Thursday, May 17, 2012

Contests to Keep Kids Reading and Writing This Summer

     When I was in grade school, my school district sponsored a writing contest during the summer. Prizes were awarded for the best stories in each grade. At summer's end, the winning stories were 'published' in a newspaper sent home to parents.
      I got my earliest taste of writing for publication from these contests. It was a big boost of self-confidence just to finish and submit a story, even if mine wasn't the best. Typing away on a monstrous grey typewriter, my grandmother poked away at the keys while I dictated. Our writing sessions always ended with a game of cards or a homemade vanilla shake. Writing during the summer was great fun, and didn't count for real work at all. At least for me.
     Keeping kids reading and writing during the summer can be a challenge, but the key is to make it fun. With that in mind, the sponsors of the following contests have come up with some engaging themes for young writers to keep their creativity flowing and reading/writing skills sharp during the months ahead. (And it might not hurt to stock up on ice cream for a post-writing session treat). Enjoy!

Creative Communication, a site run by teachers and educators, offers a poetry and essay contest several times throughout the year. There's no entry fee. Prizes include a cash award and publication in an anthology.

Boys' Life magazine is offering a reading contest to boys who write a book report on 'The Best Book I Read This Year'. Prizes are Amazon gift cards in several age groups. Details can be found on the magazine's website.

Totem Head's Story Contest is sponsored by AdventureWrite, and is open to kids 18 years old and under. There's a cash prize, publication on the website, and a certificate of achievement for the winning story which must start with the words 'So there I was.'

Young Voices Foundation is hosting a short story contest for three age categories, from preschool to grade 12. They're offering cash prizes, but you'll have to hurry: deadline for submissions is May 31st!

KidPub hosts a writing contest each month in different genres. The judges choose three winners, each earning gift cards. Kids post their stories for readers. You need to be a member to enter the contest.

     Don't forget the reading contests at your local Barnes and Noble. My kids are too old now, but we used to get current books as prizes for reading so many books during the summer.
     Also, your local public library sponsors summer reading programs and contests. Some of my kids' best summer memories were the cool presentations and speakers that our library hosted during June. Thinking back, we saw a balloon artist, yo-yo expert, Ronald McDonald, and animals from a local petting zoo.

Do you know of any other contests which are open to young writers?

11 comments:

  1. those look awesome! great suggestions for my lazy boys! i like o give them a challenge over the summer =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a couple of lazy boys, too - teens! It gets harder to keep them challenged (and out of trouble) as they get older!

      Delete
  2. A wealth of information. This is great, Dawn.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That sounds like so much fun! I'd love to be their age again to do it, and feel like it's the most important thing in my life...


    Roadtrip: On my way from A all the way to Z!
    English Speaking Zone

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! I was excited to find out that our library's summer reading program includes a division for adults reading children's books - with prizes!

      Delete
  4. My local library does a summer reading program. My daughter loves it. We log the amount of time we read each day and she wins prizes for each hour. I also like that for young kids (like my daughter) it's a Read to Me program. Once she can read on her own, she'll move up to the other program.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love summer library programs! Such great memories from when my kids were younger!

      Delete
  5. Great links, Dawn. You are so right. I was always looking for ways to keep my girls challenged over the summer. Our local library always ran a reading incentive program that they loved, with prizes like gift certificates for free sundaes donated from local businesses. And the end of summer party they hosted featured lots of ice cream!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ice cream always seems to draw them in, doesn't it?

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...