Writing Contest

The Leslie-Walker Writers of Promise Contest 

The Leslie-Walker Writers of Promise Contest is open from February 10 – April 14, 2018. See below for submission details.

Ideas for Inspiring Writing, Crafting Voice, and Shaping Narrative: 

We are sharing our lesson ideas for writing about place, so please visit our site as we update our contest page with downloadable lesson ideas. Share your lesson ideas with our KMWP community by emailing mary.stillerman@gmail.com or posting to our KWMP Facebook page.

  • Map Sketches – Memory & Place: start writing about place with your students with this springboard lesson.
  • Fifteen-Sentence Portrait & The Six-Room Poem: We’ve adapted Wendy Bishop’s guided writing prompt Georgia Heard’s poem as springboard lessons for writing about place.
  • Leaf Man Adventures: “A Leaf Man’s got to go where the wind blows.” Fall is a terrific time to write about place with Lois Ehlert’s children’s book Leaf Man. This activity works well with lower elementary-age students, but consider how it could inspire writing with older students as well. KMWP Fellow Mary Ann Stillerman explains how her middle school students write stories of leaf adventures with second-graders at her school.
  • Writing Marathon / Poetry Walks – inspired by the National Writing Project’s Writing Marathon, this lesson provides a model for free writing with your students using place as inspiration.
  • Personality of Place –  Scott Smoot, 7th grade English teacher, shares his lesson: Prose like Poetry in To Kill a Mockingbird. A writer may borrow tricks from a poet to show personality of a place, as Harper Lee does in a passage early in chapter one of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Writing about Place

Leslie Walker strived to create community in her classroom through writing about place. This ongoing effort was realized through her dedication to teaching writing to her students. To continue Leslie’s work, we invite teachers to prompt their students to experiment with writing about a specific place. What they express in their writing may be factual, imagined, or a combination of both.

Teachers are invited to submit up to 20 of their students’ most interesting pieces to our contest, or individual students may wish to submit a piece. Such writing may not be the most polished, and it may come from students who do not usually think of themselves as exceptional writers.

Students are encouraged to write about the experience of a place that holds significance to them. This open-ended topic serves teachers across the curriculum. The student’s voice should be evident throughout the piece. The following suggestions may help guide students to write about place, but any interpretations of the idea of place are welcome.

  • Social Studies and History teachers may invite students to write about place during a particular historical moment, on maps, or with data sets.
  • Science teachers might ask students to use what they know about certain scientific principles or methods in which place would hold significant meaning.
  • Math teachers may ask the students to write about place as it applies to numbers or mathematical concepts.
  • Language Arts and English teachers may use memoir writing to help their students explore the idea of place through their unique memories and experiences.


Submissions are accepted February 10 – April 14, 2018. Digital submissions will be accepted via this page beginning February 10th. Submissions will close at the end of the day on April 14, 2018.

In this annual contest, we ask that students’ writings be typed or neatly written in dark ink, up to 1000 words in length, and mostly error-free. Parent permission slips must also accompany each piece. For each submission, include the writer’s name, address, phone number, grade level, and school.


LWWoP 2015 - advertSubmissions will be open February 10 – April 14 (see digital submission form below)

Submissions can also be mailed to the KMWP:

Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project
Kennesaw State University
440 Bartow Avenue
English Building
Room 121
Kennesaw, GA 30144

OR, submissions can also be e-mailed to kmwp@kennesaw.edu as an attachment. Download the Parent Permission Letter to send along with your submission(s). LWWoP Parent Permission Form

Call the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project office at 470-578-2170 if you have general questions and/or e-mail Mary Ann Stillerman, contest director, at mary.stillerman(at)gmail.com