Having an authentic audience for writing can inspire students to invest more time into their work. Rewards don’t hurt, either, and some of these contests have monetary prizes attached. These are for the fall 2016.
- Letters About Literature: This contest prompts students to write a letter to an author: “stating how reading his or her work changed you. Be personal but also persuasive! Support your ideas with specific details, including details from the work itself. This is not a fan letter but rather a reflection on how an author influenced you.” Grades 4-12 can enter. First deadlines (for 9-12) are December 1.
- Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: This prestigious contest “The Scholastic Awards look for work that demonstrates originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal voice or vision.” The deadlines vary by region, but the contest is open NOW.
- Bennington Young Writers Award: “Students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades during the academic year are invited to submit one entry (poetry, fiction, or non-fiction) by the November 1 deadline.”
- JFK Profiles in Courage Essay Contest: “The Profile in Courage Essay Contest challenges students to write an original and creative essay that demonstrates an understanding of political courage as described by John F. Kennedy in Profiles in Courage. January 4, 2017.
- Creative Minds Nonfiction Writing Contest. “Essays may be any work of creative nonfiction including, but not limited to, memoirs, personal essays, travel writing, and lyric essays. We will not accept book reports, critical works, or research papers.” 5:00 pm ET on Thursday, November 3, 2016.
There are plenty more contests for your students, these are just contests I have vetted and my students have submitted to and had success with writing and submitting.