New York Times editor Michael Gonchar writes:
When you think of The New York Times, you probably think of front-page news, but The Times also has a long tradition of publishing personal narratives, and you can find new ones online nearly every day if you know where to look.
In fact, over the years there have been columns dedicated to personal narratives on themes as varied as love and family, life on campus and navigating anxiety.
With that inspiration, we decided to host our first-ever Personal Narrative Contest for students last fall. We invited teenagers to tell a story about a meaningful life experience in 600 words or fewer, and the entries came pouring in: over 8,000!
Well, this year we’re back with our second annual contest, open to middle and high school students for submissions until Nov. 17. We asked three winners of last year’s contest to annotate their winning entries as a way to demystify the writing process for other students. These three students also read their stories aloud and discussed three “writer’s moves” — dropping the reader into the scene, using metaphors, and writing conclusions — they used in their pieces.
We think these new resources will be a powerful tool for teaching writing, and they build on the rest of our narrative writing collection: a narrative writing unit plan, a list of 550 narrative writing prompts and a series of mentor texts.
Once again, we can’t wait to read students’ stories!
And with that, the Times announced the opening Tuesday of its second annual personal narrative writing contest, open to middle and high school students. Full details are available from the Learning Network pages.
So if writing is something you enjoy, give it a shot. And even if you don’t enter your personal narrative in this contest, the resources from the Times provide very helpful tools for good writing in the general sense.