Writing and Performance Opportunities


Young Chicago Authors encourages self-expression and literacy through creative writing, performance and publication. YCA provides student-centered, artist-led workshops free to youth ages 13-19 in schools and communities. Their process emphasizes artistic development, mentorship, and creating safe spaces where a young person’s life matters. Young Chicago Authors believes that through words young people can promote tolerance and remove barriers to transform their lives and society.

Poets & Writers Magazine is the primary source for what creative writers need to know. Along with essays on the literary life and interviews with contemporary writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, the magazine publishes articles with practical applications for both emerging and established writers. In addition, it provides the most comprehensive listing of literary grants and awards, deadlines, and prizewinners available in print. With a circulation of 60,000 copies nationwide, Poets & Writers Magazine is published by the nonprofit organization Poets & Writers, Inc. For a listing of grants and contests with approaching deadlines, visit Poets & Writers Grants and Awards.

Teen Ink is a monthly print magazine, website, and a book series all written by teens for teens. Go to Teen Ink Contests for links to a large variety of contests in the following areas: essay, fiction, journalism, play/screenwriting, poetry, and even art, cartoons, and photography.

Fiction Writing Contests
This web page has resources for teen writers including fantasy, sci-fi, and horror writing contests, short story, novel, poetry and essay contests, summer writing workshops, and much more.

Playwriting, Screenwriting, Poetry and Prose Contests
This site contains additional contests in the areas of playwriting, screenwriting, poetry, and prose.


The Goodman Theater offers many theater-based programs for youth.

Consult for Listings of Local Venues for age-appropriate Spoken-Word Performance:
Chicago Reader

Chicago Poetry