2022 WriteNow! High School Writing Contest: Call for Entries

writenow

Submission Deadline: Wednesday, February 16, 2022, 11:59 PM

Award Ceremony & Student Readings: Thursday, May 5, 2022

Students in grades 9-12 from the Northeast Metro Area are invited to submit their original, creative writing to the annual WriteNow! High School Writing Contest hosted by White Bear Center for the Arts. There is NO cost to enter. Winning entries will receive cash prizes!

 

Submission Guidelines

  • Entries will be judged in two categories: grades 9 & 10 and grades 11 & 12.
  • Submissions must be your own, original work. Plagiarism will result in disqualification.
  • Likewise, all research included in your submissions must be properly cited.
  • Profanity is not permitted and will result in disqualification.
  • All entries must be submitted electronically, in one form. Each entry must include a title, category, and an attachment in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Spoken Word entries should be attached as an mp4 file or YouTube link.
  • Do not include your name or any other identifying information in your entries.
  • You may submit writing for multiple contest categories (see guidelines below)

Contest Categories:

Poetry - Express your feelings!

Create a poem to express emotion and feeling with sensory description, imagery, and metaphor.

  • Your poem can also explore new ideas or express your ideals.
  • Poetry often uses powerful words, short phrases, and broken sentences.
  • Rhyming, metered poetry is welcome, but so is free verse.
  • Types of poetry include haiku, song lyrics, sonnet, limerick, and more!

Examples: Lucille Clifton, Emily Dickinson, Natasha Threthewey, Rita Dove

  • Up to 3 poems may be submitted per student
  • No word requirement

 

Short Story - Use your imagination!

Write an original, creative, fictional story which uses setting, plot, and narration.

  • Setting appeals to the senses and transports your reader into the scene. Use descriptive, concrete language to create vivid imagery and bring readers into the world of your story.
  • Plot is the series of events or character decisions that bring your story from beginning or end. Plot is commonly developed through rising action, conflict, and resolution. Stories usually narrate a change over time to reach a conclusion.
  • Narration is how you tell your story. Your story may be told from first, second, or third person perspective and may include inner monologue, dialogue, stream-of-consciousness thoughts, etc.
  • Fiction sometimes fall into a genre such as science fiction, fantasy, mystery, but can also depict more commonplace circumstances. You are welcome to submit a piece in any genre!

Examples: "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson, "State Change" by Ken Liu, "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury

  • One short story may be submitted per student
  • 1500-word minimum, 2500-word maximum (note word count at the end)

 

Persuasive Essay - Stand for something!

Make an argument about the topic of your choice.  In your essay you can advocate for a cause, attempt to change the reader's mind or behavior, or assess the value of a policy, idea, or product. Please support your position with factual, research-based information and proper citations.

  • Your paper can vary in length, but the 5-paragraph format is a common and useful format for persuasive essays.
  • Paragraph 1: Introduce your argument with a thesis statement that supports your position.
  • Paragraph 2 - 4: Introduce opposing points of view and include evidence for these opposing points. Refute the opposing points of view and support these arguments with new evidence.
  • Paragraph 5: Summarize your thesis and reiterate your support for your position.

Examples: "In Praise of the F Word" by Mary Sherry, "The Game That Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life" by Jane McGonigal (TedTalk)"Rules and Traditions; It Takes a Tribe" by David Berreby, "Why You Procrastinate" by Charlotte Lieberman

  • One persuasive essay may be submitted per student
  • 500-word minimum, 1500-word maximum (note word count at the end) 

 

Creative Nonfiction - Tell a true story!

Tell a thoughtful story about someone or something real. You can also meditate on real events. Creative nonfiction comes in many forms.

  • Personal essays describe something that has happened in your life.
  • Journalism utilizes interviews, research, and facts to tell the story of current events and happenings in the world.
  • Biographies tell someone's life story, often someone famous or a figure from history.
  • Observational essays bring a meaningful place or event to life on the page.
  • Profile essays describe a person and their impact. This can be someone from your life or community.

Examples: "Black in Middle America" by Roxane Gay, "Notes of a Native Son" by James Baldwin, "How to Tame a Wild Tongue" by Gloria Anzaldua

  • One creative nonfiction work may be submitted per student
  • 500-word minimum, 1500-word maximum (note word count at the end)

 

And this year we are debuting a NEW category:

 

Spoken Word - Use Your Voice!

Perform an original spoken word piece and record a video of your performance.

What differentiates spoken word from other forms of poetry? Spoken word is written with the intention of being performed.

  • Spoken word artists pay attention to rhythm, body movement, pauses, and facial expression when performing their pieces.
  • Spoken word poetry has no rules in terms of meter, length, or rhyme scheme. But it often uses literary techniques like rhyme, alliteration, repetition, and more.
  •  The performance style can vary depending on the artist, but it often draws from theater, standup comedy, jazz, hip hop, and oral storytelling.
  •  Spoken word can be about any topic! But it often comments on social issues, or shares the speaker's story or perspective.

Examples: "When They Look Right Through You" by Kyle "Guante" Tran Myhre, "The Type" by Sarah Kay, and MORE.

  • Up to 3 poems may be submitted per student.
  • Each poem should be recorded separately, and should be no more than 4 minutes in length.

For more about the history and definition of spoken word, watch this artist talk from Kyle "Guante" Tran Myhre!

Need more writing inspiration?

We've created some optional writing prompts to get you started on your submission! Click the button below to view!

And for even more writing support, join the Creative Writing Club, LIVE on Zoom!

Meet other writers and learn all about the craft of writing! We'll talk about what it means to be a writer, how to stay creative, and how to get involved in the writing community. Don't miss this amazing chance to connect more deeply to your artistic passion. Writers of all genres and skill levels are welcome!

 

Date/Time: 6 Wednesdays, October 27-December 8, 6:00 PM-7:00 PM *NO class November 24th*

 

This club is free of cost. Email kparkman@whitebeararts.org to register and receive a Zoom link!

Questions?

Call (651)407-0597 or email wbca@whitebeararts.org if you need assistance.