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Young Readers and Writers Programs

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Encourage aspiring young writers in Tennessee
Event Dates: July 10, 2016 - July 16, 2016

Click here for more information about the Tennessee Young Writers' Workshop! 

Event Dates: March 14, 2015

The Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest celebrates its 10th year this year. Over 2.5 million students have participated in this program since its inception. As you may know, last year’s TN state champion, Anita Norman, emerged as the 2014 National Champion out of 365,000 student participants!

Past Projects

Decades of work bringing humanities programming to Tennesseans across the state lead to a varied collection of past projects we've undertaken and rich content associated with them. Here is a glimpse of some of our past projects, for your perusal. 

Young Readers and Writers Programs

Humanities Tennessee presents to Tennessee's young people four programs that promote and nurture the love of reading and writing.

About Young Readers and Writers Programs

Humanities Tennessee presents three programs for young people that promote and nurture the importance and joy of reading and writing: The Letters about Literature contest for 4th-12th graders,  The Tennessee Young Writers' Workshop for 7th-12th graders, and Student Reader Days for all ages.

Young Writers' Workshop

Humanities Tennessee offers two writers' workshop opportunities for young people: 

Appalachian Young Writers' Workshop is open to high school students and will be June 17-23, 2018 at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate.

Tennessee Young Writers' Workshop is open to rising 8th-12th graders and will be July 15-21, 2018 at Cumberland University in Lebanon.

Both workshops provide students an excellent opportunity to explore their interest in creative writing and to devote time to the development of their writing skills with accomplished authors in a supportive environment. Both workshops are 7-day residential programs and take place on a college campus in the summer.

Students who attend the workshops do not have to be experienced writers; they must only have an interest in writing and a desire to develop that interest. The development of writing skills has a positive impact on all aspects of a student's academic and personal growth, from writing papers, learning to critique, public speaking to preparing college essays and finding one's voice. The opportunity to work in small groups and in one-on-one sessions with faculty and counselors that are gifted writers themselves is tremendously beneficial to aspiring writers.

Both workshops will introduce you to a new group of creative friends over the course of the week, but the impact of the Workshop experience may last a lifetime. Many students stay in touch with one another and with faculty after the Workshop, sharing their work and suggesting writing prompts. 

Letters About Literature

The Letters About Literature (LAL) contest encourages students in grades 4–12 think critically and read and write reflectively. Participants are asked to write a letter to the author of a fiction or nonfiction book, a short story, poem, essay or speech (sorry, no song lyrics) they have read and about which he or she has strong feelings. Explore those feelings and why you reacted the way you did during or after reading and write about it. Read more...

Student Reader Days

Student Reader Day events bring young readers and writers together with the goal of offering good literature, critical thinking, and discussion opportunities to elementary, middle, and high school classrooms across the state. Authors are sent to schools, free of charge, for unique presentations and to encourage connections between reader and author. Read more..


News / Announcements

Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 1:14pm
"School visits inspire and energize - and not just the students! I...
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 12:19pm
4th-12th graders are encouraged to READ!, BE INSPIRED!, and WRITE! Entry...
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 11:28am
Dive in and see what these fresh young voices are writing in fiction,...


There are no news or announcements to show.

Featured Letter About Literature

To Margaret Wise Brown about "Goodnight Moon"

Sleep seems like a small price to pay to live each day energetic and happy. We get up, we say good morning and good night to the people we love. Young children notice the smallest things when it is time to go to bed because they are making an effort to stay awake. Every night children that don’t understand the necessity of sleep, fight the war with their eyelids, trying to amaze themselves with this and that. I remember doing this when I was young and even to this day I still fight the battle of slumber; everyone does.