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About The Voices Writing Contest

Voices/Voces is an annual writing contest sponsored by the Teaching and Learning Department and is open to all Yakima School District students (grades PK-12) and staff members. Winners from each category will have their writing published in the district writing anthology, Voices/Voces 2024.   

Share your ideas, talents, and passions in the Voices Writing Contest.

Open to all students and staff members.

Print the contest entry form HERE

Submission Deadline: Friday, February 2, 2024


March 22, 2024

The results are in for this year’s district writing contest!  Winners from each category will have their writing published in the district writing anthology, Voices/Voces 2024.  

In celebration of their writing success, this year’s honorees will be celebrated at the Voices/Voces Writing Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, April 30th, in the Eisenhower High School Auditorium at 6:30 PM.  The ceremony is an opportunity to honor the winners as they are presented with a certificate and district writing anthology.

Open To All


Any form of poetry welcome, including song lyrics



Short stories or personal narratives



PK - 5th Grade


Expresses an opinion or makes a claim, supporting the opinion/claim with reasons and evidence


Informative/ Explanatory

Conveys information accurately; includes non-fiction writing that describes,  explains, informs, or summarizes ideas and content

6th - 12th Grade


Multi-paragraph essay of any type, including: comparison/contrast, argumentative, process, cause/effect, definition, descriptive, reflective, literary analysis, etc.

Contest Guidelines

All entries must meet contest guidelines.

  1. Entries should not exceed maximum length:
    1. K–5 750 word maximum
    2. 6–8 1000 word maximum
    3. 9–12 1500 word maximum
    4. Staff Entries 1500 word maximum
  2. All entries must be submitted using the Voices-Voces 2024 entry form. Note: Entry forms for individual student works require a parent/guardian signature in addition to the student and teacher signatures.
  3. Individual submissions must be on 8 1/2" x 11" paper and may be word- processed or legibly handwritten. All pages should be clearly numbered. Name or school must NOT appear on the submission.
  4. Submissions are welcome in all languages.
  5. Students/staff members may enter multiple categories but may not submit multiple entries within a single category.
  6. Topics and language should be appropriate to a general audience.
  7. All entries are expected to be the author’s original, unaltered work. Outside references should follow a standard form of citation.
  8. Submission deadline for all categories is Friday, February 2, 2024. Please submit your writing, including an entry form, to your teacher. Teachers will send entries via interschool mail to the Writing Contest: Veronica Mercado/Teaching and Learning Department
  9. District judges will select winning entries for students and staff based on the characteristics of strong writing, including, but not limited to:
    1. Originality of ideas and expression
    2. Clear organization
    3. Creative voice and vivid details
    4. Meaningful content
    5. Consideration of intended audience
    6. Appropriate use of conventions
  10. Winners will be notified by the end of March. Winning selections will be published in a district writing anthology.
  11. Please note that all works are edited before going to print, and YSD reserves the right to remove any content.

Direct questions to: