October 20, 2012, will mark NCTE‘s fourth annual National Day on Writing (U. S. Senate Resolution 565). Because October 20 falls on Saturday this year, NCTE and collaborating organizations are inviting us to celebrate on October 19. This year NCTE is partnering with The New York Times Learning Network, National Writing Project, Mozilla Hive Learning Network NYC, Edutopia, National Novel Writing Month, Digital Learning Day, Common Sense Media, The College of Saint Rose, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Creative Commons, School Library Journal, and FridayReads to encourage you and your students to take part in a global conversation on Twitter about writing and the role it plays in your life. For ideas about what to post, just click on the links for any of the collaborating sponsors.
If you decide to participate and/or if you decide to invite your students to participate, please post using the hashtag #WhatIWrite (and if space permits, #dayonwriting). The goal is to call attention to the remarkable variety of writing that people from all walks of life engage in across the nation and to recognize the important role writing has in all our lives.
Let’s get #WhatIWrite to be a trending topic on Twitter on Friday!
World Wide Waldens, an education initiative of the Walden Woods Project that promotes environmental reflection and action activities for middle school, high school, and college students, is sponsoring its annual Live Deliberately Essay Contest for students. There are three age categories: 13-15 years old, 16-18 years old, and 19-21 years old. To enter the contest, students should submit a 500-word personal essay in response to the following passage from “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” in Thoreau’s Walden:
“The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake.”
Submissions are due by May 15, 2012.
For more information, tips and suggestions, access to the online submission form and winning essays from previous contests, please consult essay contest website.
From the Los Angeles Times:
2011 Innovator’s Award
“The Innovator’s Award recognizes the people and institutions that are doing cutting edge work to bring books, publishing and storytelling into the future, whether in terms of new business models, new technologies or new applications of narrative art.
Figment is a digital writing community with connections to – and roots in – traditional publishing, a space where young writers and readers are encouraged to share and comment on each other’s creativity, an early adaptor of the digital landscape as a publishing and literary territory, and a site in constant evolution, developing and expanding to meet both the needs of its users and its own digital imperatives. Figment is the third winner of the Innovator’s Award whose previous winners include Dave Eggers and Powell’s Books.”
Have you heard about Figment? Are any of your students Figs (members)?
This site offers students the opportunity to share and receive feedback on their writing, receive advice about writing from published authors, participate in challenges and contests, and publish their work.
I hope you’ll take a look at this site and think about how it might be used to promote student writing.
The New York State Archives has announced its twenty-second annual Student Research Awards program to promote and recognize excellence in student research. The main purpose of the awards program is to encourage students to explore the wealth of historical records in New York State.
Three awards will be presented: one each for grades 4-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12.
Individual and group entries are welcome and must be submitted by July 1, 2012.
Entries may be in the following formats:
- Website, PowerPoint presentation, or other computer-based format
- Proposal for historic marker
- Research paper
All nominations must be made by teachers, library media specialists, or administrators in the school attended by the student or groups of students.
For official guidelines and entry forms:
The Genesee Valley Writing Project will be sponsoring a summer camp for students in grades 6 through 8 from August 6-10, 2012. Two sessions will be offered–a morning session focusing on creative writing and digital media and an afternoon session exploring nonfiction writing styles. Students may apply for one or both sessions. Applications are due June 29, 2012.
For further information:
2012 Young Writers Summer Camp Poster
Young Writers Summer Camp Brochure and Application
The Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony and the National Council of Teachers of English are again collaborating to sponsor writing awards for teachers and students. This year’s category for both competitions is fiction.
Student submissions are due by noon CST on April 30, 2012.
Teacher submission are due by noon CST on July 6, 2012.
For information about all competitions:
For information about the high school student competition:
For information about the high school teacher competition:
(Discrepancy alert: This site indicates that submissions are due on July 23 rather than July 6. The Norman Mailer Center site sets a July 6 submission deadline. I’d recommend submitting by July 6.)
I hope you will encourage your students to enter, and I encourage you to consider entering the teachers’ competition!