Archive for December, 2009

Family Stories Short Story Contest – First Prize $1000!

December 30, 2009

Short Story Contest Family Stories

Free Short Story Writing Contest “Family Stories”

Maybe not every family does have its secrets, but they sure do have their stories! Fiction or nonfiction, we want to read yours. The short stories could be about your family in the past, your family in the future, an imaginary family, a family of ducks or a family of your friends.

Enter your short story about families in BookRix’s free writing contest “Family Stories” now. The story must relate to families in some way. Tell us your story and share it with other readers to win cash and fame. In addition to the cash prize, the contest winner will receive free proofreading and editing services (of up to 3,000 words), courtesy of Elite Editing.

Timeline:
Community Voting – December 21, 2009 to February 23, 2010
Jury Voting– February 24, 2010 to March 15, 2010

Sitting this one out? You can still help your fellow BookRixers by reading their contest books and voting for your favorite stories. Our readers choose the top ten stories, which will then be reviewed by our independent jury. You also could win prizes for voting — when you vote, you enter into a raffle to win Amazon vouchers worth $20.

$1,800.00 in cash prizes to win for authors.

10 Amazon Vouchers each worth $20 to win for readers.

The contest starts on December 21, 2009. Authors must register their stories for the competition by February 23, 2010, 12 pm (EDT) / 9 am (PDT). To enter, you must write a short story that has anything to do with family. Until February 23, 2010 readers can vote for their favorite stories. Readers’ votes determine the top 10 stories. Afterward, these top 10 stories will be given to an independent jury. The jury will choose the three best short stories out of the final 10 stories to win first, second and third place prizes. All winners will be announced on or before March 15th, 2010.

Prizes for authors:
First Prize: $1000
Second Prize: $500
Third Prize: $300

Prizes for readers:
10 Amazon Vouchers (each worth $20) will be raffled for free among all readers who have voted on at least one contest book.

Good luck to all!

http://www.bookrix.com/precontest.html?show=BX_1261137553

Introducing the Hybrid Book!

December 29, 2009

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/27/AR2009122701973.html

Writing Prompts:  After reading the article about the Vook, what other hybrid objects can your imagination create?  Write a story about one or more of them.

Farmer’s Almanac Essay Contest – ALL ages!

December 28, 2009

Announcing the 2010 Farmer’s Almanac Essay Contest Topic:  The Kindest Thing Anyone Ever Did for Me. 

In 200 words or less, please tell us about an act of kindness that you experienced. 

Rules:  Cash prizes (first, $250; second, $150; third, $100) will be awarded for the best essay on the subject “The Kindest Thing Anyone Ever Did for Me.”  All entries become the property of Yankee Publishing, which reserves all rights to the material.  The deadline for entries is Friday, January 29, 2010.  Label “Essay Contest” and send to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, P.O. Box 520 Dublin, NH, 03444; essaycontest@yankeepub.com

Include your name, mailing address and em-mail address.  Winners will be announced in The 2011 Old Farmer’s Almanac and on Almanac.com/Contests.

http://www.almanac.com/content/contests

2010 Poetry Contest for Kids! Grades K – 12

December 20, 2009

2010 writing contest

The 2010 Neuroscience for Kids POETRY WRITING CONTEST is OPEN and entry forms are now available.

Here are the rules of the contest:

  • Only one entry per person. Please type or print your poems so we can read them.
  • Use the official entry form (copies of the form are acceptable) to write a poem about the nervous system in the style for your age group (see below).

Entry Form (PDF File) OR Entry Form (WORD File)

  • Please type or print your poems so we can read them. All poems, limericks and haiku must have at least THREE lines and CANNOT be longer than TEN lines. Material that is shorter than three lines or longer than ten lines will not be read.
  • All material must have a neuroscience theme such as brain anatomy (a part of the brain), brain function (memory, language, emotions, movement, the senses, etc.), drug abuse or brain health (helmets, brain disorders, etc.). Be creative! Use your brain!
  • Entries will be divided into four age groups:

If you are in Kindergarten to Grade 2, your poem can be in any style; it doesn’t even have to rhyme.

If you are in Grade 3 to Grade 5, your poem must rhyme. You can rhyme the last words on lines one and two; the last words on lines three and four, etc. or you can choose your own pattern.

If you are in Grade 6 to Grade 8, your poem must be in the form of a haiku. A haiku has only THREE lines. Also, haiku MUST use the following pattern: 5 syllables in the first line; 7 syllables in the second line; 5 syllables in the third line.

Example Haiku:
Three pounds of jelly
wobbling around in my skull
and it can do math.

If you are in Grade 9 to Grade 12, your poem must be in the form of a limerick. A limerick has 5 lines; lines one, two and five rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables; lines three and four rhyme with each other and have the same number of syllables.

Example Limerick
The brain is important, that’s true,
For all things a person will do,
From reading to writing,
To skiing to biting,
It makes up the person who’s you.

  • To enter the contest, mail your completed entry form with your poem to:

Dr. Eric H. Chudler
Dept. of Bioengineering; UWEB E/O
BOX 355061
1705 NE Pacific Street
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-5061

  • Entries must be received by February 1, 2010 and cannot be returned.
  • People and their families associated with the Neuroscience for Kids web site are not eligible to enter the contest. Kids from ALL countries are welcome to participate.
  • The staff of Neuroscience for Kids and other individuals will judge poems on the basis of originality, scientific accuracy and overall style.
  • At least one winner from each group will be selected. Winners will be announced by March 1 and will be notified by e-mail or regular mail. The winner agrees to allow Neuroscience for Kids to publish his/her name (first name and last initial only) and poem on the Neuroscience for Kids web site. Winner addresses and e-mail addresses will NOT be published.
  • All materials received will become the property of Neuroscience for Kids and will not be returned. Neuroscience for Kids will not be responsible for entries that are damaged or lost in the mail.
  • Winners will be awarded a book or other prize to be determined later. Prizes will be mailed to the address listed on the winner’s entry form.
  • Void where prohibited by law. Questions about this contest should be directed to Dr. Chudler at: chudler@u.washington.edu

Contest prizes provided by:

NEURO4KIDS.COM | Capstone Press

Copyright © 1996-2009, Eric H. Chudler All Rights Reserved.

Entry form and other details below:

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/contest10.html

Coincidences in Your Life

December 18, 2009

A few weeks ago I dreamed my dad visited me while I was asleep in bed.  I opened my eyes but before I could say a word, he crept out, not wanting to awake me.  He wore his old work jacket and Wisconsin winter cap which I hadn’t seen it in years.  It reminded me of  times when we shoveled snow together, built snow forts, or went tobagonning.

Then I awoke from this dream.  It was just a brief moment of Dad, but it brought his smile, his warmth, and his thoughtfulness. 

First thing on my schedule that morning was a dentist appointment.  As I sat in the reclining chair, the first strains of Christmas music filled the room.  Tears filled my eyes.  With Dad, Christmas was his favorite thing next to church!  As a youth Dad would ask me to play Christmas music on the piano, or they’d be heard all through the house from the record player or radio.

In his later years, he had us set his transistor on KOIT, the station that played nonstop Christmas carols from December 1 – 25.  He listened to it constantly.   If the knob got bumped, we’d get a call to come over and “fix his broken radio.”  Bob or I would become an immediate hero when we did. 

So there I sat in the dentist’s office, the first time I heard a Christmas carol without my dad by my side.  Tears were in my eyes. Maryanne, the hygenist, saw me and patted my arm.  “Just want to let you know that I thought of you and your dad on All Soul’s Day.  I said a special prayer for him,” she said. 

That did it.  We hugged and I shared my recent dream with her.  

The song lyrics at that moment?  

” . . . I’ll see you in my dreams.”

Writing Prompt:  1. When have coincidences occurred in your life?  Write about a special one that holds meaning for you.

2.  Keep a journal of these interesting moments of serendipity. 

3.  Keep a dream journal.  Try to figure out what symbols that reoccurr in your dreams can represent in your life.  If you have dreams that happen again and again, your inner self is trying to give you a message.

The Past and the Future

December 16, 2009

When you were young, how did you envision yourself all grown up? When I was an eighth grader in Wisconsin, our English class assignment was to interview each other and write up the interviews about our classmates in the far-away future space age . . . the year 2000. Someone made a booklet cover with a space ship flying among the stars and we were all set.

As for the article about me, I was to be a teacher, with a terrier, who lived in California.

Although I no longer teach, I did for many years. And the photo of my Yorkshire Terrier, Zoie, is at the right and also on my website. I came to California for college and never left, except for visits to the Midwest.

