California Writers Club Young Writers Contest Questions

Yesterday I visited two classes at a local middle school.   I think I need to hang-out with this age-group more often.   The kids were funny, insightful, and asked great questions!  

Here are some of the questions that popped up regarding the California Writers Club Young Writers Contest.

1.  Can we enter more than one story in the contest?  Yes!  You CAN enter more than one story.  You can also enter more than one category. 

2.  How do we mail them?  Separately?  Together?  Either way.  Just follow the guidelines. 

3.  Is it all right if the teacher gives us extra credit or bonus points for sending in our creative writing to you?  Yes! Absolutely! 

4.  Do the poems we write have to rhyme?  No. 

5.  Can the short story we write be UNDER five pages?  Yes.   Just don’t go over five pages. 

6.  Can the personal narrative/essay be UNDER three pages?  Yes.  Just don’t go over three pages. 

7.  Can we send in the entries now?  Yes!  Get them in by April 12.

8.  Are you reading them already?   No.  I’m opening them and glancing to see if kids are following the guidelines. 

9.  Are they?    Most of them are.  Some of the short story writers are not double-spacing.  They seem to be double-spacing between paragraphs but not each line.  This means you didn’t follow the guidelines and you can’t win.  If you  did this, send it in again to us before the deadline.  We will disregard your other story and will read the story that follows the guidelines!

10.  Do you have any other tips on how we can win the contest?  Yes.  See the pages on short story, personal narrative, and poetry, at the right on this blog.

In the second class I talked to, we had a little more time so I got to ask THEM some questions.   Since I’m writing books for kids younger than anyone I’m around on a regular basis, it’s difficult to know what is “in” or what is “out” today.   What slang do they use?  What would a middle schooler do and say?  A lot has changed since my son was that age and since I was a teacher.

 I discovered some kids are writing longer works of fiction.  One boy is writing a novel staring lots of characters!  Oh my.  I’m amazed.  I wish I had begun writing like that at his age.  What ambition!  He’ll be able to polish his book and enter it in the Scholastic Contest. 

One boy had his nose in an Orson Scott Card novel.  I hope he’ll send us a fantasy or science fiction story.  What is your reading passion?  If you like to read mysteries, you’d be great at writing them. 

What is your passion?  Enjoy softball?  Write a short story, a personal experience you had about the game, or a poem about softball.  Or perhaps all three!

Good luck!

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