Free Writing Contests for prizes

Tweet: Like April Fool's Day? Enter the @WritersDigest #AprilFools4Writers contest. It's free! Details: (via @BrianKlems)Are you ready to have a little fun? It’s April Fools Day, which means it’s time for my annual #AprilFools4Writers contest! Here’s how it works: Create entertaining, clever and witty headlines that would appear in an Onion-style newspaper for writers about anything writing related (grammar, authors, books, etc.) and post it in any of the ways mentioned below. That’s it! That’s all you have to do. To make it extra special, I’ll up the ante: I’m giving away two prizes, The Build an Author Platform Premium Collection and a copy of the 2014 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition. Here’s how to win one of them:

Enter this competition in any of the four ways below. Also, spread the word of it by mentioning this blog post anywhere you can and I’ll give you a second chance to win. I’ll pick the winners at random.

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Shandy Lawson talks Fiction Locker, a writing website for teens  — Hypable
I can't answer as many of those questions as I'd like, so I thought if I put all of those answers in one place, along with stuff like regular flash fiction contests, writing prompts and featured columns by guest authors, I might be able to create a ..


What are some writing contests for middle-schoolers (grades 6-8)?

Hi! I love to write stories and poems, and I am quite good at writing them. I was wondering if anyone knew of any writing contests for me to enter. I live in Massachusetts in the Plymouth county and I am in middle school. There can be an entry fee but it should not exceed 20 dollars. Doesn't matter to me if there is an award or not though.

contests are usually free to enter. Your best bet is to ask your language teacher or go to the library and ask if they might know of any. I know the library in my area actually runs a contest for writing books and the winners actually get them bound into an actual book.

How do I teach middle-schoolers how to write poetry?

If all else fails: outsource. 
When I was in middle-school, we had a poet come to work with our class as part of a "Poet in Residence" program.  It was amazing.  I'm sure our teacher could have taught us the same fundamentals, but having an expert who really felt the poetry was fascinating.
If poetry's not your thing, then find someone (friend, teacher, poet) who could come in and jump start the class with a presentation, or help polish a poetic writing project. It could be very inspiring.