Young writers encouraged to submit short stories, poems by March 15

By Khalida Sarwari

This year’s Silicon Valley Reads is in full swing, but years from now, we may see local budding writers on the program’s roster of authors. An organization that supports young writers is encouraging an early start to writing by offering a contest for third through ninth-graders.

The organization, the Society of Young Inklings, is accepting submissions of short stories and poems through March 15. Up to 20 winners will be selected to receive one-on-one mentorships with writers where they will get to learn firsthand the professional process of revising work prior to publication. Contest winners will also have their stories and poems published in the Inklings Book Anthology, slated to be released in August.

“The skills of strong communication, problem solving and empathy are all developed through the process of learning to write creatively,” the organization’s executive director, Naomi Kinsman, said. “Writers have the power to touch another person’s heart, and thus, the power to change the world.”

Many of the applicants will receive access to a free masterclass from the Society of Young Inklings instructional staff, who are either practicing and/or published writers, in order to help them prepare their stories or poems for submission.

“Though we can’t offer mentorships to all, we do send personalized editorial letters to a large group of finalists and also offer a post-contest live online workshop for all applicants,” said Kinsman.

The idea behind the contest is one that personally resonates with Kinsman, who is also the author of the “From Sadie’s Sketchbook” series.

“When I was young and filling notebooks with stories, I wanted someone to take my dreams seriously,” she said. “Now I have the privilege of granting wishes like my own by pairing young writers with authors who provide artistic mentorship and with our publishing team who deliver real-world publishing opportunities.”

For more information about the contest, visit


Young writers encouraged to submit short stories, poems by March 15


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