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.

What I Saw this Morning

Posted September 2, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

I woke up,
and saw darkness.
When I got outside,
the sun was rising over the horizon.
My house,
the color of my skin.
The school’s fence,
as black as the dark sky.

by Jose, 5th Grade


Posted September 1, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

I work hard all day until

my head hurts

and my fingers cramp

and my brain aches.

I work until I feel

like I’ve been hit

by a train but

there’s always

more work to do.

Man, I need a


By Daniel, 4th grade

Welcome to the World, Baby

Posted August 28, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

My wish for you is to
Hear the noisy bumblebee buzzing
Feel the thickness of dough when making cherry pie
See the peace of nature
Smell the cinnamon pinewood on a holiday
Taste tart limes in tasty limeade

My wish for you is to
Learn to be yourself no matter what people say

My wish for you is to
Hear wind-chimes on a windy day
Feel softness of a special stuffed animal
See the strength of yourself
Smell the sweetness of desserts in a bakery
Taste the meat of a tasty coconut

My wish for you is to
Learn that you are you and nobody can change that

by Layla, 3rd Grade

Brand New Day

Posted August 25, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

It’s a brand new day

sun is up and so am I

hair in braids

shoes all tied

I’m ready to go

lunch is packed

backpack on

Mom’s been kissed

dog’s been hugged

butterflies are everywhere

It’s a brand new day

By Jordana, 4th grade

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!

The Comparison of Hearts

Posted August 20, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

Her heart is like the most delicate tapestry

If you tear it, it takes months to fix it

His heart is like a boulder

A boulder may be large, but it is also cold

My heart is like a warm fireplace

It comforts those who the winds of despair and the snows of darkness have made cold

Look deep inside you and find out what your heart is

By Katie Giveon, 5th grade, Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart


Posted August 19, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

From tears to frozen icicles

dripping in the summer

it goes moon to sun

then back to winter

all seasons mixed together

it makes a bitter taste

By Carrie, 2nd Grade



Posted August 18, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

I’ve got a puppy named Zeus

who acts like a Greek god

When he’s hungry he

stares at us and demands

food delivered to his bowl

When he’s feeling frisky

he chases squirrels and

stirs up trouble with all

the animals in the neighborhood

I’ve got a puppy named Zeus

who acts like he’s king,

ruler of all, in charge of the universe

until he sees… our cat.

By Cooper, 4th grade


Hot Sauce Summer

Posted August 14, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.


In the morning the sun comes up

we feel the heat creeping toward us

it’s hard to breathe


By afternoon we are baking like bricks

the sweat rolling down our faces

parched and dehydrated


At night we sleep with the covers off

the A/C works overtime

but we are on fire like hot sauce


By Jordan, 6th grade

I Don’t Write for a Good Grade

Posted & filed under Poem, Student Writing.


I write to convince you to make a change

I write to amuse myself

I write to disturb the peace

I write to entertain the masses

I write to surprise you with new insights

I write to trigger the imagination


By Prieta, 7th grade

I’m Hiding

Posted August 8, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

I’m not hiding from the war in the temple,

not even in the desert with animals.

I’m nowhere to be found.

I’m not with the parakeet,

not with the fuzzy bears dancing.

I’m in the box with the

one beautiful cup.


by Carlos, 3rd Grade

The Sky Is

Posted August 4, 2014 & filed under Student Writing.

I went outside and saw that my house was getting darker and darker, but the sky was getting clearer and clearer.

The clouds kept moving, while the rats walked by the street.

The world had turned into half night and half daylight. I imagine what would it be like if the sky was night and my house was day.

It was a good view, but it was night, and I had to go to sleep. When I woke everything was light and it was a dream.

There had to be a reason for this, that I saw something no one else would have understood. Although it was a dream, I got to see the other side of the world altogether.

7th Grade


Posted July 23, 2014 & filed under Notebook, Student Writing.

The screech of the lead. The feel that travels up and back
down my arm. Pondering. Waiting. No thoughts ever come
but I want them to. Why? Why can’t I just occupy my mind? In
the back of my thoughts it repeats. Write! I scribble. I dapple.
I twist and I turn again. Pondering. Waiting. The thrill
comes again, but no, not on those blue lines. On the bare flesh.
Emotions, memories, feelings, songs and sorrow build up. Rush at me. And yet I sit there. Pondering. Waiting. I pick up my tool
and the one thought that screams out, write! I do. The ink
slides on, up and down, side to side. Finish. Masterpiece.
Beautiful. Meaningful.

by Taylor, 9th Grade

What I See

Posted July 16, 2014 & filed under Notebook, Poem, Student Writing.

