Looking for the number one way to encourage your child to write?
Introduce them to the world of writing contests! Yes, a writing contest is the easiest and the most encouraging way to make your child develop a liking for writing.
It works on a simple child psychology principle – add a reward and every activity becomes much more interesting! Writing contests are a great way to add a reward while teaching your child how to work within rules.
Whether your child loves writing stories, poems, or essays, there is always a writing contest around one of these styles. For middle and high schoolers they are a great way to channel creativity while instilling the spirit of competition.
At the Talentnook Writing Academy, we encourage our students to participate in as many writing competitions as possible. This has helped a lot of our students build an organic interest in writing while honing it methodically as a skill. No matter how small is the scale of the writing contest they begin with, it’s important to just start participating. In fact, the earlier they start, the better!
Based on both our research and real-life experiences, here are our top 5 reasons why we feel writing contests are great for children of all ages:
1. They reward and encourage creativity
A writing contest much like a sports tournament: it encourages creativity and rewards it. The cash prize (or goodies) and certificates (or trophies) all go a long way in encouraging a child to pursue a hobby. The feeling of being appreciated and recognized for writing can go a long way in making the hobby stick. It also motivates children to research, discuss and plan their writing. While getting an A in essay writing could be a good goal to pursue, there is a much bigger ‘psychological’ reward in contesting for a top spot in a writing contest.
Don’t believe us? Ask any child in your circle who is good at writing and has won a prize in some writing contest!
2. There may be a larger opportunity than just the cash or the certificate
A writing contest brings in many smaller opportunities that could be significant in your child’s overall development. Some of the opportunities are:
- A chance to meet other children with similar interest in writing
- Participating in such contests leads to better confidence in the longer run
- Many writing contests have opportunities like the publishing of poems, stories, essays, etc. in national magazines, journals, and even newspapers
- A chance to find their true calling – is your child great at fiction writing or at poetry – let them find out in the next writing contest!
Also read: The Guide to Finding the Best Writing Tutor
3. They add the necessary thrill to the routine
While many students enroll in writing classes to achieve better grades at school in language studies, many end up getting burnt out after a few days. This boredom of routine can be combated easily by making sure your child participates in writing contests.
The sheer thrill of writing for competing instead of practicing endlessly for an exam that’s a year away can do wonders! We encourage children to explore writing contests of different formats without worrying about what’s most important for school exams.
4. They can create a treasure of lifetime memories
What’s your favorite childhood memory? That drama you played with your friends at the annual function? The basketball match you won for your high school team? We all treasure such memories more than anything else. A writing contest is a great opportunity for your child to create many such treasurable memories. Whether they win it or not, they will remember the process and the journey with much more fondness than they would remember securing an A on the next English exam.
A word of advice: Here’s a caveat, encourage your child to enjoy the participation process. Don’t let them tie any strong feelings of feeling fulfilled only if they win the contest. Keep it healthy, keep it real for them. Praise them whether or not they win it. Take them for a small treat to celebrate their spirit of participating, regardless of the outcome.
5. Other miscellaneous benefits
Participating in writing contests can do so much more for your child than you can think or we can enlist. While the benefits differ for each child, there are some general benefits everyone who participates can expect:
- Participating in a writing contest can help your child identify their strengths and weaknesses (e.g. grammar, a shortage of vocabulary, etc.)
- A few contests also have final rounds with life-changing gratifications like a chance to publish a book, meet an author, etc.
- Structuring one’s language, organizing thoughts, working within deadlines, researching a topic thoroughly, writing for a certain section of readers, etc. are some ad hoc benefits that can’t be missed
To get your child started with participating in writing contests, check out the Talentnook Superhero Writing Contest for Grades 6 to 8 launched by Talentnook for all the children out there who love putting their imagination to paper. Write a superhero story and win amazing cash prizes!
Apart from this, you can also check out many up-and-coming contests on Writers’ Digest
We recommend this because from prompt-based story writing contests to essay writing, there’s something for everyone here.