Bob Boone

Valuable Resources

There are many classes, workshops, and programs available for creative writing teachers. If you have any particular favorites, we'd like to know. For now, here a just a few of our favorites.


Louder Than a Bomb, world’s largest youth poetry festival Finals will be Saturday March 15, 6pm @ the Cadillac Palace Theater. For more information and many more pre-final events:





Young Authors Guide: Great site. Find literary magazines to read, places to publish writing, and legitimate contests. A select list of children's, teen, and young adult publications in print and online that have open submissions with guidelines, an editorial selection process, and a regular print cycle. Some publish only young writers; some publish all ages for young readers. Lists of creative writing programs and conferences country(world)-wide.


Let Teen Ink help you find the coolest summer program!

Our list of summer programs and camps has something for every teenager. Explore, comment, or write a review on the great opportunities available on college campuses, nationwide, and overseas. Summer camps and programs include writing, art, music, performing arts, science, outdoor adventure, science, math and technology, community service, travel, language programs and more!


CHICAGO SUMMER WRITING PROGRAMS: Summer academic programs with an emphasis on writing

Columbia College High School Summer Institute


The Newberry Library offers many programs and events for teachers, adults, and educators.


Peterson's publishes Summer Opportunities for Kids and Teenagers in print and on the web. You can access a list of schools/ institutions/ camps that offer writing in their summer programs HERE.


Porter Sargent also publishes guides to summer study:


Story Studio brings together young writers from throughout Chicagoland.
Our mission is to foster confidence and creativity in writing through small group classes and creative writing summer camps.
Our encouraging atmosphere helps young writers in grades six through twelve to build their writing skills and fluency.
This summer two sessions: June 24-28, 2013 and July 22-26, 2013.

IATE prose and Poetry Contests

Summer writing programs at University of Iowa, Columbia College and other universities

826 CHI

Louder Than a Bomb DVD now available

Iowa - Every summer, young writers from across the country come together to share their work, practice craft, and improve their writing in Iowa City, Iowa, home of the University of Iowa. Join us for one of two sessions!

Find out just how much you can improve your writing with two weeks of intensive focus. Come to the Iowa Young Writers' Studio.

Chicago Public Library- Lists local events, programs.

Heinemann Publishing always has good stuff for English teachers, including writing teachers. Check out the catalogue. If you're going to the NCTE in Orlando, check out the Heinneman booth.

The Library of America features a story of the week: Read it here.

An opportunity for teacher/writers is New Scriptor, a magazine published by teachers at Adali Stevenson High School. Its mission is to “provide a forum by educators to exhibit their fiction, poetry, drama, art, and expository writing.”
You can submit pieces online to Jim Barnabee at



And, as you've heard me say before, nothing beats Teachers and writers Collaborative for intelligent, useful and fresh ideas. Visit the web site, and pay particular attentions to the publications, on-line opportunities in the RESOURCE section, and the Bechtel contest. This is a wonderful, wonderful resource. USE IT!




You know about The Wire, The Sopranos, Friday Night Lights, Six Feet Under, Breaking Bad, and all the other TV series that are so well written.

Another TV resource you may not know about is the 30/30 series of documentaries on ESPN. These are serious sport films by serious filmmakers.

Jordan Rides The Bus is about Michael Jordan's year playing minor league baseball

Winning Time is about Reggie Miller's great games against the Knicks.

Silly Little Game is about fantasy sports.



Upcoming contests for TEACHERS AND STUDENTS:


  • Adroit Journal Accepts submissions of poetry, short fiction, and art for potential publication in upcoming issues of the journal. ?Submissions for the upcoming Summer 2013 issue (Issue Seven) are now OPEN.

  • The Blue Pencil New! The submission prompt. During certain months we will ask that you follow a writing prompt with specific directives and only submit work inspired by that particular prompt. Submissions received during a prompt month will be considered in light of these directives. Rest assured, there will also be months of open submissions. These months will be clearly indicated. Submission Guidelines.

  • BRICKrhetoric is now accepting submissions in several literary/visual art genres including: poetry, creative nonfiction, photography, fine art, persuasive essay and science as art. Because BRICKrhetoric is a quarterly publication, with four issues published annually in the months of February, May, August and November, submissions are accepted year-round.

  • The Claremont Review editors are looking to publish first class poetry, short stories and short plays by young adult writers (aged 13-19) anywhere in the English-speaking world. We also accept quality artwork and photography. We use color for the front cover of our magazine and the black & white for the inside pages.

  • Crashtest is a magazine by and for high school students. If you are currently a student in grades nine through twelve, we want to hear from you. Here are the details: Crashtest publishes poetry, stories and creative non-fiction in the form of personal essays, imaginative investigation, experimental interviews.

  • Creative Kids Magazine is looking for the very best material by students (ages 8–16). Material may include cartoons, songs, stories between 500 and 1200 words, puzzles, photographs, artwork, games, editorials, poetry, and plays, as well as any other creative work that can fit in the pages of the magazine.

  • Frodo's Notebook: We actively seek five types of submissions from teens. Poetry, creative/personal essays, fiction, articles and visual art.

