Category Archives: Contests

#Basque #Writing Contest Deadline Is Tomorrow

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Boise State University is hosting a Basque Literary Contest. Even though the contest ends the day after tomorrow, it’s not too late to submit your entry digitally. Click on the link to see some of their requirements.

Of course your material needs to be written on a subject that’s of interest to Basque people and their community.

It just so happens that my book, Sunkissed Sodas, which is scheduled for release on July 1, 2016, is about a teenage girl who’s half Basque and half Mexican American. If you want to learn more about my book, be sure and follow this blog. I’ll make announcements as soon as it releases.


Want your students to take their writing to the next level? Have them participate in the VFW’s annual essay contest.

Topic Ideas for Patriotic Themed Essays

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I realize I do a blog post on this essay contest every year, but I feel it’s important to support our veterans. Also, your students can win a savings bond if they win the contest. (Our local chapter always gives them a hundred dollars CASH money, which is an even better motivation than a savings bond, but that’s not the case nation-wide.)

So here’s a link to the VFW’s patriotic essay contest, which is called “Voice of Democracy” for high school students and “Patriot’s Pen” for middle schoolers.

This year’s essay prompt for the Voice of Democracy contest is “Why I’m Optimistic About Our Nation’s Future.” Good luck getting your kids to spell “optimistic” correctly on that one! (You’ll want to write it on the board and/or give everybody a sticky note on which to write the word correctly spelled!)

This year’s Patriot’s Pen essay prompt is “What Patriotism Means to Me.” It seems like we had one like this a couple of years ago, and my bilingual students had a tough time understanding the abstract concept of patriotism. It’s not that they weren’t patriotic toward the US; it’s just that the word “patriotism” is sort of a hard concept to understand when you’re learning English.

It’s also tough to come up with original themes for the essays. One way to help kids brainstorm ideas is to have them use a spider web.

Best of luck to all the contestants!