But as a child I never dared dream I’d be a children’s book writer. That wasn’t an available choice. The closest thing offered on the guidance counselor’s form was “newspaper reporter,” which was of no interest to me.

Fortunately today, young people see authors in classrooms, bookstores, and online as examples of what they may become. There are contests and opportunities for them to become published in magazines, newspapers and even books. So although many of us lament what has happened to the “good old days,”  opportunities have been created for writing and the arts.

1. What about YOU? Write your history of what you wanted as a youngster and how it has differed. Or has it?

2. If you are a student, what do you hope for your future? You can write about your career, or your family, the world situation, your spiritual growth or any topic you choose.

3. How can you help advance writing and creativity today? Can you sponsor a contest? A brainstorming session at your school or library? Start a book or writer’s group?

Dog Lover Writing Contest for ALL Ages

December 15, 2009

What if dogs ruled the world?   Write a story from your pet’s point of view!  Visit the following site for more information: 

http://www.petcentric.com/pics/winter-wonderland-contest.aspx?offercode=PEHMC&DCMP=BAC-PETC-T2-AG-Wagging=1×1+custom

Dream Essay Contest! $2000, 1,500, $500 Prizes!

December 15, 2009
Deadline:  Jan. 31, 2010

Who can enter the contest?
Entrants must be 25 years old or younger as of the contest deadline: January 31, 2010. Entrants must reside in Arab League member states, Iran, Afghanistan, or the United States. There is no minimum age requirement, and entrants do not need to be students. Prizes are awarded as cash, not scholarships.
Foreign Students: If you are a foreigner currently studying in the US, you can enter the contest. If you are a Middle Easterner studying in the US, answer one of the questions posed to Middle Easterners. If you are a citizen of the Middle East temporarily living outside the region, you can still enter the contest. If you are an American currently living overseas, you can enter the contest. Equal Opportunity: All essays are evaluated without regard for race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation of the author, as well as other classifications protected by applicable international US laws.

How long should entries be?
Essays should be at least 600 words, but no longer than 1,500 words. Footnotes, citations, and essay title do not count towards the word limit.

Can an essay entry remain anonymous?
If do not want your name made public in the event your essay is selected as a winner, check the “anonymous” box when submitting your essay. Several past winners have chosen this option.

When will HAMSA announce the winners?
Winners will be notified (and announced on our web site) by June 2010. Judges evaluate each essay for clarity, creativity, and persuasiveness to determine prize winners.

What are common mistakes to avoid when writing an essay?
Do not focus on US government policy and regional geo-politics (the Iraq War debate, the Arab-Israeli-Iranian conflict, Iran’s nuclear program, etc.). Essays based on these topics are disqualified. Judges are looking for essays that explore what ordinary citizens can do on the grassroots level to strengthen individual rights within Middle Eastern societies. These civil rights include, but are not limited to, free expression, women’s equality, minority rights, religious freedom, economic liberty, and artistic freedom.

How can a brief essay cover the broad topic of civil rights in the Mideast?
There are several ways to address this challenge. Past prize winners have discussed the larger problem of civil rights abuses across the Middle East with a range of examples. Others have focused on one particular country (Middle Eastern participants are strongly encouraged to address their own society). Others have focused on a particular kind of civil rights abuse (e.g., press censorship). There is no one “right” answer to any of the essay questions.

Do essays have to be original and does HAMSA retain the right to reprint essays?
Yes. Any quotations or outside intellectual material should have citations. All essay submissions become the property of the contest sponsor. At the same time, entrants can republish their essay on their own (e.g., on a blog, for a class paper, etc.) and use ideas for other writing.

If you have a question, email us at essay@hamsaweb.com.

Prizes:
$10,000 in total prize money: One grand prize winner in the Middle East and one in the US will receive $2,000. One second place winner in the Middle East and one in the US will receive $1,500. Three runners up in the Middle East and three in the US will receive $500 each. 50 book prizes will be awarded to additional outstanding essays.

HAMSA’s annual contest comes from a 1951 Langston Hughes poem: What Happens to a Dream Deferred?. The poem helped propel the civil rights movement in the US. Today, it can inspire your dream deferred for the Middle East, which the UN calls the “world’s least free region.” The contest has two parts: one for Middle Eastern youth and one for American youth. Write a brief essay addressing one of the questions below. Winning essays – selected by a panel of celebrity judges – receive $10,000 in prizes.

