A Fun Way to Boost Writing Skills

Kara Corridan

Have your students ever entered our writing contests? If they haven't, I'm hoping this is the year that they do. In Storyworks, we have several contests in each issue; Storyworks Jr. generally has at least two writing contests per issue. Our goal is to encourage creative and persuasive writing, and to provide you with opportunities to get your students excited about writing. We aim to make it as simple for your students to enter as possible, offering custom entry forms for each contest. We also aim to make the winners feel proud of their accomplishment: We send each student a personal letter as well as a book prize that relates to the theme of the article they wrote about. (The photo above is of one of our Storyworks Jr. winners, Reed C. of Kentucky, with her 3rd-grade teacher, Rachel Lepping. Reed wrote a wonderful essay about our May/June 2017 nonfiction feature, "The Boston Molasses Flood of 1919.") And coming soon, Storyworks Jr. will offer a participation certificate PDF for you to print out and give your students as encouragement for having entered. 

We are constantly impressed by the effort that students (and teachers) put in to their entries. And it's so heartening to notice how students' entries get stronger as the school year progresses and their writing skills evolve: Sentence structure becomes more complex, vocabulary is more varied, and the kids' creative-writing skills shine through.

We loved getting an email recently from a teacher who told us about one of our Storyworks contest winners: "Although she loves stories, reading didn't come easily to her. Winning a competition like this has been a huge confidence builder. They even added her photo on the school website homepage announcing the win." This is exactly how we hope our winners will feel! 

For tips on how to make sure your students' entries stand out, you won't want to miss this post. Good luck!  

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