Dec 14

Contest for Young Writers and Artists

[Photo credit: Kevin Huang, Burlington, VT, YWP Photo Archive]
Hey YWP! It could be a long winter, so let's have some fun! SUBMIT YOUR WRITING AND VISUAL ART TO THIS CONTEST CHALLENGE AND WIN BIG CASH PRIZES AND PUBLICATION! Branch Out Burlington! (BOB!), a volunteer group of local tree keepers, is partnering with YWP to sponsor this contest for young writers and artists to honor your favorite tree! Let your creative sap flow!

  • Respond to the contest challenge – A Celebration of Trees! – in any writing or visual art form of your choice
  • Focus on one tree. Fiction or nonfiction, real or imaginary. Emphasis on creativity and passion
  • PRIZES: GOLDEN BIRCH $150; SILVER MAPLE $100; COPPER BEECH $75. A panel of judges will award prizes to the top three in each of two categories – Writing (poetry, stories, songs, essays, etc.); and Visual Art (photography, drawing, painting, video, etc.)
  • Entries will be accepted through Feb. 28, 2021
  • Open to all YWP community members from anywhere
  • Participants must be youth (middle and high school; younger with parental permission*) and have YWP accounts. Sign up is free & easy.
  • Work must be your own original and not published elsewhere
  • Enter as often as you like in both categories
  • Publication of top submissions in The Voice in spring 2021 and on the BOB! website.
HOW TO SUBMIT: Be a YWP member, log in to, go to the contest challenge: A Celebration of Trees! and click "Respond." All submissions will be collected under this challenge tag. Post your writing, photos, art, video, etc. Remember to include a title and category, and SAVE. Post as often as you like!

Create an ode to a tree in writing or visual art. Close your eyes and think of a tree. Yes, just one tree. Is it the tree that you planted for your mother’s birthday? Or the one you like to climb? Have you buried secrets among its roots? Or is it a tree that you only notice in the quieter moments, gently waving beyond your bedroom window, whose movements, again and again, have brought your eyes to the sky and your face to the sun...? With the tree as the main character, communicate your personal relationship with it – in poetry, prose, photography, painting, drawing, documentary film, rap, interpretive dance – whatever form inspires you.
WHAT THE JUDGES ARE LOOKING FOR: Fiction or nonfiction. Entries will be judged on their creativity and demonstration of a passion for the tree. Judges are looking for something compelling, original, moving. Factual and historical information is okay, but please, put the science textbook aside.
NOTE: This contest is intended for middle and high school students. Entrants must have accounts on YWP. Younger students may participate by signing up for YWP accounts with parental permission. For information on how to submit your work on YWP, including audio and video, go to How the YWP Site Works.

*YWP wishes to thank Branch Out Burlington! (BOB!) for sponsoring this contest. BOB! is a volunteer organization based in Burlington that has been planting, protecting, and promoting trees in Vermont since 1996. Find out more at

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
Event Date: 
Sunday, February 28, 2021


My tree

My favorite tree has many memories,
right out my window where I go to sleep.
The wind blows leaves and it sounds like the sea.
When a big storm comes
it creaks and creaks.
When I open my eyes
I can't believe
that my tree’s still standing
where it was last week.
My tree, my tree, my favorite maple tree.
I bet you're dreaming, dreaming