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Young Spurs Writing Contest

See 2018 contest details below!

Young Spurs Writing Contest 2018



This is the eighth year the University of North Texas’ Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference has teamed up with the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, BigThought of Dallas and Biographers International to offer this prestigious opportunity to young writers. Conceived in 2010, the Young Spurs writing contest was established to offer young writers the opportunity to learn from journalism professionals at the annual conference in Grapevine, Texas. As of the 2018 contest, entries are restricted to U.S. high school students in grades 9-12 as of the contest deadline.

The 2018 Young Spurs 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. Consider the development of character. The theme draws its inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci and aligns with the Bush library's hosting of the Leonardo da Vinci's Machines in Motion exhibit on display from Feb. 12, 2018-Jan. 6, 2019.

Students who enter their work to the Young Spurs contest have a chance to win complimentary registration and accommodations to the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference on July 20-22, 2018, in Grapevine, Texas. A complimentary registration and accommodations also will be awarded to each student's teacher/mentor. A small travel stipend may be available.

Young Spurs will attend a half-day workshop with award-winning author Skip Hollandsworth on Friday, July 20, when they will critique their winning entries. They will spend the rest of the weekend attending lectures and panel discussions centered around our central 2018 theme: "Are You Not Entertained? Real People, Real Stories, Real Storytelling."

The 2018 deadline for submissions directly to the Mayborn is March 15.

The 2018 deadline to enter via the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is March 8 for hand-delivered entries. Mailed entries to the Bush library must be postmarked no later than March 8.

The top 10 essayists, as chosen from among the entries submitted via the Mayborn and Bush Library contests, will be notified on or about May 1, 2018.

For requirements and instructions, refer to the contest application.

For any questions, please contact:

Jo Ann Livingston
Writing Contest Coordinator