Due to COVID-19 YCA has suspended in-person programming. See our calendar for virtual programs.

The Plug: June 16th, 2017

The Plug: June 16th, 2017


Hello YCA Fam,

Welcome to The Plug, where we post competitions, events, workshops, etc. that you can partake in. Some of these competitions and events are hosted by your next-door neighbors in Chicago, and some are from friends across the country. Many of these opportunities, while rooted in poetry, allow you to explore different types of writing and art forms. If you explore any of these opportunities, share the experience on social media and tag us (@youngchiauthors on Twitter & @youngchicagoauthors on Instagram).


We Real Cool: Chicago Teen Poetry, Fashion, and Photography Celebrating Our Miss Brooks
“Miss Gwendolyn Brooks was an icon poet, feminist, mother, activist, and Chicagoan. Chicago is celebrating her 100th birthday and Revolving Door Press wants to include your teen voice for We Real Cool: Chicago Teen Poetry, Fashion, & Photography Celebrating Our Miss Brooks.”
Deadline: July 31st, 2017


Creating Iris (Publication)

“Iris is a new literary magazine that launched in January 2014. Iris features new fiction for teens (roughly, ages 14-17) with an LGBTQAI slant. Iris is a safe place for young adults – a magazine which features engaging, transporting, challenging stories that offer a breath of fresh air in the young adult literary market.”
2017 Ocean Awareness Student Contest
“At Bow Seat, we recognize the power of our young ocean caretakers, and our goal is to inspire them to lead the way to finding innovative solutions to ocean pollution. We want you to #BeTheChange. You may choose to focus your work on one type of pollution, or the impact of ocean pollution as a whole. Whichever way you choose, we want your submission – visual art, poetry, prose, or film–to make viewers reflect on the impact of ocean pollution, inspire them to consider possible solutions, and challenge them to take action.”
Entry Fee: Free
Deadline: Saturday, June 19th, 2017
Skipping Stones
“The Youth Honor Awards recognize creative and artistic works by young people that promote multicultural, international and nature awareness. You might like to read the Youth Honor Award winning entries in our recent issues (Vol. 26, no. 4, Vol. 27, no. 4 or Vol. 28, no. 4) before submitting your entries for the 2017 Youth Awards.”
Entry Fee: $5
Deadline: Sunday, June 25th, 2017
Go For Broke: 2017 High School & College Essay, Poetry, and Video Contest
“In addition to cash prizes, the twelve winners (top two entries from each category) and a guest are eligible to receive two complimentary tickets* to attend our 16th Annual Evening of Aloha Gala Dinner Saturday, September 23, 2017 at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles, California! Enjoy an opportunity to meet Japanese American World War II veterans and their families!”
Entry Fee: Adult $15 for up to three poems, 13-18 $5, 12 and under requires no fee
Deadline: Friday, June 30th, 2017
The 2017 Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards
“The Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards is an annual series of awards to encourage poets to explore and illuminate positive visions of peace and the human spirit. The Poetry Awards include three age categories: Adult, Youth 13-18, and Youth 12 & Under. The deadline for entries has been extended to July 1, 2017.”
Entry Fee: None
Deadline: Friday, June 30th, 2017
Links: http://www.peacecontests.org/#poetry

Gigantic Sequins: Teen Sequins 2017
“Our annual Teen Sequins feature is designed to present outstanding poetry from writers ages 13 through 19. While teenage voices are slowly being given more opportunities in literary communities, we don’t see it happen enough in association with nationally distributed journals like Gigantic Sequins. Each year we feature one poet from each age category, and honor every poet who has submitted. Our goal is to show the world what we know: just exactly how vibrant, inventive, and moving teenage writers can be.”
Entry Fee: Free
Deadline: July 20th, 2017

Upcoming Classes:

Middle School Writers Camp // Eat Your Words
“Join top chefs and other young food experts to develop both your writing skills and your taste buds. You’ll learn how to write food reviews, taste the best this city has to offer, and create writing that will be read by foodies and chefs all over Chicago.”
Dates: Monday, July 24th – Thursday, August 3rd // 1-4 pm
Link: Register Here

Writing & Thinking Workshop (Rolling Admission)

“Supportive faculty work with students in small groups to help them develop confidence in their voices as writers. Participants learn strategies to generate fresh and compelling ideas, the kind of well-reasoned ideas first-rate colleges and universities expect from their students. Trips to Chicago’s museums and cultural events offer additional inspiration. You’ll grow in ways that you can now only imagine.”
Start Date: Sunday, June 25th, 2017
Location: 555 North Sheridan Rd, Lake Forest, IL 60045
SheCrew- Annual Summer Intensive
“[A] 6-week journaling to performance summer program for girls in Chicago ages 12-14. {she crew}’s multidisciplinary curriculum involves: creative journal writing, theatrical movement, voice & speech classes, professional workshops, improvisation, theatre games, nutritious cooking and shared meals to create community and generate new artistic works.”
Start Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Location: 800 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60607
Write To The City (Rolling Admission, First Come, First Serve)
“Over one hundred young writers from all corners of the city and across the country come together for one week of nonstop art. Students take daily field trips within Chicago’s arts scene and rich cultural landscape, exploring visual, performance, and literary arts, building community, and developing a body of work through workshops led by world-class poets and artists. WTTC is a fee-based program, with scholarships available to qualifying students.”
Start Date: Monday, July 10th, 2017
Location: 400 S Peoria St, Chicago, IL 60607