I see a reader
Lost in her books
Her dreams of fantasy come and go
You see a writer
Stubborn with her ideas
Pretending magic is real
We see a girl
Surrounded in words
Telling her story

by Katie, 1st grade


Posted July 14, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.


You’re wondering if I’m nervous:
OK then, yes, I am nervous,
like dogs before their trip to the vet,
excited at first.
Then they realize what’s going on.

Am I nervous?
Like during a bad storm,
I am nervous.
The thunder and the wind
and somewhat the lightning.
It depends on the lightning.

If I’m nervous,
it must be the nervousness of getting poked
over and over again,
of waiting
for the constant blood draws.
My veins are so small.

My nerves pass
once the storm passes,
and the rain stops.
It’s all better.

by Halle, 5th Grade

The Mysterious Box

Posted July 2, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

In my box, I place
the smell of the air on a summer breeze,
the sound of wolves during a full moon,
the first star in outer space,
the anchor thrown off of a ship,
the first word of a baby,
the happiest moments you cannot take back.
In my box, I will place
the love I have for God,
limitless time,
perfect health for everyone.
In my box, I will place
lots of enchiladas
and the best parents.
In my box,
I hold the key,
the shiniest diamond ring,
no more hungry children,
and the crashing waves of the ocean.
In my box,
I hold the next greatest invention,
the one thing that controls animals.
I put in my box
the aroma of roses on a romantic night,
bubbles that never pop,
the sound of starving lions.
The lock is made of spiders,
so if you try to break in to my box,
you’ll get bitten.
The top is sparkly purple
with the movement of the live ocean,
and the sides are made of flowers, smelling like enchiladas.
It shines like the sun,
the bottom, shimmering gold.

by Daniela,10th Grade

Taste the Salt

Posted June 23, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

In my neighborhood, I hear the sound of the train clashing along the tracks.
I hear my younger siblings fighting over my video games.
I hear cars whizzing around and the sound of my cousin’s truck pull up on the driveway.
In my neighborhood, I can smell the scent of waffles when I awake from a deep sleep.
I can smell freshly baked cherry pie that my mom makes after lunch and the scent of lavenders my grandmother planted weeks ago.
In my neighborhood, I can see the fences that shield the new town homes that were recently built during the last summer.
I can see many bikers and dog owners pass by my home to get to their destination.
In my neighborhood, I can taste the salt that drifted from my kitchen to my room through the air. I can taste the honey we spread over waffles in the morning.
In my neighborhood, I can feel isolation because everybody’s house is fenced off,
And I can feel the security of my home while I’m asleep at night.

by Raynaldo, 7th Grade


Posted June 18, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

You are the sweet smell of roses.
You are Saturn.
You’re like a diamond.
You’re the kindness of a puppy.
You’re as sweet as a cupcake.
You’re like a shiny crystal.
You are like a beautiful garden.
Although you are not the blade of the knife.
You aren’t like the stinger of an ant.
You are not the fiery flames of a volcano.
You are not like a porcupine about to put a quill in someone.
You are the love of a kitten.
You are a fast shooting star.
Does it interest you to know who I am?
I am a raindrop about to fall.
I am also the breeze of the wind.
But don’t worry, you still are the sweet smell of roses.
You are always going to be my friend.

by Sarah, 2nd Grade

Ode to Swimming Goggles

Posted June 11, 2014 & filed under Poem, Student Writing.

The swimming goggles are
my eye’s main facility.
They are my eyes’. . .
and weapon.
They are my friend for
showing me the wonders of
the sea.
You can stretch them to fit
your head.
You don’t want to expand
them too much,
or they will snap and die.
They are my eye’s armor.
They protect my eyes from chlorine and salt.
They let me see without getting my eyes red and sore.
They are a weapon, a slingshot.
They are an extension of my head
and a part of me like a close relative.
They are like glasses that help me see underwater.
Soon they will invent contacts for water,
but I will still use goggles.
I still use them today.
They are my eyes’ closest friend.

By Michael, 5th grade