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2022 Bechtel Prize
For Innovation in Creative Writing Instruction
T&W is now accepting submissions of essays describing a creative writing teaching experience, project or activity that demonstrates innovation in creative writing instruction.  We are looking for essays that describe a project or activity that got students excited about writing and fostered a vibrant and dynamic culture of literacy in the classroom.  We welcome essays about projects that carved a space for students to reflect on the events of the past year (eg. public health, social distancing, racial justice protests, etc.).
The experience/project/activity should be one that:

  • helped students identify as writers
  • opened new pathways to creative writing
  • engaged students in all parts of the writing process
  • promoted connections between reading and writing
  • supported the publication of student writing

The essay itself should:

  • Share actual classroom experience, including sharing how students engaged with the project (in other words, this should not be a planned project, but rather one that has already taken place).
  • Focus on the classroom experience and what makes it an innovative one.
  • Focus on teaching creative writing (eg. poetry, fiction, playwriting).  Please do not send essays that have to do with teaching academic writing or teaching literature, in general.

The essay selected to receive the Bechtel Prize will be published in Teachers & Writers Magazine, and the author will receive a $1,000 award.

2022 Bechtel Prize Submission Guidelines

  • Essays must be previously unpublished and under 2,500 words. They should include a cover page with the essay title, author’s name, e-mail address, phone number, and a brief bio (no more than 150 words).
  • Sent in Word or PDF format via Submittable.
  • Submissions will be judged anonymously. The author’s name and address must not appear anywhere on the essay.
  • Authors of the Bechtel Prize winning essay and finalists must permit T&W to publish their essays in Teachers & Writers Magazine. T&W reserves the right to edit essays for publication.

Submissions that do not conform to the above guidelines will not be reviewed for the Bechtel Prize. Submissions are only being accepted through Submittable.com.  Please do not email submissions.
Selection criteria for the Bechtel Prize include the proposal’s relevance and appropriateness for readers of Teachers & Writers Magazine, most of whom teach writing at the elementary, secondary, or postsecondary level. Teachers & Writers Magazine publishes work that is concise, lively, and geared to a general audience. Prospective entrants for the Bechtel Prize are encouraged to visit the magazine to become familiar with the work of Teachers & Writers, and to read past winners of the award.
The submission deadline for the 2022 Bechtel Prize is February 11, 2022.

About the Bechtel Prize
This prize is named for Louise Seaman Bechtel, who was an editor, author, collector of children’s books, and teacher.  She was the first person to head a juvenile book department at an American publishing house.  As such, she took children’s literature seriously, helped establish the field, and was a tireless advocate for the importance of literature in kids’ lives.

Questions regarding these guidelines may be sent to bechtel@twc.org. Please do not send submissions by email.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.