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Young native writers essay contest

Writing Contests

When students write with an authentic purpose and audience, they are motivated to craft powerful words into prose and poetry. The New York Times Learning Network has an article with ten reasons to send student work out into the world. The Learning Network also has a list of over 70 avenues for student publication of writing.

The following contests—state, national, and international—are ways for students to submit their writing. The contests are organized chronologically by their deadline, but they can also be sorted by clicking on any of the other headings.

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Young native writers essay contest

Details Written by Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation News Release Parent Category: Life Published: 05 February 2013

Contest Offers Scholarships, Encourages Native American Youth to Explore Their Heritage

WASHINGTON – The Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce the call for essays in its eighth annual Young Native Writers Essay Contest. The Foundation partners with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian to sponsor the national writing contest which focuses on signs of hope in Native American communities, and challenges Native American youth to think about ways to foster continued progress.

For 2013, students who participate will be asked to describe a recent action undertaken by the tribal community to which they belong that gives them a sense of hope, progress and promise. In addition to describing the tribal program, law or policy, essayists will be asked to explain what additional steps they would take (if they were a tribal leader) to keep their community moving forward.

The contest is designed to encourage young Native American writers to explore their heritage while becoming positive forces in their communities. It is open to Native American high school students from all tribal communities throughout the United States.

Students interested in participating can visit the Holland & Knight Young Native Writers Essay Contest website,, for official contest rules and to view past winning essays. All essays must be submitted electronically by the entry deadline, April 1, 2013, through the contest website.

Finalists will be named in mid-May and during the week of July 15-19, 2013, all finalists and two teachers nominated by the winning essayists and competitively selected from those nominations will receive an all-expenses-paid “Scholar Week” trip to Washington, D.C. The group’s activities will include an honor ceremony at the National Museum of the American Indian; a tour of the NMAI Cultural Resources Center where tribal objects can be viewed and studied; educational symposiums for students and their teachers; and a tour of the U.S. Capitol. The winners will also receive a $2,500 scholarship to be paid to the college or university of their choice.

“The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian is proud to be involved in a program that inspires high school students to think innovatively about their Native communities,” said Museum Director Kevin Gover (Pawnee). “Each year we look forward to honoring the winners at our building on the National Mall, as well as offering them special tours and programs.”

The contest debuted in 2006 in Red Lake, Minnesota in response to the March 2005 event where a student of Red Lake High School shot five fellow students, a teacher, security guard, members of his family and then himself. The next year, Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation developed this contest with the hope that the Red Lake community would find healing by promoting its rich culture and traditions. In the following years, the program has evolved to serve all Native American communities.

The program receives funding and support from the firm’s tribal clients, attorneys and staff. Notably, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and partners in the firm regularly sponsor the scholarships earned by our winners.

“Whether in Minnesota or elsewhere, Indian youth are the future of Indian country and all of America,” said Gerry Sikorski, a former U.S. Congressman and the leader of Holland & Knight’s Government Section. “I am pleased that Holland & Knight and the National Museum of the American Indian have continued their partnership in providing a forum for these talented and thoughtful young people to offer their perspectives on issues of importance to all in Indian Country.”

About Holland & Knight LLP: Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,000 lawyers in 17 U.S. offices as well as Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Bogotá and Mexico City. The firm is among the nation’s largest law firms, providing representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law. Interdisciplinary practice groups and industry-based teams provide clients with access to attorneys throughout the firm, regardless of location. About the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation: The Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization formed in 1996 to conduct the myriad charitable activities led by Holland & Knight employees.

About Holland & Knight LLP’s Indian Law Practice Group: The Indian Law Practice Group is a team of more than 20 highly experienced attorneys and government specialists devoted to the unique needs of tribal governments and the complex field of Indian law. From sovereign immunity to the financing of hotel, retail, energy, casino, and infrastructure, Holland & Knight’s Indian Law Practice Group offers clients the resources of experienced Indian law practitioners combined with the diverse talents of more than 1,000 lawyers in every other discipline necessary to provide comprehensive services to tribal governments.