Fix Notices

An Open Invitation To Young Writers; Mayborn Contest Deadline Extended
Young Spurs at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference meet with biographer James McGrath Morris.

Last year, we at YJI met George Getschow, a tremendous journalist and writing coach, at the national conference of the Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. We learned from him about a phenomenal opportunity for young writers and journalists: the Young Spurs competition at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. We attended the conference and were blown away by its welcoming community of writers (known as “the tribe”) and the awesome chance to learn from some of the best in the business. We give this contest and conference YJI’s highest recommendation.
Young Spur and YJI reporter Katie Lothrop with biographer 
James McGrath Morris at the 2012 Mayborn conference.


The Young Spurs contest, which is on now, awards 10 high school or community college students the chance of a lifetime: to travel with a teacher, parent or mentor to Dallas and spend a wonderful weekend in a small group learning about writing and to have work published in the venerable Dallas Morning News. All travel, food and lodging and conference expenses for winners within the United States are covered. Read on for a letter of invitation from Mr. Getschow:

I am writing to invite students with an interest
in non-fiction writing to enter the third annual Mayborn National History
Writing Contest. This exciting contest aims to nurture the next generation of
storytellers and journalists, and is part of the University of North Texas’
Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference. The Education Department at the George
Bush Presidential Library and Museum Education Department, Big Thought and
Biographers International partner with UNT’s Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of
Journalism to host the competition.
YJI co-founders Steve Collins, left, and Jackie Majerus, right, with journalist George Getschow, who started the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction conference at the University of North Texas.

“The competition,” says Pulitzer Prize-winning
author Debby Applegate, “offers aspiring biographers a remarkable opportunity
to hone their craft, spend time with established writers, and gain recognition
for their work. It could make a world of difference in a young writer’s life.”
Ten winners, along with the teacher or mentor of
their choice, will be awarded scholarships to the 2013 Mayborn Literary
Nonfiction Conference, which will be held July 19 – 21 at the Hilton DFW Lakes
Executive Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas. Winners will be recognized
during the conference’s Literary Lights dinner on July 20, and the winning
narrative histories will be published in The Dallas Morning News. The
winners will also attend a daylong writing workshop with Ron Powers, author of
“Flags of Our Fathers,” a much heralded narrative history of World War II.
To enter the competition high school and
community college students, between the ages of 14-25 years old, are asked to
write a narrative account of an historical event and the key character or
characters involved in that event, living or past, , who left a deep and
lasting legacy in his or her community. The narrative history should be less
than 5,250 words. Complete rules and more information are available here.
Regular conference attendee and journalist Lee
Hancock conceived the initial idea of the competition to involve young people
in the conference, and looks forward to the national writing contest’s continued
“Last year it was tremendously exciting to see a
group of kids so engaged and so changed by their experience at the Mayborn
Conference, and we’re hopeful that will continue this year with more
submissions and more interest,” Hancock said. “We’ve known for a long time how
successful the Mayborn is at inspiring and encouraging all ages of writers, and
we’re looking forward to seeing what this year’s group will do.”
This is a remarkable opportunity for aspiring young
writers in that it rewards the winners with a chance to sharpen their skills
working with some of the nation’s best writers. In connecting the new young
writers with the seasoned older pros, this competition plays an instrumental
role in creating the next generation of storytellers.
To read the stories by and about some of our past
winners in The Dallas Morning News, go
bulletin boards.
If you read these stories, I have no doubt you’ll
want to become one of our nationally acclaimed Young Spurs winners. Deadline is
June 29. So don’t procrastinate.  I want
to celebrate your achievement at our national conclave in July.
George Getschow
Writer in residence
The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference