For Teachers

Dear Teachers,


Every day you inspire your students to read widely, to write with greater complexity, and to share their stories and their unique voices. In these dynamic and difficult times, we believe, as you do, in the unique power of fiction and poetry to inspire and empower, to remind and connect us beyond our daily lives.

At Narrative it’s an essential part of our mission to help you foster a passion for reading and writing in your classrooms. Our aim is to help you motivate your students to write at a higher level, and we hope our ever-expanding free library of thousands of stories, essays, and poems will provide you with assignments to share with your colleagues and students. We also hope that the Narrative High School Writing Contest will inspire your students to write for a reason beyond a grade.

Since we’re looking for creative poems written in a young writer’s authentic voice, the Narrative High School Writing Contest differs from the typical high school assignment. We encourage you to keep this in mind as you work with your students, review their drafts, and create space for peer editing.

For extra inspiration, direct your students to our targeted student resources, which include writing tips to help your students set pens to paper; Writers & Mentors Videos featuring high school contest–winning poets in conversation with Narrative cofounder/editor and New York Times–bestselling author Carol Edgarian and former guest judges, Pulitzer Prize winner Jericho Brown and Narrative Prize winner Javier Zamora; a Reading Guide for Poetry, designed to help students discover exemplary poetry of all kinds; and Best Advice from this year’s guest judge, legendary poet, activist, and educator Naomi Shihab Nye!

Please do review our FAQs to answer any questions about contest specifics and dates when our Submission Portal will open.

Please share information about our Annual High School Writing Contest with fellow high school English teachers! We’re eager to hear voices from all corners of the globe. And please do let us know of any successes or challenges you may encounter. You can email us at @email.

We’re here to help, and we love hearing from you.


Narrative High School Writing Contest | Recommended Reading
Video Tutorials with Carol Edgarian | Explore by Theme | Writing Prompts