  • Green Blotter is open for submissions of poetry, fiction, photos and other artwork for the Spring 2013 issue. Undergraduate students at colleges and universities anywhere in the world are invited to submit work via email between now and February 28, 2013.

  • Hanging Loose magazine welcomes high school submissions.

  • Newport Review accepts submissions of short stories, flash fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, mixed/hybrid forms, and visual art. We publish twice yearly and sponsor a flash fiction contest.

  • The Redwing's Nest is looking for art and writing from children, pre-school through 8th grade, from around the world.

  • Suddenly Lost In Words is looking for the best in writing for young adults (13+) from both established and up-and-coming writers. Any genre. What we are looking for: Original writing not previously published. Short stories, memoirs, and longer works that can be serialized.

  • Louder Than a Bomb will run from February 16th thru March 9th.
    Team finals will be at the Cadillac Theater on March 9th 2013.

  • The Pegasus Young Playwrights Festival
    Participating schools submit their student's plays between March 15 and April 15. Once plays are received, theatre professionals across the city evaluate the first round play submissions and write evaluations for each one. All plays are judged anonymously.

  • The 2012/13 Steppenwolf Young Adult Season is part of Now Is The Time, a season-long initiative to inspire citywide conversation about making positive change in our communities to stop the trend of youth violence and intolerance, in partnership with Chicago Public Library and Facing History and Ourselves.

  • National Peace Essay Contest The 2012-2013 National Peace Essay Contest's new topic is Gender, War and Peacebuilding. Students will answer the question "What does it mean to have a gendered approach to war and peace issues?" Essay submissions are due on February 1, 2013, 11:59 EST.
    State winners will receive scholarships and will come to Washington for an educational awards program.

  • William Faulkner Competition.
    Jan 1 – May 15 Deadline.

  • The Writing Conference, Inc.
    Students may create a poem, a narrative, or an essay. Only one piece of writing from a student may be submitted. Each of the first place winners will receive a plaque; second and third place winners will receive a certificate commemorating the award.
    In addition, these winners may choose to have their writing published in The Writers' Slate. The deadline for all entries is January 8, 2013 Winners will be notified in February 2013.

  • 27th Annual Ray Bradbury Creative Contest.
    In honor of Ray this year, we asked participants to consider the idea of "influence" when creating their entry. Ray always recognized Halloween as having a major impact on his life and writing. In turn, participants were asked to submit an entry that expressed how Ray Bradbury has been an inspiration to their own life or work.
    Check the website for 2013 dates.

  • The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
    Nearly 100,000 students will accept the challenge to submit work to The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for review by professional artists, writers, educators, and creative-industry leaders. More than 30,000 students will earn regional awards, and 1,000 students will earn national awards. The Awards offer students recognition, exhibition, publication and scholarship opportunities.

  • Being an American Essay Contest.

  • Bennington College Young Writers Award - for grades 10-12; categories in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Always a November 1st deadline.

  • Canary - an environmental zone that focuses on the natural world and threats to that world. Accepts poetry, short fiction, and essays.

  • Hanging Loose Magazine - for high school age students; poetry and short stories.

  • Iowa Young Writers' Studio - A two-week intensive seminar and workshop for poetry, fiction, or creative writing. 10th-12th grade, and the rare brilliant 9th-grader.

  • Maggie's Drawers - for middle school students; poetry, short fiction, and visual art.

  • A Near Miss for grades 9-12; poetry, short fiction, and visual art.

  • Norman Mailer High School and College Writing Awards for Creative nonfiction. Info and entry rules to be posted soon.

  • Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers - for grades 10-11; Submit during the month of November.

  • Poetry Out Loud, - An annual spoken word competition for high school students. You can't use original poems, but this is still a cool opportunity for slam enthusiasts. Materials are distributed in September; finals are held in April. Get your English teacher involved so he/she can contact your state's coordinator and get you registered.

  • Polyphony- for grades 9-12; short stories and poetry.

  • Scholastic Art and Writing Awards - for grades 7-12; categories in visual arts and writing.

  • Stage of Life features a national writing contest for teens and high school students (non-fiction, memoir, blogging, essay-style contest for teens in high school).

  • Teen Ink- a literary magazine and website

  • Young Arts: National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Scholarship opportunities for talented 17-18 year olds in the visual, literary and performing arts. Deadline: October 15.

  • The Writing Conference, Inc., sponsors writing contests in poetry, narration, and exposition for elementary, junior high/middle school and high school students.

  • Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest - for girls in grades 10-11; November 15 deadline.

  • The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with Target Stores and in cooperation with affiliate state centers for the book, invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to enter Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre-- fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author's work changed the student's way of thinking about the world or themselves. There are three competition levels: Level I for children in grades 4 through 6; Level II for grades 7 and 8, and Level III, grades 9 - 12. Winners, announced in the spring of each year, receive cash awards at the national and state levels. Visit

  • Second Run is a literary reprint journal. Submit up to ten poems, or three plays, essays, or short stories of any length. Include a one-paragraph provenance to let our readers know where the piece came from, where you were in life when you wrote it, where it was first published, etc. Submit all work to

  • Misc.

