The Rising Voices Awards are a collaboration between seven youth literary magazines–The Stirling Review, The Incandescent Review, SeaGlass Literary, The Globe Review, The Trailblazer Review, HaluHalo Journal, and Outlander Zine, as well as our 501(c)(3) partner Humanity Rising. As the first event ever of its kind where an established team of youth arts organizations join hands with renowned guest authors to create something amazing, we are proud to present to you the first ever Rising Voices Awards: a writing contest for youth creatives aged 13-18, with $2,350 in prize money.
Support our contest through GoFundMe!
About OUR PARTNER:
Humanity Rising is a youth-centered nonprofit focusing on giving young changemakers a voice. We are excited to announce that we will be working with them to create the Rise Up Writing Challenge, a scholarship for ONE writer who sends in the best work centered around anti-bullying. As a special division of The Rising Voices Awards, entrants can be considered for this division via the checking the indicated box on the submission form.
Nickole Brown is the author of Sister, first published in 2007 with a new edition reissued in 2018. Her second book, Fanny Says (BOA Editions), won the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Poetry in 2015. Currently, she teaches at the Sewanee School of Letters MFA Program and lives in Asheville, NC, where she volunteers at several different animal sanctuaries. Since 2016, she’s been writing about these animals. To Those Who Were Our First Gods, a chapbook of these first nine poems, won the 2018 Rattle Prize, and her essay-in-poems, The Donkey Elegies, was published by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2020. In 2021, Spruce Books of Penguin Random House published Write It! 100 Poetry Prompts to Inspire, a book she co-authored with Jessica Jacobs, with whom she co-founded the SunJune Literary Collaborative. She’s also the President of the Hellbender Gathering of Poets, an annual environmental literary festival set to launch in Black Mountain, NC, in October of 2025.
Michael Leong is the author of the critical study "Contested Records: The Turn to Documents in Contemporary North American Poetry" (University of Iowa Press, 2020) and the poetry books "e.s.p." (Silenced Press, 2009), "Cutting Time with a Knife" (Black Square Editions, 2012), "Who Unfolded My Origami Brain?" (Fence Digital, 2017), and "Words on Edge" (Black Square Editions, 2018). His creative work has been anthologized in "The &NOW Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing" (Lake Forest College Press, 2013), "Best American Experimental Writing 2018" (Wesleyan University Press, 2018), and "Bettering American Poetry, Volume 3" (Bettering Books, 2019). His co-translation, with Ignacio Infante, of Vicente Huidobro’s long poem "Sky-Quake: Tremor of Heaven" was published by co•im•press in 2020. He serves on the editorial board of American Literature and the advisory board of Journal of Modern Literature. He is currently working on a long poem called "Disorientations" and a critical book tentatively entitled "Post-Craft: Essays on Pedagogy, Poetics, and Experimental Literature."
Desmond Hall was born in Jamaica, West Indies, and moved to Jamaica, Queens. He has worked as a high school biology and English teacher in East New York, Brooklyn; counseled teenage ex-cons after their release from Rikers Island; and served as Spike Lee’s creative director at Spike DDB. Desmond has served on the board of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and the Advertising Council and judged the One Show, the American Advertising Awards, and the NYC Downtown Short Film Festival. He’s also been named one of Variety magazine’s Top 50 Creatives to Watch. He is the author of the renowned gritty YA novel Your Corner Dark which confronts the harsh realities of gang life in Jamaica and how far a teen is willing to go for family. He lives outside of Boston with his wife and two daughters.
Indya is a graduate of Sam Houston State University where she studied film, and the Iowa Writers’
Workshop where she completed her MFA in fiction. She received the Meta and George Rosenburg Screenwriting Fellowship, the Truman Capote Fellowship, and support from the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference. Her work has appeared in the Oxford American, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in Iowa City and is working on a collection of short stories, a novel, and various screenwriting projects. Her writing practice is made up of fiction and screenwriting. In her own words: "Every piece I sit down to write begins as an experiment with a set of rules, and the challenge is to see if I can perform a magic trick again, if I can push myself a little further than the last piece of writing did."
You must be 13-18 years old to submit.
Poetry: 3-100 lines per piece (up to 5 poems)
Critical Writing: 300-2,000 words per piece (up to 3 pieces)
Fiction: 300-2,000 words per piece (up to 3 pieces)
Entrants are allowed one submission per category. One submission is one google form entry, and includes up to a collection of pieces (see above). All submissions must be in DOCX, PDF, or txt. format. Previously published work is allowed, and so are simultaneous submissions. We own the publishing rights to all submitted works. Our contest theme is growth and coming-of-age, and though we do not require pieces to strictly adhere, we highly encourage submitted works to at least possess a loose connection to it. Thank you for your submission!
$200 for 1st Place, $150 for 2nd Place, $100 for 3rd place in each division
1x $1,000 Scholarship for the winner of the Rise Up Writing Challenge for Anti-Bullying Related Works
Feb 1st - Mar 9th
Round one of the judging process will take place. All pieces will be judged by a panel of editors from our team of seven magazines.
The ~40 finalist pieces from each category will be sent to our professional judges the final judging. The list of finalists will be announced on our social media and contacted.
Winners will be announced and prize money distributed.
Email a member of our team at firstname.lastname@example.org