High School Writers Camp
“Do you love to write? Want to spend two weeks writing with teens from all over the city, learning from a team of professional poets and writers? Join 826CHI’s High School Writers Camp at DePaul University.”
Dates: Monday, August 7th – Thursday, August 17th // 10 am – 3 pm


“WordPlay is the longest-running youth open mic in Chicago. Every Tuesday night, poets aged 12-25 come through Young Chicago Authors to participate in a writing workshop, perform their original work, and listen to music and poetry by artists of all genre and skill level.”
Event Date: Every Tuesday starting at 6:00pm
Entry Fee: None
Location: 1180 N Milwaukee Ave, #2 / Chicago, IL 60642
In One Ear 18+ (Unless accompanied by a parent/guardian)
“Pete Wolf! Billy Tuggle! Every Wednesday night at 9!
FREE PARKING AT CHURCH LOT, Morse and Ashland, till 3am
Morse stop on the Red-line, North Exit (Lunt Ave.) Very inviting and supportive mix of folks of all ages, skill sets, and walks of life coming together to share out arts, moods, comedies and stories. Come and Join our family!”
Event Date: Every Wednesday starting at 9:00pm
Entry Fee: $3
Location: 7000 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60626
Now & Next: A Celebration of the Chicago Track
“Now & Next: A Celebration of The Chicago Track, showcases the music and movies of the young creatives of The Chicago Track including: Musical performances from the Making the Band Music Cohort of Young Chicago Authors, preview screening of the short film, Drive Slow, directed and written by Industry Pathways Film Cohort member, Terrence Thompson, MC Damon Williams moderated panels with the film & music cohort, food & refreshments, DJ Ca$h Era”
Event Date: Friday, June 16th, 5:00pm–8:00pm
Location: 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602
Links: EventBrite Link


“Join us for an afternoon of art experiences designed and led by Chicagoland youth whose project proposals were selected to be part of 21Minus. This year’s event includes over 30 artists representing 24 neighborhoods—from South Deering to Des Plaines, Archer Heights to Albany Park, Woodlawn to Little Village, and more.”
Event Date: Saturday, June 17th, 1:00pm–6:00pm
Location: 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Links: Facebook


“Join us for a fun night of socializing and queer representation in film! From comedies to documentaries, we have received many submissions and have finally narrowed it down to the 11 short films that will be screening at the festival. Don’t forget to buy your tickets ahead of time, this is an event you won’t want to miss!”
Event Date: Saturday, June 17th, 7:30pm–10:00pm
Location: 4147 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60613
Links: Facebook

Story Time with Drag Queens: Story of Dad
“Celebrate this Father’s Day by bringing dad to a very special Story Time with Drag Queens! Join Muffy Fishbasket and her Good Time Galz as they dramatically read dad-themed classic bedtime stories to a roomful of children and adults. Children require a ticket and must be accompanied by an adult. Women and Children First will have the featured stories available for sale at the event so everyone can relive the magic at home with their very own copy. Our Story Time events are always family friendly.”
Event Date: Monday, June 18th, 3:00pm–5:00pm
Entry Fee: Varies, please consult the ticket link listed below
Location: 3656 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60613
Links: Facebook
Revolving Door Reading Series: Teen Chapbook Series Book Release
“Join us for a beautiful Chicago evening as we celebrate the release of our 2017 Teen Chapbook Series! We are excited to debut the poetry collections of our 4 dynamic and fearless teen authors, Semira Truth Garrett, Jalen Kobayashi, Nyvia Taylor, and Kai Wright.”
Event Date: Wednesday, June 21st, 6:00pm–8:00pm
Location: 6442 S Dorchester Ave, Chicago, IL 60637
Poetry Among The Palms: Ed Roberson
“Poetry Among the Palms: Readings:Ed Roberson and other poets read W.S. Merwin and others inspired by nature and the outdoors among the exhibits at the Garfield Park Conservatory, along with kids’ activities. Presented in partnership with the Poetry Center of Chicago, the Chicago Park District and the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance.”
Event Date: Thursday June 29th, 6:00pm–7:30pm
Location: 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624
Job & Internship Opportunities:

Brave New Voices Storytelling Fellowship
“In a unique collaboration bridging the tech and artistic worlds, Youth Speaks has partnered with VSC, a strategic communications firm headquartered in San Francisco, to create our first ever Storytelling Fellowship.

This full-time, salaried Fellowship will last for one year and is open only to artists within the BNV Network. We are looking for freestylers, critical thinkers, and design mavens who are especially interested in building innovative communication strategies for tech companies.”

Link: More Info

“(PRO)ject US is an initiative for young adults between the ages of 13 – 23 designed to build fashion design, music production, and new media journalism skills. Adding value to the skills learned by curating artifacts created & knowledge gained in a comprehensive portfolio. Making that portfolio actionable with industry-centered special opportunities.”