It’s usually not enough to just tell someone to “do” something – they need a real reason that makes sense, so they understand what it’s for and feel fully engaged in the learning process.
Have you ever heard the term “coopertition?” Its a word made of two other words: cooperative and compete, and it’s really the spirit of many endeavors, including business, these days.
Years ago, when you (parents) and I were kids, we had to sit in a neat row of little desks in a classroom, and we got in trouble if we talked with our neighbors. Today, if you don’t talk to your neighbors, you’re out of business.
Now communication is more important than ever, and the idea of collaborating and working together is at the heart of the working world, one you will need to prepare your kids for!
So what about competition? Isn’t that a bad thing? I mean, we all know the pushy, crazed, yelling parents on the sidelines at their kids’ sporting events, and they’re not usually modelling “good sportsmanship”. Is competition a bad thing then?
Absolutely not. Kids need to learn that not everyone will win a prize, not everyone gets a trophy, and a lot of the world is based on what results you can produce. And nothing can take the place of the GOLD kids feel inside when they truly push themselves beyond their own limits and break the barriers of what they thought they could do.
Competition at is core means to “bring out the best” in each other. I run faster and train harder when I have a worthy opponent. No one cares if a high schooler outruns a 5 year old. You must have opponents that are worthy of your steel. Fans love a good football team when both teams are at the same level and they really don’t know who’s going to win.
Fans also love it when the underdog wins. Why is that? Because to the underdog, the opposing team was a huge obstacle to overcome, and they did it against the odds. People love that. The spirit of competition is really a tool to bring out the best in each other.
So what does this have to with writing?
It’s time to pick up your sword (pen) and pick a worthy assignment. We’re going to enter a contest. If this is your first assignment and you’re really not sure how to start, I would recommend starting with the Persuasive Writing Assignment or 55 Fiction Writing first, then pick one of these.
- Cricket Magazine Writing Contests run several fun writing contests for kids every year, and winners are published in their magazine.
- Roald Dahl’s Challenge is a 100-word story contest for younger kids, ages 5 – 12
- The Betty Award
- Stone Soup and Creative Kids wants submissions from children under 13, and you can enter stories, poems, and art for inclusion in their magazine
- Junior Poet’s Contest is open to kids ages 13-18 years
- IEW Writing Contest is for writers ages 8 – 18 years
- It’s All Write Teen Writers is for short stories for kids in grades 6 – 12.