One Book Two Book 2019: Now Accepting Student Submissions

While some of Iowa City’s littlest learners may still be adjusting to the new school year, we know that secretly they’re all excited to be back playing with friends at recess, trading tales and treats at lunch, and, even if they won’t admit it, learning! Celebrating young writers and fostering creativity in children are two of the main motivations behind One Book Two Book, a celebration of children’s literature in the City of Literature. But no children’s literature festival would be complete without actual children’s writing. That is why the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature is excited to begin accepting submissions for the 2019 Student Writing competition.

We are now encouraging students in grades 1-8 from the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Corridor area school districts, or home school students in equivalent grades, to submit one page of writing for One Book Two Book 2019. This page can take the form of any type of writing: story, essay, poem, song lyric, graphic novel page, etc. While many of the criteria have carried over from years past, this year we have opened up our language guidelines and are now accepting submissions in English, French, and Spanish! Full submission instructions can be found on our One Book Two Book website

We know getting a youngster to sit down and write after a long day at school may seem like an arduous task, but this is a great opportunity for kids to start seeing writing as a fun activity rather than homework. Not only will your budding author be given an opportunity to develop writing skills and put that wild imagination to good use, but recognized students will be honored at Write Out Loud, a special event on Sunday, February 24, 2019 during One Book Two Book. Two virtuosos will be selected from each grade level, one in each of the following categories:

The Write Stuff: This award will acknowledge students with technical abilities; praising excellence in language, clarity, structure, and emotional impact.

From the Heart: The second honor seeks to acclaim young writers that excel in creativity, passion, and expressiveness.

Additionally, a percentage of all students whose submissions are deemed to be of outstanding quality will also be honored with a certificate of distinction and will be invited to attend the Write Out Loud event. All recognized student-writers will receive certificates and prizes at the event. Grade-level prize winners, selected by our team of judges from ACT, will be invited to read their winning submissions during the event, as well as have their work published in a booklet, which will be available at the festival.

So, do you have a tiny poet on your hands? Or maybe a class clown that needs a new outlet for their inventive stories? Perhaps a future essayist that has an opinion on everything from their mac n’ cheese to what they learned at Taproot this summer? Or even someone that’s quiet in school but can’t stop reading in his or her native language at home? Whether or not your child expresses an interest in writing, this is a great way to introduce them to creative writing and to the remarkable literary community in Iowa City.

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