Open the Door Writing Contest

Posted October 1, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

OPEN-THE-DOOR1The Texan-French Alliance for the Arts invites Houstonians to participate in a citywide public art project, OPEN THE DOOR.  Writers are encouraged to interpret the following question in a creative, broad way:

How do we open the door to another culture, to a new phase in our life, to someone, to a dream, even when the door is closed? What happens to us when we find ourselves on the verge of a threshold?

For more information on how to enter this contest, please visit the OPEN THE DOOR website.  Deadline for submission of your poem, short story, or essay is October 15, 2013. EXTENDED to October 30, 2013, at 5 pm.

$ 1000 cash or a return airfare Houston-Paris
$ 250 cash (minors)
winning entries on show in 2014 exhibition
publication in Open the Door catalogue  
Proposals to be submitted to
[email protected]
For questions, please contact us at

Dare to Dream Writing Contest

Posted January 28, 2013 & filed under Notebook.

Dare to Dream Cvr
The Dare to Dream … Change the World Annual Writing Contest for Kids aims to promote literacy, poetry writing, and nonfiction research while inspiring students to follow their dreams. It’s based on the award-winning Dare to Dream … Change the World (Kane Miller Books, 2012), which pairs biographical and inspirational poems about people who not only changed their own lives, but the lives of people all over the world. Click here for more information.
WHO: For students in 3rd through 8th grade.
WHAT: Following the format of the book, students will write a biographical poem and non-fiction paragraph about someone who not only dreamed, but who took action and made the world better.
HOW: Send your entry by e-mail to [email protected], subject line of “DARE TO DREAM Writing Contest.” Be sure to include your first name only, your e-mail address and your parents’ e-mail address.
DEADLINE: April 30, 2013

Mayborn National Biography Writing Contest

Posted May 25, 2012 & filed under Notebook.

Here is information about the Mayborn National Biography Writing Contests from the Mayborn School of Journalism in Denton, Texas.  To submit your work and qualify to take advantage of this incredible opportunity, please visit their website.  The deadline is June 1st.

ELIGIBILITYHigh school and community college students, 14-25 years old are eligible for this contest.


The top 10 biographies will be selected by a jury pool of prominent biographers and narrative nonfiction writers. These 10 winners will each be invited as guests of The Mayborn to attend the most renowned narrative nonfiction conference in the country, The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference in Grapevine, TX, July 20- 22, 2012. The award also includes each winner selecting a teacher at his or her school to join him or her at the Mayborn Conference. The award includes registration, hotel and meals for the students and their teachers (20 people total). Transportation costs are the responsibility of the winners and their teachers.

Winners will have their biographies evaluated and critiqued in a workshop held Friday, July 20, starting at 9 a.m. and concluding at 4 p.m. The workshop will be conducted by James McGrath Morris, author of Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power, and executive director of Biographers International Organization. The top 10 winners will also have their biographies published by The Dallas Morning News. The winners will be honored at the Mayborn Conference’s Literary Lights Gala on Saturday evening, July 21. All activities are held in the conference hotel. See details on the conference at:


In considering the subject of your biography, keep in mind that we’re looking for a factual account of the life of a little-known person, living or past, who left a deep and lasting legacy in his or her community. You are responsible for the research and writing of the biography. You may receive help, advice and counsel from your teachers, parents and other adults on the research. Contest sponsors are providing handouts on the biographers craft to help you prepare your biographies. You may also obtain assistance in typing your paper, but the writing, thoughts and conclusions must be your own.

The biography may not have been previously published anywhere. Sources of information, including direct quotations, must be cited using either Kate L. Turabian, Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations or The Chicago Manual of Style.

Submissions should be printed single sided, paginated, double spaced and set with one-inch margins. The biography cannot exceed 20 pages, double spaced, or 5,250 words. Please use Times New Roman style, 12-point type. Please include a cover sheet that lists the title of the biography and the date.

No identification should be on any pages of the submission.

Your application and submission must be sent in the following two ways:

Hard-copy application and submission:

  • Two hard copies of your submission – printed, unstapled and in two separate folders
  • One hard copy of your application – signed in blue ink

Electronic submission:

  • One electronic copy of the submission only (Word Document only) – submitted via e-mail

Writing Contest: Kids Are Authors

Posted November 29, 2010 & filed under Notebook.

Postmark deadline: March 15, 2011

The only thing better than reading a good book is writing one, and Scholastic’s  Kids Are Authors contest rewards children who have a story to tell. The contest is open to students in grades K-8 with a chance to win one grand prize in fiction or nonfiction. Each Grand Prize winning team wins $5,000 in merchandise and 100 copies of their published book.

Click here for contest guidelines and to read entries from past winners. Imagine everyone reading the best book of the year – written by YOU!

Essay Contest for High Schoolers: This I Believe

Posted February 15, 2009 & filed under Notebook.

this-i-believe-l4u978lHouston high school students may submit a personal essay for a competition sponsored by KUHF, Houston Public Radio.

High School students from the Greater Houston Area are invited to submit essays about their personal philosophies and the core values and beliefs that guide them daily. Three winners will receive a $500 US savings bond, a laptop computer and the opportunity to visit KUHF’s studio to record their essays for the This I Believe broadcast hosted by Paul Pendergraft.

Hosted by journalist Edward R. Murrow on CBS Radio, the original 1950s This I Believe radio program invited Americans from all walks of life to stand up for their beliefs – in order to resist the “cloud of fear” that was beginning to envelop them in an “age of confusion.” Today’s youth live in equally challenging times. All around them, national, religious, and cultural barriers are breaking down. Identities and beliefs are constantly being tested. Now more than ever, we need to ask ourselves,

“What do I believe?”

The deadline for this contest is March 1, 2009.  For more information about this writing contest for high school students, click here.

Skirt! Sponsors WritingContest for Girls, Grades 5-8

Posted November 3, 2007 & filed under Notebook.

To celebrate the historic moment of a woman running for the White House, Skirt! wants to hear from girls in grades 5-8 about why they should be President and how they would make a difference in the world if they were elected. To produce your campaign package, be creative…design your own bumper sticker. Be thoughtful…explain your campaign

Have fun with this project! Hillary Clinton’s campaign song is “You and I” by Celine Dion. What would yours be? Surprise the editors with your ideas and presentation. The top two entries will appear in the February 2008 issue of skirt! and will receive a gift package worth $250.

Submissions must be received no later than December 31, 2007, and must include your name, address, phone number, age, grade level, and school. You can mail your entry to: Skirt! 801 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX 77002, or email it to Dusty.