Reading & Literacy

Teachers, Education Week Wants Your Short Stories on Education

By Madeline Will — November 16, 2016 2 min read
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We’re midway through November, and for some educators, that means they—and their students—are furiously writing.

November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, which asks participants to write a 50,000-word novel over 30 days. NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program targets educators and students specifically, with school-friendly assignments and goals, as well as resources for teachers. Grant Faulkner, the executive director of NaNoWriMo, told me in an email that the young writers in the program recorded 22 million words on the first day.

For teachers and students not ready to write 50,000 words—or who may be willing to share an excerpt of their story in hopes of publication—Education Week is hosting an education-themed short story contest.

Here’s what my colleague Kate Stoltzfus wrote, over at the Bookmarks blog:

In honor of NaNoWriMo, Education Week invites educators and students to send us a short story—not a novel. We’re looking for original, fresh storytelling that makes us laugh, cry, or think. Share your best fiction or show off your artistic talent in a short, graphic story, with one requirement: The piece must somehow tie in education.

A few guidelines for submissions:

  • Length: Stories should be anywhere from 500 to 6,000 words.
  • Subject: Anything, so long as there’s a connection to education: Maybe your story takes place at a school or in an edu-topian society, or your main character is a teacher, a student, a policymaker, a researcher—you get the idea.
  • Format: Send short stories as an attached Word document and graphic stories as a PDF, and include your name, location, and a brief bio.
  • Timeline: We will accept stories until November 30. Stories must be written within that time frame as part of NaNoWriMo (previously written work not accepted).

Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of Education Week staff writers and editors. We will feature the top three winners on the BookMarks blog.

Ready, set, ...write!

Submit your stories, questions, and comments to

In other literacy-related news, make sure to check out Education Week‘s special report on the changing face of literacy. The report explores how literacy instruction is changing in the digital age, from learning how to read in elementary school to exploring “Macbeth” in high school.

The report also spotlights a startup book-subscription service and app that can tailor books to a teacher’s needs, and explores how school librarians are playing an increasingly important role in helping teachers embed digital literacy skills into the curriculum. The full report is worth a read.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.