Young Spurs Writing Contest

Young Spurs Writing Contest 2019



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 and Biographers International to offer this prestigious opportunity to young writers.

Launched in 2010, the Young Spurs writing contest aims to offer high school and community college writers the opportunity to learn from journalism professionals at the annual conference in Grapevine, Texas.

The 2019 Young Spurs theme focuses on individuals or organizations that represents causes helping others past and present, particularly if they’ve done some work in justice in America. You should:

  • Research the personal impact on individuals both served and those who served and those who advocate for a cause;
  • Consider the resilience of character, diligence of service, and contributions to society by one or more individuals advocating a cause;
  • Consider specific changes, analyze the community impact of these causes regarding beneficial change and the roles of the advocates. You can explain the impact socially, economically and culturally.

The Young Spurs writing contest is open to U.S. high school and community college students, between 14-20 years old as of the entry deadline.

Students who enter their work to the Young Spurs contest have a chance to win complimentary registration and accommodations to the three-day Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference on July 19-21, 2019, in Grapevine, Texas. A complimentary registration and accommodations also will be awarded to their teacher/mentors. A small travel stipend may be available.

Young Spurs will attend a half-day workshop on Friday, July 19, critiquing their winning entries and will spend the rest of the weekend attending lectures and panel discussions centered around our central theme: The Power of Words.

The deadline for submissions directly to the Mayborn is 11:59 p.m. CST March 22, 2019.

The deadline to enter via the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum has passed.

The top 10 essayists, as chosen from among the entries submitted to the Mayborn and the Bush Library contests, will be notified on or about May 1, 2019.

For requirements and instructions, refer to the contest application:

Download application

For any questions, please contact:

Jo Ann Livingston
Writing Contest Coordinator

Good luck, young writers!