Write to Win Contest

Writing Lessons 

A primary tenet of the National Writing Project and each of its sites is crafting writing lessons that are research-based. 

Drumroll Please

2022 Write to Win Contest Winners

Sign Up for Monthly Tips on Teaching Contest Genres,
With Student Samples

Teachers interested in receiving monthly writing tips and samples of various contest genres, please sign up now. Contact Janis Cramer, contest coordinator, at owpwritingcontest@gmail.com with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your school
  • Your school e-mail address
  • School address
  • Subject and Grade Level(s) taught

Writing Contest Genres

Students and teachers have several genres to choose from:

Descriptive Paragraph

Describe a person, a place, an object, a feeling. The paragraph can be an excerpt from a larger piece of writing or can be complete in itself. Put the reader there with sensory details and telling facts. Limit 150 words.

Personal Narrative

Write a personal memoir or a narration of an event in your life. Try to cover a very short period of time. Details are important. Be sure to use active, vivid verbs. Combine description with action to put the reader there. Limit 2000 words.


It can rhyme, but it doesn’t have to. It can be metered or free verse. Try including similes, metaphors. personification. Experiment with repetition, alliteration, onomatopoeia. Limit, 66 lines.

Short Story

Create the characters and come up with a conflict. Put those characters in a place and time and see what they decide to do. Try weaving together action, dialogue, and description to keep the reader involved. Limit 2000 words. Longer stories will be disqualified.

Flash Fiction

Also called “sudden fiction,” this genre packs a punch with a small amount of text. A complete story includes the traditional elements of setting, characterization, and conflict. Choose a time and place, narrow your focus, start in the middle of the action, keep the reader guessing, and end with a bang or a twist! Limit 100 words.


Stand up for an issue; change someone’s mind. You can pick the topic. Suggestions? Comment on controversial issues, current events, art, television, movies, books, videos, video games, products. Show us how to look at something from another viewpoint. If you cite sources, do it correctly! Limit 1000 words.

Writing Across the Curriculum

You can also enter writing you did in a class other than language arts—science, social studies, math, etc. (Description, Narration, Poetry, Essay) Limit 1000 words.


Write a sentence, any kind, any length, any subject. Be creative. One winner for each grade level. Hint: Using figurative language and poetic devices might help you win.


Use drawing and words to tell a story. Use color or black and white. It can be one panel or multiple panels. Limit 2 pages (Standard Letter size 8.5 by 11 inch). Upload a PNG or JPEG of your comic into a Word document.

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