2015 & filed under Contest, News.

Houston Poet Laureate

2015 Call for Applications and Nominations

Deadline: March 13, 2015 | 5 PM

Are you a poet who loves Houston and wants to encourage Houstonians to read and write more poetry? Apply to be the 2nd Houston Poet Laureate!

The Houston Poet Laureate Selection Committee announces the application/nomination process for selection of Houston’s second Poet Laureate.  Submissions are welcome from persons nominating a poet for the position of Poet Laureate or from individual poets who are seeking the position. Only emailed applications will be accepted.

For more information, please visit the Houston Public Library website for guidelines, expectations, terms, and more!

PBS Writing Contest for Kids

Posted December 17, 2014 & filed under Contest.


Students in grades K-3 can enter the PBS Writing Contest for Kids. According to their site, “Children write and illustrate their own stories and enter for a chance to win great prizes at both the local and national levels.” The entry deadline is Monday, March 16, 2015. For more information, click here.


Orbit Poetry Slam with Pages Matam!

Posted December 8, 2014 & filed under Contest, Event.




Join WITS this Friday, December 12th, for the ORBIT Slam with super-special guest, Pages Matam!. Pages is an award-winning artist, writer, and performance coach who has coached his youth team to #1 at Brave New Voices and his adult team to #1 at the National Poetry Slam. WITS will host a free youth poetry workshop followed by poetry slam. No registration required. Open to ages 13-19. 6:00 – 7:30 pm at Discovery Green Park (1500 McKinney 77010).

Teen Poetry Contest: Write Poems Inspired by Art!

Posted December 5, 2014 & filed under Contest, Poem.

Here is an exciting EKPHRASTIC POETRY contest for teens, ages 13-19. It is organized by Public Poetry in partnership with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and it is FREE to enter for teens. So, plan a visit to the museum today and get inspired! Below are the guidelines to write and submit your work. You can view online the five pieces of art that will serve as inspiration for your original poetry.

artwork-detail EKPHRASTIC POETRY may include literal descriptions of a work of art, the poet´s mood in response to a work of art, metaphorical associations inspired by a work of art, or personal memories about a work of art.

Eligibility: All teens, age 13-19, (as of September 8, 2014) are eligible.

  • Deadline Extended: Poems must be received by midnight on December 15th, 2014.

No Entry Fee: FREE

Complete information available here.

There is also a competition for adults.


Letters About Literature Writing Contest

Posted December 1, 2014 & filed under Contest.

Students in grades 4-12 can enter the Letters About Literature 2015 Contest. The deadline is January 10th. Here’s a description from the official site:

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to that author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year. If you are in grades 4-12, you are eligible to enter the Letters About Literature reading and writing contest. Here are the Rules and Guidelines. Here is a Teaching Guide. The Letters About Literature Teaching Guide provides activities teachers can use to guide their students through the book discussion and letter-writing process. The guide addresses the LAL teaching strategies and ways in which the program can dovetail with national standards for teaching reading and writing as well as Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Also included are worksheets for duplication and assessment checklists.

For complete information, click here.

Student Art & Writing Contest: River of Words

Posted November 25, 2014 & filed under Contest.


Travel with a Beaver by Ellie, age 7


Students can enter their best nature writing and art to the annual River of Words Competition between now and December 1st, 2014.Here is information from their website:


Nature has been the greatest source of inspiration for artists and poets since humans began drawing on the walls of caves and singing sagas.

Yet despite its importance, environmental and arts education is marginalized in the United States. This sorry scenario is increasingly true in other countries as well.

River of Words was founded to give new life to the teaching of art and poetry through watershed exploration. Our innovative Watershed Explorer Educator’s Guide brings together sketching and botany, nature journaling and poetry writing. Students who participate are encouraged to submit their work to our free international art and poetry contest, held annually since 1995 in conjunction with the Center of the Book in the Library of Congress.


US entries must be postmarked by December 1, 2014.
International entries must be received by February 1, 2015.

Click here for complete information about submitting your work.

It’s National Novel Writing Month 2014

Posted November 20, 2014 & filed under Contest, Event, Fiction.


It’s NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Month — and this year nearly 400,000 people will try their hand at writing a 50,000 word story. The project has had striking success in recent years:

Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published. They include Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, Hugh Howey’s Wool, Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, and Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.See a full list of our published authors.

There’s also a special kids version of the program that is modified for young authors.


Guinness World Records Contest for Young Writers

Posted September 15, 2014 & filed under Contest, Student Writing.


kids-273x300Here is a contest announcement from Guinness World Records® for writers ages 7-12:

Celebrate 60 Years with the Guinness World Records®
60 Years/60 Words Challenge!

