How Teachers Can Support Young Writers

Enjoy this quick reference guide for Creative Writing teachers which includes direct links

to various organizations, contests, and workshops we have found supportive

of youth writers. Consider searching your local area and/or state for other

creative writing contests, organizations, and publication opportunities. Assembled by Charlotte Wood for the Tupelo Press Teen Writing Academy


NanoWrimo Held each November, challenge yourself to write a certain amount of words in a month! The teacher and students can sign up for the Young Writers Program. Set up a free account.

Challenge yourself to write 50,000 words in the month of November.  “Writing a novel alone can be difficult, even for seasoned writers. NaNoWriMo helps you track your progress, set milestones, connect with other writers in a vast community, and participate in events that are designed to make sure you finish your novel. Oh, and best of all, it’s free!” NaNoWriMo Camp takes place in July. Set up a free account.

“Power Poetry is the world’s first and largest mobile poetry community for youth. It is a one-of-a-kind place where you can be heard. Power Poetry isn’t just about poetry: it’s about finding your voice and using it to change the world!” Set up a free account.

Online community for youth writers to post original writing pieces, receive feedback, and join other writers with similar interests. Has the potential to lead to publication.

International online writing forum for youth to write, receive feedback, edit, and participate in numerous writing contests. Founded by Harvard University.

Supports artists across 10 disciplines at all stages of development, beginning with the critical moment when they decide to pursue a life in the arts, and continuing throughout their careers


From the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Program. Resource focusing on poetic works of contemporary poets. Read a daily poem, reflect upon it, journal about it, and be inspired to write your own poems.

From Bennington College. Submit in categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry. Monetary prizes. Runs September 1 through November 1.

Submit previously unpublished works in categories which include Creative Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Poetry for a chance at cash prizes and publication.

Winners may win a monetary award, book, and publication. Deadline to submit is February 1.

From Hollins University.  “Provides scholarships, prizes, and recognition for the best poems submitted by young women who are sophomores or juniors in high school or preparatory school.” Deadline October 31.

Student Poetry Award. Submit between October 1 and December 31. Prize of $250.

Polyphony Lit is the global online literary platform for high school students. We invite high school students worldwide to submit creative writing, join our editorial staff, write blog posts, take workshops, and grow into leadership roles. Because developing young writers is central to our mission, our editors provide feedback on every submission. We offer three awards for excellence in writing through the Claudia Ann Seaman Awards for Young Writers, (deadline April 30) one each in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, and the student editors publish an online magazine featuring their favorite pieces from each genre.” More information regarding online magazine publication and seasonal entries.

“Submit unpublished, original English-language stories of up to 2,000 words in length.”

Numerous poetry contests including the High School Poetry Competition. Prize of monetary funds and publication.

Students can submit individual writing pieces and portfolios of works to this annual awards program, which is the oldest and one of the most prestigious programs in the United States. Writers can gain recognition and scholarships. Also includes educator residencies and a National student poets program. Educator must create an initial account.

 “New Voices for the Theater is a statewide playwriting competition that provides an opportunity for students, selected out of hundreds of applicants from across the Commonwealth [of Virginia], to bring their original one-act plays to life on the stage for the public each summer at the Festival of New Works.”

Essays of 300 to 500 words written on an official topic of the year. Scholarship awards. Submit from November through mid-February.


Submit for a chance to be published and win recognition and prizes.

Sincerely Magazine is a literary arts magazine for emerging creators aimed at promoting arts for all ages and all groups. Join the creative community by submitting today!” Submit original writing and artwork

A website, and national teen magazine devoted entirely to teenage writing, art, photos, and forums. For over 33 years, Teen Ink has offered teens the opportunity to publish their creative work and opinions on issues that affect their lives – everything from love and family to school, current events, and self-esteem. Hundreds of thousands of students, aged 13-19, have submitted their work to us and we have published more than 55,000 teens since 1989.” Also offers numerous writing and art contests.

Summer Writing Camps

Offers a two-week residential program at the University of Iowa as well as six-weeks of online courses. For the residential program, apply during a two-week application period in January and February. Online course studies applications are taken from March through April

Online workshops for high school students Two separate one-week online creative writing studies available. Learn and workshop from the comfort of your own home. Deadline to apply is March 1.  ”

Young Writer’s Summer Residential Workshops. Two separate one- week residential workshops for creative writers. Deadline to apply is March 1. Housed at Kenyon College in Ohio.

Writers Workshop. “This workshop provides America’s most talented high school writers with the opportunity to work in intensive, small-group workshops led by nationally recognized authors. Featuring workshops in fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction.”  One week workshop held in the summer at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania.

UVA Young Writers Workshop held at Sweet Briar College in VA. Residential program held in two separate summer sessions. Genre specific focus with workshop feedback in a beautiful setting. Deadline to apply is March 1.

Literary/Art Magazine Resources

Advising a School Literary Magazine by Lisa Renard-Spicer A must-have resource for the literary magazine adviser and staff. This 174 page book includes everything from motivating staff, organizing submissions, instructing layout and design, and more! (Worth it’s weight in gold)

This Honor Society recognizes the outstanding achievements of all scholastic journalists including journalism, yearbook, broadcast, and literary/art magazine. Also includes scholarships and contests such as writing, photo, and multimedia categories.


The Journalism Education Association supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity.” Supports writers and journalists working with their school’s publications

Empowering Student Journalists. “Through education, training and recognition programs for members, National Scholastic Press Association promotes the standards and ethics of good journalism as accepted and practiced by print, broadcast and digital media in the United States.

CSPA is an international student press association, founded in 1925, whose goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, textbooks, critiques and award programs.” Housed at Columbia University in New York.

The REALM program publicly recognizes excellent literary magazines produced by students with the support of their teachers. REALM is designed to encourage all schools to develop literary magazines that celebrate the art and craft of writing.” Offers various student writing awards.

Housed at the University of South Carolina. “A nonprofit organization committed to helping students, advisers and administrators at public and private schools across the South create and cultivate unique, high-quality student media programs and rigorous hands-on learning experiences for all student storytellers.


Find your state’s scholastic media association’s contact information and website for details on creative writing and

literary/art magazine support and contests.