By Valerie Victor
The Queens Literary Journal, which publishes works by young authors and poets, recently started a fund-raising campaign to help get the word out about its writing contest.
“The goal of this contest is to cultivate the next generation (of writers),” Tim Fredrick, the editor and publisher of Newtown Literary Alliance — which runs the contest, said.
Through the website Indiegogo, the campaign was able to raise $1,000 in a little more than three weeks.
Fredrick hopes to secure another $500 to cover the costs of gift bags for contestants, which would include journals, pens and motivation books, as well as provide prize money for the eventual winners.
“The next generation of Queens writers is sitting in its classrooms right now,” Fredrick said. “If we’re interested in cultivating a literary scene here—which is a mission of the journal—then we have to think long-term as well.”
The journal is focused on the educational benefit writing provides young people who enter the contest, Fredrick said.
As the contestants increase their writing skills, they enjoy the emotional and personal satisfaction that comes with communicating their ideas, he said.
The contest also gives students a platform to gain awards and honors that will help them with high school and college applications, including providing them with a chance to earn scholarships.
Online submissions will begin at the end of October and continue until Dec. 23. Students in grades 3-12, who go to school in Queens, or live in the borough, are eligible to enter.
There is no restriction on content at all, children are welcome to write about whatever they choose.
Contest winners will have their works published in the eighth issue of the Newtown Literary journal. Young authors whose pieces either win or place in various categories will be invited to read their work at an awards ceremony.
All donations and funds raised will go towards helping the organization do more direct outreach to schools and community centers.
The journal has not been able to receive the necessary funding to make the contest as grand as they would like, because not enough people know about it. The biggest challenge the organization faces is rasing enough funds to reach a wider audience.
“Getting the word out—sending flyers, postcards, and letters to schools and community centers—is one of the biggest expenses of the contest,” Fredrick said. “Last time, we could only afford to send out limited postcards. With the money raised, we can send more complete information to more places and make it easier for educators to get the word out to their students.”
For more information about the contest or to make a donation visit www.newto