The school-based Promising Young Writers program was established in 1985 by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) to stimulate and recognize students’ writing talents and to emphasize the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students. Students who are eighth-graders in the present academic school year are eligible to be nominated by teachers for the program. The nomination process requires that students each submit two pieces of writing; one is theme-based and the other, an example of the student’s best writing. The theme for 2012 is Flash Back, Forge Ahead. As writers, students have the freedom to play with time—flashing back in history or in their own memories, or forging ahead into a future that they imagine, hope for or perhaps even fear. Teachers may nominate an equal (additional) number of entrants who are English language learners (ELL). Teachers should briefly describe each entrant’s current level of language acquisition. The program’s website provides a rubric and judging guidelines, which may be downloaded as a PDF file. Students selected for superior performance in writing will receive a letter and certificate of commendation from NCTE. 


Deadline: February 15, 2012
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Plus: NCTE’s Achievement Awards in Writing is a school-based writing program established in 1957 to encourage high school students in their writing and to recognize publicly some of the best student writers in the nation. Only students who are juniors in the academic year 2011–2012 may be nominated for 2012 awards. Two written compositions (best and themed) by each student are required. Both writings should go through a recursive process of drafting and revision and be in two of the following genres: poetry, narrative, argument, expository.


Deadline: February 15, 2012
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