Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all young writers and artists from the YAAGroup.org!

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The Margery Carlson Prize is awarded annually by the Georgia Poetry Society for poetic achievement by students in grades 1-5. The Marel Brown Prize is a two-tier contest with prizes awarded annually by the Georgia Poetry Society for poetic achievement by students grades 6-8 and grades 9-12.


Any student in grades 1-12 enrolled in a Georgia public or private school or home-schooled at a permanent Georgia address.


There are no entry fees for this contest.


maximum of 32 lines.

Only one entry per student.

Maximum of four poems per school.

Entries must be postmarked by January 31.

Details are here:  http://www.georgiapoetrysociety.org/youth.html

Information on lots of other contests is available in the Members’ Section of the YAAGroup.org.

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Claremont Review Annual Contest

The Claremont Review offers an annual contest for fiction or poetry for young people 13-19.

There are over $2000 in prizes.  Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2010.

Details are available here:  http://www.theclaremontreview.ca/annual_contest.htm#1

Information on many other writing and art contests is available in the members’ section of the YAAGroup.org.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the YAAGroup.org!

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Baker’s Plays offers a playwriting competition for High School students.  Plays may be about any subject and of any length.

Submissions must be postmarked no later than January 30th, 2010.  $500 first prize.

Details are at:  Baker’s Plays High School Playwriting Contest

Information about other contests for young writers and artists is available in the Members’ Section of the YAAGroup.org.

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Write2Ignite! Conference for Christian Writers of
Children’s Literature

Feb. 26 & 27, 2010 at North Greenville University, Tigerville, S.C.

$90 adults, $45 students.
Featuring a special Teen Track for young authors.
Scholarships available. For more information or to
register, visit www.write2ignite.wordpress.com
Or e-mail write2ignite@jeanmatthewhall.com

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You can add details and authenticity to your writing by calling on experts for information.  I used to think this meant interviewing psychiatrists and lawyers.  But I’ve discovered that anyone can be an expert. 

For example, if you want to write about The Beatles, an expert might be your neighbor who was a huge Beatle fan back in the day.  If your neighbor was a Beatles fan she likely knows their songs and maybe even went to a concert sometime along the way.

So imagine yourself and your neighbor sitting in your living room while she tells you about security at a Beatles concert.  Or maybe you’re at her kitchen table and she’s pulling out concert ticket stubs and Beatles posters.

Your research just got interesting!

Of course, experts aren’t always living next door, so a writer often has to contact strangers for information. I’ve called people who once had polio, talked to a funeral director in a graveyard after a burial service, and sent emails to the websites of botanical gardens and mental hospitals.  In every case, I’ve gotten enthusiastic help.

I used to be shy about approaching strangers but I’m learning that people who know a lot about a particular subject are thrilled to share their knowledge with me.  And the really neat thing is that one expert usually needs to another. Research is a never-ending adventure!

So, if you need information to write a story or article, be brave – send an email, pick up the phone, or knock on a neighbor’s door. Someone’s sure to be on the other side waiting to help.

Joyce Moyer Hostetter

Author, Historical Fiction

COMFORT (Blue sequel)






TALKING STORY (E-Newsletter)

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The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is open to writers over the age of 13.  This year the contest has two categories:  one for manuscripts written for adults and the other for those written for young adults (defined as those between 12 and 17.)   Submissions will be accepted starting on January 25th, 2010.  Grand prize in each category is a publishing contract with Penguin and $15,000.  Check out the rules at Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

There is information about lots of other contests at the YAAGroup.org.

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Here’s a market a few kids might be interested in.  Secular Homeschooling invites young homeschoolers to contribute short articles, stories, black and white artwork, and poems for their Home Scholars page.  Contributors will be paid $5 for each accepted submission.

The YAAGroup.org Markets page in the members section has lots of other publishers interested in submissions from young people.

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The Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick Massachussetts has summer programs for young people who like writing and the visual arts.

The two week writing program is for those 13-17.

The visual arts program is for those 11-14.

Have you ever attended a summer writing or art program?  Let us know what you thought.

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