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The Joy of the Pen - Topsham Public Library Writing Contest

Joy of the Pen complements the already successful Joy of Art and Joy of the Lens art and photography competitions held annually at the library. Maine is a state full of writers, whether it is the natural beauty of the terrain that is inspirational or something within the temperament of the artist that is drawn to the independent spirit of the place, there is a long tradition of authors residing here. We wanted to give local writers a platform to show off their talent and to provide a community event to bring everyone together and have been extremely grateful to receive entries from a wide range of authors throughout the state.

Submission deadline: October 6, 2018

The Voice of Democracy: Patriotic Audio Essay Competition

Since 1947, the Voice of Democracy has been the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ (VFW’s) premier scholarship program. Each year, nearly 40,000 high school students compete for more than $2 million in scholarships and incentives. Students compete by writing and recording an audio essay on an annual patriotic theme. This year’s theme is, Why My Vote Matters. 

Submission deadline: October 31, 2018

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the oldest and most prestigious contest for young writers in the country. Every year over 90,000 students in grades 7-12 submit work in a variety of categories. Award winners earn national recognition and opportunities for publication, exhibition, and scholarships. This high-profile achievement has launched the careers of many renowned writers and artists, including Richard Avedon, who called winning his Scholastic Award “the defining moment of my life.”

Submission deadline: December 4, 2018

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers  

The Kenyon Review sponsors this annual poetry contest that welcomes submissions from high-school sophomores and juniors. The winner and two runners-up see their poetry published in a quarterly journal and online, and the winner receives a full scholarship to the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop in Gambier, Ohio.   

                                                                                                                                                 Submission deadline: November 1-30, 2018

Smith College Poetry Prize for High School Girls        

The Poetry Center at Smith College sponsors this annual poetry contest for sophomore and junior girls. Each year a distinguished poet judges submissions and selects a winner and three finalists. In addition to the cash prize awarded to the winner ($500), the three finalists are invited to spend a day in April visiting the college and discussing poetry with guest judge, Jenny George.                                                                                                     Submission deadline: December 1, 2018

Letters About Literature

Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing contest sponsored by the Library of Congress in partnership with Target. Thousands of students participate every year by reading a book, poem, or speech and writing a letter to the author (living or dead) explaining how the work affected them personally. Winning letters receive state and/or national recognition.                                                                                                                                                         Submission deadline: December 2, 2018

Photo credit: The Tree of Knowledge, Hampstead Heath, London (E. Vail, 2010)
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