Teens Who Write Contest + Giveaway

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“Children are meant to be seen, not heard.”

I don’t know if this is just an African-American saying but, growing up, I remember hearing this statement on a few occasions. Like the time I tried to butt into Mom and Auntie’s conversation. After getting the look of death, I figured it was best for me to be quiet. 

That’s just it though. I learned to be quiet about matters I often wanted to discuss and explore. I ended up thinking my role was to be a picture-perfect angel who got recognized for her silence--not for her voice. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe in being respectful. I also believe there’s a time and place for everything. I just didn’t always know when it was my time and place to be heard as a kid. 

Writing changed that for me. I didn’t have to worry about interrupting anyone in my diary or any story or poem I wrote. Writing was my time to be heard. 

Now that I’m older, I want to create space on this platform for both women and young girls to have their voice heard. If there’s anything I learned in my nine years as a high school educator, it’s that teens truly have a lot to say. Not just about the latest dance or lingo either. Our future leaders have unique perspectives and solutions for many common issues today.

That’s why I want to make it a point to listen to what these young minds have to say. This year, The Writers’ Lounge will host its first Teens Who Write Contest + Giveaway. Teen writers are expected to interpret the theme “We Matter” as they see fit. Responses may be written as a personal essay, a flash fiction piece, or a collection of three poems. The top five responses will be featured on this site during the month of March. All participants will also be entered into the Teens Who Write Giveaway. The winner of the giveaway will receive:

-A Grammarly subscription
-A signed copy of my latest book, Write. Reflect. Create.: 250 Writing Prompts for Creative + Introspective Writers
-A copy of Mike Kalmbach’s Writing Advice for Teens: Creating Stories
-A journal
-A set of pens

Each item in the giveaway is meant to help a young writer to improve her craft. There are certainly avenues for adult writers to be published in print or online. However, teens writers aren’t always aware of or given the same opportunities. It is my hope that this contest will provide an avenue for our young writers to build their confidence and to share what’s on the table of their heart. 

This year’s submissions are due February 9, 2018, by 11:59 p.m. EST. For more information on the requirements and how to submit, please check out that information here


Have you ever participated in a writing contest before? what was it like and what did you learn from that experience?