Archive | February, 2013

Call for Submissions: Young Voices of America Speak

25 Feb
young voices
Young Voices Of America Speak of Heroes Among Us Contest Now Open
See Details and Rules Below
Category 1 – Grades 7th – 12th

$75.00  First Place
$25.00  Second Place
$10.00 Third Place
Category 2 – Grades 3rd – 6th

$75.00  First Place
$25.00  Second Place
$10.00 Third Place

Category 3 – Grades PreK – 2nd

$15.00 First Place
$10.00 Second Place
$5.00 Third Place

Young Voices of America Speak of Heroes Among Us

Students in Grades K-12 are invited to participate.
Accepting Submissions Jan 15, 2013 – February 28, 2013
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation Count

Follow ALL the rules for submitting your work.
In every contest we have to disqualify a very large number of very good entries because the writer didn’t follow the rules for submitting his or her work. Don’t let that happen to you.

Young Voices of America Contest Rules

Remember to send your very best work. Have it proofread by someone skilled at writing. Errors can cost you a win.
  • Entries must be original and previously unpublished and include a hero among us, real or fiction.
  • We are seeking fiction and nonfiction short stories, NOT essays. Short stories have a plot, characters, and dialogue as well as a sense of time and place.
  • Give your story a title. We receive hundreds of entries and having a title on your entry helps us identify it.
  • Proofread your work. Proofread it again. Have a teacher or parent proofread it one more time. Send only your best work.
  • Parents of very young writers may transcribe (type) the story for their child. Technical ability must be consistent with grade level. Obvious re-writing by an adult will result in disqualification. Proof reading is not only OK, it’s encouraged. See above.
  • In the upper LEFT corner of PAGE 1 you must include name of author, age and grade level and category (Category 1 = Grades 7-12, Category 2 = Grades 3-6, Category 3 = PreK-2), name of parent or guardian, complete address including street number and name, city, state and zip code, telephone number, and email. We have to be able to contact winners.
  • No Fancy Fonts – No Fancy Formatting – No Colored Text – No Pictures – No Text Boxes. This is a writing contest. We want to see your story written in a normal readable font. Times New Roman 12 is a good choice.
  • Entries containing profanity, violent and/or sexually explicit material are not considered appropriate for this contest and will not be considered.
  • Entries MUST be written in English.
  • Multiple Submissions are  NOT allowed. One story per person.
  • Please: Send your entry via email to
  • Entries MUST be received by midnight, February 28, 2013
  • Entries WILL NOT be returned. It is important that you maintain a copy for your files.
  • Winners will be announced and prizes awarded 30 – 45 days of close of the contest. Information about the awards will be made public on the Young Voices Foundation Website.
  • Decision of the judges is final.

2-Month Reminder: Kay Snow Writing Contest

21 Feb


The purpose of this annual contest, named in honor of Willamette Writer’s founder, Kay Snow, is to help writers reach professional goals in writing in a broad array of categories.

Entry Dates

Postmark Deadline: April 19th, 2013.

Student Writer (18 or under) – There are three categories of student writers. Students can enter any type of writing, fiction, non-fiction, poetry. Word limit, 1,500 words. Students should not enter adult categories unless paying the adult fee. If a student enters an adult category, do not put student or a grade category on the entry form.
Grades 9-12
Students are limited to ONE entry. There is no fee for student writers in these three grade groups. Students should not enter adult categories unless paying the adult fee. If a student enters an adult category, they should not put student or a grade category on the entry form.Rules:

1. Entries that do not follow all category guidelines and rules will be disqualified.

2. Entries must be typed, double spaced (except poetry and screenplays – follow rules below).

3. All entries should have a title on the top of the first page. Each following page should have the title at either the upper left or right corner with the page number. (Screenplays have title on first page only, top of the page.)

4. Type word count on upper right of first page, except for screenplays and poetry.

5. Number each page except first page.

6. To assure confidentiality, Do Not Put Author’s Name On Manuscript.

7. A registration fee and entry form must accompany each entry. Multiple entries can be mailed in ONE envelope with ONE entry form.

8. Each INDIVIDUAL entry must be accompanied by ONE (1) 3 x 5 card with author’s name, address, phone, and title of entry and category. Place the card in a plain white envelope, seal it, and on the outside of the envelope write the title of your entry and its category. For poetry entry, EACH poem must be accompanied by a 3 x 5 card in an envelope. If you submit TWO poems (or more), you must have a 3 x 5 card in a separate envelope for each poem. If you submit two fiction entries, each entry has ONE 3 x 5 card for EACH entry inside ONE small envelope.

