Here is a contest that will appeal to many Houston youth that have at least one parent born in another country.
The following information comes from Mitali Perkins, an author who navigates the border between her Bengali roots and her California upbringing. For more information, please visit her website:
Do you love to weave words together?
Were you and/or one or both of your birth parents born in another country?
Do you live in the United States or Canada now?
Are you 13-19 years old?
If you answered yes to ALL of the questions above, YOU qualify to enter the 2011 Fire Escape Writing Contests! Submit an original, unpublished poem or piece of prose (fiction or non-fiction) that reflects some of the joys and struggles of growing up between two cultures in America. Mitali’s Fire Escape will only consider one poem and one piece of short fiction per person, so send your best work.

Poetry (up to three poems)
Short Fiction or Essay (up to 1000 words)
Winner in each category: $50

How to submit an entry

  • Paste your poem or story into an e-mail message and send it to
    contests – at – I will not open attachments.
  • Proofread thoroughly and keep your presentation simple. Entries with spelling, grammar or punctuation errors and funky characters/fonts may be disqualified without notice. Do not include any clip art, images, or photos with your entry. Words only, please. Fiction longer than 1000 words will not be considered.
  • Include your name, age, and e-mail address in your e-mail. Also include your countr(ies) of origin. You and/or ONE of your birth parents must have been born outside North America. If you were born in Puerto Rico and are now living in one of the states or Canadian provinces, you qualify.
  • Current U.S. or Canadian residents only please, and previous winners are not eligible.
To qualify, your entry must be received by June 1, 2012.
REPEAT: You must be an immigrant or internationally adopted teen (or a teen with one immigrant parent) currently living in the United States or Canada.
NOTE: Failure to follow all of the contest guidelines will disqualify your entry.
Winning Poems and Stories will be published on the Fire Escape. Winners will be notified by July 30th. If you do not hear from us by September 15, 2012, you can assume that your entry was NOT a winner. Prizes must be claimed by September 30, 2012. Please note that editorial or any other personal comments will not be provided for contest submissions. The Fire Escape reserves the right to award no prizes if no entry meets the judge’s standards.
The Fire Escape seeks the following permissions from young authors: permission to publish your work on the web site, and permission to include your work in online archives after publication. Authors retain the copyright to their work. Once selected, winners must send their school information and a mailing address so that the Fire Escape can validate the entry and send the prize. Read the Fire Escape’s privacy policy for more information.

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