Deadline for entries is January 31, 2010. Please answer one of the questions below – and make sure to read the rules & guidelines.

If you live in the Middle East… If you live in United States…
1. Discuss a civil rights abuse in your local community – how does this repression impact you or someone you know? Describe a personal experience with civil rights restrictions (censorship, discrimination, etc.). Consider what can be done to reform these abuses. Explain whether your children will still face the same restrictions when they are your age. 1. Profile a Middle East civil rights reformer – What about their work inspires you and how can you assist their struggle? Explain the challenge to individual rights this reformer addresses. Describe the nonviolent strategic approach the reformer uses to advance change. And suggest ways that you as an individual in America can help support their struggle.
2. We have $500 to offer you to organize an event or campaign – what do you propose to do? Submit a proposal for an event or campaign addressing the struggle to secure individual rights. Describe the event, its intended impact, how you will spend the funds, and your target audience. Explain why you should receive the funds and how they will be an investment in long-term change. 2. How can you support the “D.R.I.V.E.” campaign from the US? Read last year’s winning essay by S.B.Z. about a grassroots campaign in Saudi Arabia for the right of women to drive. Create a strategy plan for a solidarity campaign with clear goals and benchmarks. Explain how to leverage your freedom – and how you convince other Americans to join in.
3. What is your “dream deferred” – a vision of your society with civil rights for all? Share your dream of a successful civil rights movement. Explain what is needed for this campaign to overcome obstacles. If you like, write a mock newspaper article from the year 2012 reporting on a ground-breaking event or campaign. Describe successful collaboration between Mideast and American activists. 3. What can the future look like if Americans – like you – partner with Middle Eastern reformers? Share your vision of a successful collaboration between Mideast and American activists. Describe how an effective joint campaign overcomes key obstacles. If you like, answer the question by writing a mock newspaper article from the year 2012 reporting on this new alliance.

 

HAMSA’s annual contest comes from a 1951 Langston Hughes poem: What Happens to a Dream Deferred?. The poem helped propel the civil rights movement in the US. Today, it can inspire your dream deferred for the Middle East, which the UN calls the “world’s least free region.” The contest has two parts: one for Middle Eastern youth and one for American youth. Write a brief essay addressing one of the questions below. Winning essays – selected by a panel of celebrity judges – receive $10,000 in prizes.

Deadline for entries is January 31, 2010. Please answer one of the questions below – and make sure to read the rules & guidelines.

If you live in the Middle East… If you live in United States…
1. Discuss a civil rights abuse in your local community – how does this repression impact you or someone you know? Describe a personal experience with civil rights restrictions (censorship, discrimination, etc.). Consider what can be done to reform these abuses. Explain whether your children will still face the same restrictions when they are your age. 1. Profile a Middle East civil rights reformer – What about their work inspires you and how can you assist their struggle? Explain the challenge to individual rights this reformer addresses. Describe the nonviolent strategic approach the reformer uses to advance change. And suggest ways that you as an individual in America can help support their struggle.
2. We have $500 to offer you to organize an event or campaign – what do you propose to do? Submit a proposal for an event or campaign addressing the struggle to secure individual rights. Describe the event, its intended impact, how you will spend the funds, and your target audience. Explain why you should receive the funds and how they will be an investment in long-term change. 2. How can you support the “D.R.I.V.E.” campaign from the US? Read last year’s winning essay by S.B.Z. about a grassroots campaign in Saudi Arabia for the right of women to drive. Create a strategy plan for a solidarity campaign with clear goals and benchmarks. Explain how to leverage your freedom – and how you convince other Americans to join in.
3. What is your “dream deferred” – a vision of your society with civil rights for all? Share your dream of a successful civil rights movement. Explain what is needed for this campaign to overcome obstacles. If you like, write a mock newspaper article from the year 2012 reporting on a ground-breaking event or campaign. Describe successful collaboration between Mideast and American activists. 3. What can the future look like if Americans – like you – partner with Middle Eastern reformers? Share your vision of a successful collaboration between Mideast and American activists. Describe how an effective joint campaign overcomes key obstacles. If you like, answer the question by writing a mock newspaper article from the year 2012 reporting on this new alliance.

Visit:

http://www.hamsaweb.com/essay/essay.php

For the submission entry form and other information.

Regarding the Contest . . .

