Young Spurs Writing Contest

Young Spurs Writing Contest 2020



This is the ninth 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 2020 Young Spurs theme focuses on exploring favorite pursuits (in coordination with the 2020 theme for the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum essay contest).

The Young Spurs writing contest is open to U.S. high school students grades 9 through 12 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 17-19, 2020, 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 17, critiquing their winning entries and will spend the rest of the weekend attending lectures and panel discussions centered around the conference theme.

The deadline for submissions directly to the Mayborn is 11:59 p.m. CST March 12, 2020.

The deadline to enter via the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum ( is March 3, 2020 (online) or March 5, 2020 (postmark).

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, 2020.

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!