9. Submit TWO (2) copies of each entry. If you submit two poems for one entry, submit TWO COPIES OF EACH POEM. Do not send originals. Entries, registration form, and 3 x 5 cards can be mailed in one envelope.

10. All entries must be original and unpublished or unproduced. Screenplays cannot be an adaptation of a published novel or non-fiction book by someone other than the screenwriter. Being posted on a web site is not considered publication, nor is a non-fiction article appearing in an on-line newsletter if there was no payment involved.

11. To receive a list of winners, send a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope).

12. Do not send cash. Send a check, money order, or credit card information with the entry. You may enter more than one category and submit more than one entry in each category. A fee must accompany each entry.

13. Only one prize will be awarded to a winner in any category.

14. Manuscripts will not be returned. Keep a copy of your entry.

15. Submissions will be judged anonymously and judges decisions will be final. Judges reserve the right to withhold prizes in any category if entries do not meet their standards.

16. Fee per entry is $10 per entry for members of Willamette Writers and $15 per entry for non-members. Student entries are free. Note: Contest fees are not refundable.

Go to the printer-friendly Kay Snow Awards entry form

All Things Writing, All the Time

8 Feb

I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out the best way to share worksheets, posts, handy sites, etc. outside of this blog. I do have a separate page where you can download different printables but there is so much more to share on this blog as well as around the web. And then it hit me (yes, it did take me this long to think of it)…



Okay, I may not always be the swiftest swift in the flock but I got here eventually. On our Pinterest account, you’ll find a variety of boards ranging from writing tips & strategies to grammar and punctuation guides to funny bits to interesting info about books read here at Lincoln to much, much, much more.

Check it out & follow us for all kinds of writing related goodies.

Have an idea for a board? Know of something that should be shared with others? Let me know in the comments.


A Tale of Two Voices: Active & Passive

7 Feb


Voice is the way in which an action verb relates to its subject and there are two ways this happens: active and passive.

Passive Voice – The subject of the sentence receives the action. A passive sentence typically combines a be verb with a past participle

The latest vampire movie, Dusk, was derided by most critics.

Active Voice – The subject of the sentence is “performing the action or causing the happening denoted by the verb.”

Most critics derided the latest vampire movie, Dusk.

An easier way to think about it? Active makes the subject do something while something is told about the subject in the Passive.

Active voice is nearly always preferred as those sentences are more direct and straightforward.

EXCEPTION! When the action or direct object is more important than the actor, use the passive.

A groundbreaking study in genetics was performed at Stanford last week.

While the subject (Stanford) is important, we care more about the object (groundbreaking study).

How to Spot the Passive

– To Be or Not to Be

Keep an eye out for the be verbs (is, are, was, were, has been, etc.), which are usually in front of another verb.

We were invited to the movie premiere of Dusk.

– Don’t Buy the By

Look for the preposition by and if the person or thing doing the action (i.e. the subject) is right behind it, you have a passive sentence.

We were invited by the director to the movie premiere of Dusk.

– Find the Verb, Find the Actor

Locate the verb. Find the person or thing (subject) doing the action in the verb. If you can’t find the subject, you likely have a passive sentence.

The bouncer was told to refuse our entry. {Whoever told the bouncer is the subject}

How to Fix It

Place the subject BEFORE the verb instead of after it. Voila!

The director invited us to the movie premiere of Dusk; however, the producer told the bouncer to refuse our entry. Most critics derided the film so we didn’t mind that we missed it.

Need help with your passive sentences?

The Writing Center is open from Mon-Fri 2:30-4:30pm. You can sign up in the Library – main counter – or email me a day/time at


7 Feb

The latest from the folks at Verselandia.

Poetry Out Loud Content

6 Feb

Poetry Out Loud

LHS ANNOUNCES POETRY OUT LOUD CONTEST, a national recitation contest, which will take place Mar 1 at 3:30 pm in room 169.


The competition, presented in partnership with the Oregon Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

School, regional and state contests lead to the National Finals on Apr 29-30, 2013 in Washington, DC, where $50,000 in awards and school stipends will be distributed to contest winners.

Want to learn more? Visit or email and sign up by our school’s deadline of Feb 15!

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