  • Summer Programs
  • Chicago Public Library

  • Interlochen

  • Learn4Good

  • Misc. Summer Programs

  • Newberry Library

  • Story Studio Chicago

  • The Writer's Loft

  • UIC

  • University of Chicago

  • Adventures on Filmmaking - a non-credit summer youth program.

  • Chicago Dramatists, the playwrights' theatre, has devoted all of its resources and programming to its singular mission of developing new plays and nurturing playwrights. Programs & Resources Available to all playwrights.

  • Look up One Act Play books on Google and you'll be overwhelmed.

  • Check out WBEZ's

  • Check out these personal narrative links...

  • HBO: Brave New Voices
    One part Def Poetry Jam and two-parts documentary, Brave New Voices is a doc-series that features the finest young spoken word artists in the country.

  • A good CD: "How to Read and Understand Poetry" by Professor Willard Spiegelman of S.M.U. (The Great Courses, The Teaching Company)

  • Teachers in Illinois now have greatly increased access to high quality professional development programming regarding the teaching of writing. The National Writing Project (NWP) serves teachers of writing at all grade levels, primary through university, and in all subjects. To learn more and find the Illinois site closest to you, go to:

  • The Poetry Foundation has wonderful audio and podcasts - Poetry off the Shelf - which I would highly recommend.

  • Poets & Writers Magazine ( If you're looking for grants and awards, or literary magazines and small presses that welcome both new and established writers, begin here.

  • "One ought, everyday at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if possible, speak a few reasonable words." (

  • Iowa Summer Writing Festival & other programs for teachers & writers. (

  • Summer on Campus: College Experiences for High School Students is a great resource book which gives detailed information about programs at colleges throughout the United States which enable students to take college courses.

  • IATE is a professional organization for teachers of English/language arts. Composed of nearly 1,500 teachers throughout the state, IATE provides a working network for the exchange of teaching tips, current research, and professional development. IATE publishes the Illinois English Bulletin, a newsletter, and hosts a fall conference. Check out their Fall 2008 edition at:

  • Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest is a great way to teach poetry and help students with written and oral communication skills. Poetry Out Loud was designed so that teachers may easily implement this "poetry bee" contest in the classroom. Poetry Out Loud awards prizes to students and schools at the state and national levels. For an overview of the program, classroom tools, and model recitations visit:

  • Taking a trip? Here is a good CD collection. CLASSIC HUNDRED POEMS: All Time Favorites, edited by William Harmon (ISBN: 1598875787). Just enough explanation and analysis to make this highly enjoyable.

  • You can learn more about Young Chicago Authors by visiting the Web site at

  • A good CD: "How to Read and Understand Poetry" by Professor Willard Spiegelman of S.M.U. (The Great Courses, The Teaching Company)

  • We will hold off on recommending particular MFA programs, but if you don't know it already, there are many courses you can take on line. The courses offered by the University of Iowa are especially good as are the summer workshops offered on campus.

  • A wonderful resource for creative writing teachers, as you probably know, is TEACHERS & WRITERS COLLABORATIVE. Check out

  • Sandi Wisenberg's web site ( Good resources for writers and "How To Books."

  • Chicago Poetry ( Keep up-to-date with local Chicago poetry happenings.

  • Chicago Poetry Center ( Find out about monthly poetry events and readings.

  • Neighborhood Writing Alliance ( A local not-for-profit offering adults in low-income neighborhoods the chance to write, publish and perform works about their lives.

  • Facets Multi Media, Inc. Reel Poetry Program ( Learn about Facets year-round poetry appreciation program and other youth writing programs.

  • Chicago Poetry Foundation ( A great site -- check out their "Find a Poem/Discover a Poem" section.

  • Humorous Children's Poetry ( LOL -- a site for librarians, teachers, parents and students.

  • Powell's Books ( Great bookstore.

  • ( Carol Edgarian and Tom Jenk's on-line magazine, devoted to fiction, non-fiction and the art of story telling.

  • ( Mission is to bring great literature into the digital age, and to provide it for free. Stories, poetry, essays, novel excerpts, articles, and interviews are available -- without subscription -- to readers everywhere.














    Would you like information about:
  • An on-line course for eager sixth-graders?
  • Ways to use Friday Night Lights and Veronica Mars in the classroom?
  • Creative alternatives to senior year?
  • Discussing creative approaches to the ACT or SAT essay?

    Send us an e-mail. We can help you out.

    Interested in Historical fiction? Contact us. We have material and ideas for writing about many Chicago figures and events. The material invites students to remember, discover, decide, and create.




Moe's Cafe

Forty-eight decidedly different creative writing prompts for developing writers.

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The meteoric life of one of baseball's first superstars: Hack Wilson

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Inside Job: A Life of Teaching

An enlightening and entertaining story of Bob Boone's education as a teacher.

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Forest High:
Short Stories

A compelling collection of original stories that offer a peek inside the world of teaching.

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Joan's Junk Shop

This "playfully practical" follow-up to Moe's Cafe will stimulate students' imaginations with these creative writing prompts

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