For the past 60 years, Guinness World Records has inspired millions of people to achieve record-breaking feats. To celebrate these amazing feats, Guinness World Records is launching the 60 Years/60 Words Challenge on September 8, 2014.

Kids 7–12 can enter this national competition by selecting their favorite GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® record and telling about it in EXACTLY 60 words! The entries can be poems, raps, videos, posters and/or short essays, but they each must include PRECISELY 60 words!

The competition winner will earn a $500 scholarship, a copy of the Guinness World Records 2015 book, their photo in the 2016 book, and a $500 grant for his/her school. 10 semifinalists will win a copy of the Guinness World Records 2015 book.

Kids can enter online or at Entries will be judged on creativity, originality, and representation of the record. The competition ends December 1, 2014.

Educators, youth groups, and parents can also access fun English Language Arts activities on the website under the Parents and Educators/Youth Groups buttons. These activities get kids’ creative juices flowing!

Slams Are Back, Houston!

Posted September 5, 2014 & filed under Contest, Event.


Introducing Orbit Slams!

This year Meta-Four Houston will offer free writing and performance workshops take place every second Friday of the month starting September 12, 2014, at Discovery Green (1500 McKinney 77010)


Every third Friday of the month starting September 19, 2014, at MECA (1900 Kane 77007)

Students ages 13-19 are welcome!


Essay Contest for Writers 18 or Younger

Posted September 3, 2014 & filed under Contest, Student Writing.

77645f14dbb5b6507642531c99771730Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth sponsors the Creative Minds Writing Contest. Submissions should be creative nonfiction by authors aged 18 or younger. Here is more information from their website:

The first-place winner will be published in the January/February issue of Imagine. Second- and third-place winners will be excerpted in print and published in full online. Winners will receive copies of the issue in which their work appears. Winners will be announced in the Jan/Feb issue of Imagine and on the Imagine website. Contest Guidelines: Entrants must be 18 years old or younger. Entries must be received by 5:00 ET on Friday, November 7, 2014. There is no theme or topic for this competition. Essays may be any work of creative nonfiction including, but not limited to, memoirs, personal essays, travel writing, and lyric essays. We will not accept book reports, critical works, or research papers. Essays must not exceed 1,000 words and must be titled. Entrants may submit up to two essays. Entries must include text only. Do not include photographs, illustrations, or background graphics or colors. Essays must be entrant’s original work. Essays that have won other contests or that have appeared in any print or online publications are not eligible. Save all essays in a single Microsoft Word document with your last name as the file name. Submit your entry online here.

August Poetry and Essay Contests: Enter Today!

Posted August 21, 2014 & filed under Contest, Poem, Student Writing.


Here is an announcement from Creative Communication, the headquarters for youth writing contests, about their SUMMER POETRY and ESSAY CONTESTS for students in grades K-12:

The purpose of our poetry and essay contest is to bring recognition to student writers. Winners share thousands in cash and prizes. In addition to the winning entries, other entries of high merit are accepted to be published in our hard-bound anthology. With the publication being regionally based, students are competing against their peers in both age and location. Within the guidelines of accepting less than 50% of the poems and essays that are entered in each contest, the contest is selective so that it is an honor to be accepted, yet not so exclusive that it is discouraging to enter. Unlike many other organizations who sponsor writing contests, there is no entry fee and no required purchase in order to become published. We take pride in the fact that our staff is comprised of teachers, professors and writers.

For each contest, the top ten entries in each grade division will receive a $25 check, special recognition in the book, and a free copy of the anthology that is created from the contest.

To find out more and to submit your work, click here. Good luck, Writers! The deadline is August 31st!

In Search of Talented Texans

Posted August 5, 2014 & filed under Contest.

Here’s an announcement from our friends at TCA:

The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2015 and 2016 positions of:

  • Texas State Musician
  • Texas State Poet Laureate
  • Texas State Visual Artists 2-D
  • Texas State Visual Artists 3-D

All Texans are invited to nominate qualified artists for these four positions.  Please help us spread the word about this unique opportunity. Self nominations are encouraged. Deadline for nominations is: October 15, 2014.  

Texas Youth Poetry Slam

Posted July 1, 2014 & filed under Contest, Event.

Date: July 5, 2014
Location: MECA, 1900 Kane St. Houston, TX 77007

Mic Check presents the 4th Annual Texas Youth Poetry Slam on July 5, 2014, at MECA arts center in Houston. The top youth poetry slam teams from around the state of Texas will compete for the title of Texas Youth Poetry Slam Champ. Participating teams will include Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Laredo. Watch the competition and participate in the free writing workshops hosted by award winning Texas poets.


12:00PM Lunch
1:00-2:00 Workshops.
2:30 Slam