A previous winner of the Young Southern Student WritersWe have our winners!

Congratulations to the 2013-14 YSSW Contest winners!  The 2014 winners booklet is available here:  

Kindergarten-5th Grade

Grades 6-12


Welcome to the online submissions process for Young Southern Student Writers! Student entries are submitted this year as they were last year (i.e., by the teacher and according to grade level and category).  Note that submissions are accepted EXCLUSIVELY online.  They will arrive in our database as e-mail attachments.  Permissible file formats:  .doc, .docx, or .rtf.  No PDF files please, and do not send e-mails with the poetry or prose submissions in the body of the e-mail message.  

Contest Rules

  1. Eligibility:  Students from any school (K-12) in the greater Chattanooga area, as well as home school students, are eligible to enter the YSSW contest.  Each entry must be the original work of the student, and it must not have been previously submitted to another contest or competition.  Submission of the entry is an indication of acceptance of and adherence to these rules.
  2. Submission:  Entries must be submitted via the online submission process.  Entries must be submitted by the students' teacher(s). 
  3. Format:  Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format documents.  Acceptable file extensions are .doc, .docx and .rtf.  Entries MUST be written in English, single spaced, and printed in a standard font (e.g., Times, Times New Roman).  No cursive or decorative fonts, please!  No illustrations or drawings.  (Download the rules and format guidelines HERE.)
  4. Categories:  Entries may be submitted in either or each of the two categories—prose (fiction or nonfiction) and/or poetry—at the elementary level (K-5th grade), middle school level (grades 6-8), and high school level.  However, students may enter only one submission per category.  Maximum length for prose entries is 1,000 words; maximum length for poetry entries is 50 lines.
  5. Deadline:  Entries submitted electronically by teachers after Monday, January 5, 2015, will NOT be considered.
  6.  Judges:  UTC faculty graciously read and enjoy every submission.  UTC English faculty and graduate students read and evaluate all entries on the basis of creativity, content, and style to select the outstanding writer(s) in each category from each school.  Judges are instructed to select one winner per every 15 students in each category in each grade.  Specifically, grade levels, arranged by school, with 16 or more entries in a category will have two winners; those with 31 or more entries in the same grade level will have three winners.
  7. Winners:  A winner in each category will be named from each participating school that has at least five entries in that category. 

Get Inspired!

Consider this Short Guide to Imaginative Thinking. Please take some time to review this downloadable file and consider how you may inspire your student writers.

Awards Ceremony

YSSW contest winners will be recognized and awarded medals at the YSSW Awards Ceremony on April 14, 2015, at the Tivoli Theatre in lovely downtown Chattanooga.  Likewise, winning entries will be featured in an online publication.  Teachers of these YSSW contest winners will be notified with more information as we approach the awards ceremony. Questions:  Call the Southern Lit Alliance office at (423) 267-1218 or email Dr. Wilferth at Joe-Wilferth@utc.edu.

 Best wishes to our area teachers and our student writers!

Submission Process

Before You Begin:  Save ALL of your students' entries in a folder or folders (plural) on your computer.  (You may have multiple folders if you teach multiple grade levels and/or if you are submitting for multiple categories.)  For example, you may create folders on your computer for "Grade 6 Poetry" and "Grade 6 Prose."  If you have not yet organized your entries into folders based on grade level and category (poetry or prose), please do so before you proceed. 

How this Works:  You may submit an entire folder as a compressed (or .zip) file, or you may submit individual entries as attachments (.doc, .docx, or .rtf files) to one e-mail message that identifies in the subject line the grade level and category (e.g., Subject:  Grade 1 Poetry).  Simply select from the options below the appropriate level (elementary OR middle/high school) and the appropriate category (poetry or prose).  If you are submitting for multiple categories, you will need to complete this process for each category. Again, identify in the subject line of your e-mail message the grade level and the category. Please see the submissions page for information on submitting documents.


YSSW 2013 Winners Booklet available here