Writing Opportunities for Your Students


By Elizabeth Jorgensen

Are you looking for authentic writing opportunities for your students? Here are five writers’ markets to get you started:


  1. The Milwaukee Public Museum’s annual poetry competition.
    1. This year’s theme is food and students are “encouraged to write poems exploring the ways in which food, culture and history intersect, finding connections between what we eat and who we are, and how culture and identities are formed through food.”
    2. Deadline: April 14th, 2017.
  1. The Sejong Cultural Society’s annual sijo writing competition. Sijo is a Korean poetry form.
    1. The Sejong Cultural Society, in in collaboration with the Korea Institute at Harvard University, provide lesson plans, videos and teaching guides if you’re not familiar with sijo. You can learn about sijo and how to teach it here.
    2. Deadline: 11:59pm on February 28th, 2017 (CST). Students submit sijos here.
    3. Top prize is $500; second place is $400; third place is $300; and honorable mentions receive a Friends of Pacific Rim Award ($50 each).
  1. Barnes & Noble’s annual My Favorite Teacher
    1. Students are asked to “write an essay, poem, or thank-you letter (500 words or less) sharing how a teacher has influenced their life and why they appreciate and admire them.”
    2. Deadline: March 1, 2017.
  1. The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Annual Student Poetry Contest.
    1. Students may enter one poem. Maximum length: 24 lines (which includes stanza breaks, but not the title).
    2. Deadline: Saturday, January 14, 2017.
  1. The Fleet Reserve Association’s annual essay competition.
    1. This year, students are asked to write (in 350 words or less) about what Memorial Day means.
    2. Deadline: December 1, 2016.
    3. “The grand national winner will receive $5,000, with additional prizes for the top three essays in each grade category ($2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place, and $1,000 for third place). Additional prizes may be awarded to students winning at local and regional levels of competition.”


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