Writing Contests by month

I love discovering messages in unexpected places. One of OLL’s illustrators, Jesse Reklaw, includes a tiny update on his life in the fine print of every invoice he sends us. A note on a recent invoice said “I read Stephen King’s On Writing in the bath tonight. My bookmark fell into the tub.”

It seems like a lot of people and companies are really coming to embrace the joys of mini-messages, from drink companies sneaking factoids onto the underside of bottle caps to Taylor Swift dropping capital-letter hints about her song’s subjects in her liner notes.

Yogi brand teas, which we drink a lot of here in the office, have inspirational messages printed on every tea bag tag. It’s one of their great charms. We’ve endured 900 days of rain in Berkeley, and I’ve been relying on Yogi’s St. John’s Wort “Blues Away” tea to bring some sunshine to my brain despite the cloudiness overhead.

This week, on my “Blues Away” tag, I discovered what may be the most poorly chosen message in the history of anti-depressant tea-bag branding. The tag read: “Don’t let yourself down, anyone else down, or participate in a letdown.”

Ouch. Yogi Teas! Come on, now. Life is hard enough without getting yelled at by your tea bag. They might as well have printed tags that said: “Sad person: Stop being such a drag” or “The key to happiness is trying to please everyone around you at all times.”

To try to cheer myself up after the sad encounter with my tea bag, I thought it would be fun to organize a Tea Bag Tag writing contest.

To participate, all you have to do is write a 13-word (or shorter) message that would make someone feel happier after they’ve read it, and post it in the comments below. At 2:00 PM, PST, on Thursday, June 16th, I will take the list of entries next door to Sweet Adeline Bakeshop, and let one of their tea vendors choose the winner. Based on a scientific assessment of which slogan made him or her happiest.

The winner of the contest will receive eternal fame as the first-ever winner of the Tea Bag Tag Writing Contest, along with an actual tea bag* with a tag bearing your slogan!

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Achiever | Noah Bunch wins writing contest  — The Courier-Journal
Achievement: Noah won first place in Kentucky's 2014 Letters About Literature writing contest for level 2, grades 7 and 8. He was the only local student to win an award this year.