Nancy's Books

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Keep a Small Notebook/ Two No-fee Contests

Writers, keep a small notebook with you, one that will fit into your pocket or purse. Teachers, encourage your students to do the same. Every time you hear a distinctive phrase write it down. If you read an article you think you could work into a story, write it down. Ideas pop into our heads and we always think we’ll remember them, but of course we don’t. Instead of relying on our memories, you guessed it: write it down in the small notebook you never leave home without. You just might create a contract-catching character as you’re out and about.
Students can use notebooks to learn to focus on the world surrounding them.
Encourage students to write notes they can later turn to for inspiration and ideas.
Some notebook ideas include:
What angers/upsets me?
What makes me happy/content?
What is interesting? Boring?
Favorite quotes
Interesting places to visit
Places to revisit
What makes a good friend?
I wonder why…
Interesting people
What I like to do
Books I like to read

Here are a couple of contests for young writers:

1. CREATIVE KIDS MAGAZINE is looking for the very best material by students (ages
8–16). Material may include cartoons, songs, stories between
500 and 1200 words, puzzles, photographs, artwork, games,
editorials, poetry, and plays, as well as any other creative
work that can fit in the pages of the magazine. Students
submitting accepted material will receive a free copy of the
Creative Kids issue in which their work appears. Creative Kids
reserves the right to edit submissions. For more details check out

2. The PBS The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest is for kids who are in Kindergarten, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade or 3rd Grade. Are you in a K-3 Grade? Great! Here's what you'll need to do to submit your entry. Don't forget to ask for help from an adult here if you need it!
1-Take a peek at the Prizes & Rules page. Make sure you can enter the Contest...and see what you can win!
2. Find your local PBS station and download the Contest Entry Form.


  1. I take a notebook with me everywhere. I carry one in purse, have one next to the bed.... when I travel I take one with me. I like to take one to doctor's appts or anyplace I have to wait.

  2. I really appreciate your blog of sharing writing tips and contests. Thank you! Will look forward to following along.

    Barbara Techel
    Award winning author of the Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog Book Series
    My passion is bringing a positive face and voice to animals with disabilities
    Frankie is Official Mascot for National Disabled Pets Day and
    Wisconsin Pet Hall of Fame Companion Dog