March 15 is the deadline for submissions to this year’s Young Spurs contest for young writers. The contest, in its eighth year, is open to high school students. This year’s theme is “Genius through History, Past and Modern.” Students should submit original literary nonfiction essays researching, analyzing, and using critical thinking processes to explore the presence of individual genius historically and or in the present time.
Students (and their writing mentor/teachers) can win registration and accommodations to the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, which takes place July 20-22 in Grapevine. Young Spurs get to take part in a half-day workshop and attend the full conference. This year's workshop leader is the award-winning author, Skip Hollandsworth.
The annual contest is part of the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference and is sponsored by The Dallas Morning News, the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, Big Thought and Biographers International. Full details and an entry form can be found at themayborn.com/young-spurs-writing-contest.
Work by the 2017 participants can be read at http://www.themayborn.com/young-spurs. Here’s a list of the title of their essays, the name of the authors and what schools they represent:
- “Lessons and Legacy of an Unorthodox Rancher,” by Tierra Body, A&M Consolidated High School
- “The Clashes of the Cowboys,” by Henry Boedeker, Bryan Collegiate High School
- “ShangriLlama Offers Friendly Haven for Llamas as North Texas Growth Spreads,” by James Hartley, Eastfield College
- “Vaqueros Helped Shape Texas Culture,” by Daniel Hernandez, Bryan Collegiate High School
- “The Forgotten Ones: America’s Black Cowboys,” By Delphine Leoue Ngoko Djomo, A&M Consolidated High School
- “Two Sisters’ Software Gives Farmers High Tech Tool to Count & Track Cattle, by Miranda Lowrance, Bryan Collegiate High School
- “Capitol Cattle: The Story of the XIT Ranch,” by Shiva Saravanan, A&M Consolidated High School
- “Rehoboth Ranch Brings Grass Fed Beef to Customers In-Person and Online,” by Erika Torres, Brookhaven College
- “King Ranch’s Rich Legacy Revolutionized the Cattle Industry, Revitalized the Texas Economy,” by Jake Gutierrez, Bryan Collegiate High School
- “Texas History: The Differing Legacies of the King and Kenedy Ranches,” Kimberly Lamb, Bryan High School.
Registration is open for the annual conference, which is produced by the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas. Past conferences have featured many of America's best nonfiction writers. This year’s theme is “Are We Not Entertained? Real People. Real Stories. Real Storytelling.” Information about the conference and its $26,000 in cash awards is available at themayborn.com.