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 - 12:14pm
"School visits inspire and energize - and not just the students! I...
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 11:19am
4th-12th graders are encouraged to READ!, BE INSPIRED!, and WRITE! Entry...
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 10:28am
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 Dr. Seuss about Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

The morning of May 7, 2005, our family's Camry sat parked in the crowded lot outside my elementary school. I could sense the enthusiasm surounding me as I observed the individuals entering the location where my first six years of public education would formally end, though I did not share in their excitement. I held still with my legs crossed neatly. My aunt was fixing my hair on the back seat since we'd left home with me undressed, afraid my father would come back. I walked in with Mrs. Albright's fifth grade class panting. Our last minute preparations left me with little time to address my anxiety. I saw all the parents in the bleachers, smiling at the children they spent all morning dressing, giggling at the sickeningly simply lyrics written for our special day.