Kids 18 and under across Madison can submit a story, song poem, etc. with a chance to win cash, prizes and potentially get published
Wisconsin Eagle/10224634

MADISON, WI ~ The Madison Public Library is proud to announce the return of the We Read Youth Voices Writing Contest in collaboration with Forward Madison FC and the Wisconsin Book Festival. The contest will begin on April 3, 2023 and will be open to all youth 18 and under.

The kick-off event for the contest will take place at the first home game of Forward Madison FC's fifth anniversary season on Saturday, April 15. The We Read Youth Voices Writing Contest Youth Ambassador will kick out the first ball and families are invited to visit the Dream Bus between 5-7PM for an interactive writing challenge and to pick up free writer's notebooks.

Evan Warwick, Forward Madison's Director of Public Relations, said "Forward Madison is thrilled to continue such a fantastic writing contest with the Madison Public Library. The creativity from youth in our community comes out in full force for this, we can't wait to see the 2023 submissions!"

This year's theme is "Moving Forward - Together" which was determined by this year's youth ambassador, Madeleine Bohn. Bohn is the first-ever City of Madison Youth Poet Laureate and was also a runner up in last year's contest for her story, Sunlight. Bohn reflected "When we measure something's worth in numbers and figures, we miss out on a whole world of beautiful human connection; we highlight the lines that divide us rather than the common paths we share. So much of empathy and of coming together relies on looking at things from another person's perspective, which is why I'm excited to see the unique ways each young writer interprets this year's focus."

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Submissions are accepted online beginning April 3 until June 30th in English, Spanish or Hmong with no minimum length but must not exceed word limits based on age group: 250 words for ages 7 and under; 750 words for ages 8-12; 1,000 words for ages 13-18. Collaborative pieces are welcome but authors should limit themselves to their single best piece for submission.

The grand prize winner will receive $500 with two runners up winning $250 each and age group finalists receiving $100 each through generous support from the Madison Public Library Foundation. Additional prizes include merchandise from Forward Madison FC, a scholarship to attend a Young Writer's Camp of their choice through the Greater Madison Writing Project, and more. The grand prize winner and runners up will be announced at an August 12th Forward Madison FC game while all winners as well as honorable mentions will be published in this year's We Read Youth Voices Anthology available online as well as at each library location within both Madison Public Library and Madison Metropolitan School District Libraries.

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Madison Public Library has also organized several opportunities for youth to spark their writing creativity during Spring Break March 27-31 including Whoopensocker teaching artists hosting fun interactive workshops at three library locations designed for kids ages 7 and up as well as an interactive writing prompt program happening in all library locations starting March 25th where kids can contribute characters or settings to do some storytelling together while picking up free writer's notebooks (while supplies last).

For more information about these events or about submitting entries please visit

Filed Under: Government, City

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