December 14, 2009

” I am still trying to get the anthology promised by CC poetic power. I had many students supposedly selected for publishing and some even sent money for the books. I have not heard a word from them and as far as I know I have seen no anthology free for having over 10 students selected for publishing.”    Kathy

Thank you for writing Kathy.  A warning like that is a very good thing to know.  Have you called them?  The phone number below was on their website.  I would call them to find out.  Please let me know if this works.  If it doesn’t, I won’t add them to my list of reliable sources.   #706-378-9144      Liz

7th – 12th Grade Writing Contest! Deadline Dec. 31

December 11, 2009

Throughout the year, the National Creative Society will either sponsor or refer our readers and members to existing contests for young artists.

The 2009 National Creative Society Literary Competition and Awards

Official Rules

Open to 7th through 12th grade full-time students who are attending high schools located in the fifty United States or the District of Columbia and to home-schooled students between the ages of 12 and 18 who are residents of the fifty United States or the District of Columbia.

Three (3) copies of the entry must be mailed by a teacher on behalf of the student, along with a cover letter on school letterhead that includes the following details:

  • Date
  • Student’s full name, grade, address, e-mail and home telephone number
  • Name of high school
  • Name, email and daytime telephone number of teacher submitting essay
  • Name, e-mail and daytime telephone number of the school’s administration officer or guidance counselor
  • Certification by teacher that the submission is the student’s original work

For home-schooled students, three copies of the entry must be mailed by a parent or legal guardian on behalf of the student, along with a cover letter that certifies that the student is home-schooled and that includes the following details:

  • Date
  • Student’s full name, address, e-mail and home telephone number
  • Student’s equivalent grade
  • Name and daytime telephone number and e-mail of the parent/legal guardian
  • Certification by sponsoring parent for home-schooled student that the submission is the student’s original work

 
  Essays submitted without a cover letter or cover letters that do not include the above details will be disqualified. 

An acceptable submission will be:

Essay—a three to five page essay on any subject.

Poetry—a selection of three to five poems.

Fiction—a three to five page short story or excerpt of a longer work.

Entries must be at least three and no more than five double-spaced pages, 12 point font, Times New Roman, Arial, or similar, computer printed or typewritten. Please include three copies (including the cover letter) of each entry.

Entries must be mailed to The National Creative Society, PO Box 1564, Rome, GA, 30162-1564.  All entries must be postmarked between October 19, 2009 and December 31, 2009 to be eligible.

Entries will not be returned. By entering the contest, contestants agree to abide by these rules, and represent and warrant that the entries are their own original creations.

Entries are void if they are illegible, incomplete, damaged or handwritten. No responsibility is assumed for late, lost, damaged, incomplete, illegible, postage due or misdirected mail entries.

All eligible entries received will be judged by a qualified panel of judges chosen by The National Creative Society.  Winners will be selected and notified by no later than April 29, 2010 via telephone or email.  Winning submissions will be posted on the National Creative Society website.  Copyrights for the winning submissions will remain with the student.

Submissions will be judged on style, content, grammar and originality. Judges will look for clear, concise writing that is articulate.

The prizes for the High School Division will be as follows:

  •  
    • First Place.  $1000.00
    • Second Place.  250.00
    • Third Place.  $150.00

The prizes for the Middle School Division will be as follows:

  •  
    • First Place.  $300.00 
    • Second Place.  $200.00
    • Third Place.  $100.00

 
 

Prizes will be awarded in the form of United States Savings Bonds.

In the event that there is an insufficient number of qualified entries or if the judges determine in their absolute discretion that no or too few entries meet the quality standards established to award the prizes, The National Creative Society reserves the right not to award some or all of the prizes.

This contest is void where prohibited by law. All state and local restrictions apply.  National Creative Society representatives, National Creative Society employees, contest judges, and all of their immediate family members are not eligible for and may not enter this contest.

All expenses, including taxes (if any), on receipt and use of prizes are the sole responsibility of the winners.  Winners shall be required to provide a Social Security Number for issuance of a 1099 Form.  By participating in the contest and/or accepting a prize, contestants release the National Creative Society from any liability, injury, damages, cost or expense, including reasonable attorney’s fees, arising out of or connected to participation in this contest or the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prizes.  Any dispute arising from this contest will be determined according to the laws of the State of Georgia.
 http://www.nationalcreativesociety.com/students_contests.html