Promising Young Writers Program

January 13, 2018





Due Feb 15th, 2018

To stimulate and recognize student’s writing talents and to emphasize the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students.


2018 Themed Writing Prompt

Truth and Reconciliation

Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1997), former Chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee, has proposed that the “future” of our planet depends on “forgiveness.” Writing is a powerful tool for bringing difficult truths to light and for helping people, in response to those truths, to reconcile with others, as well as with themselves. This year, we invite you to write about, and to write for, truth and reconciliation in your life.

Possible questions that you might explore are provided below. You are not expected to respond to all (or any) of these questions:

  • What is a difficult truth that I or my community (e.g., families, friends, school groups, neighborhoods, religious communities, and ethnic communities) has had to face? What process did I/we undergo in coming to admit this difficult truth? What effects followed from my/our bringing this difficult truth to light? What did I/we learn from these experiences?

  • Have I personally experienced the challenging work of forgiving myself or others? What process did I undergo to be able to forgive? What effects followed from my forgiving myself or others? What did I learn from these experiences?

  • Have I ever had a memorable experience of being forgiven by someone else? How did the person forgive me? Why did the person forgive me? What effects followed from my being forgiven? What did I learn from these experiences?

  • Have I or my community (e.g., families, friends, school groups, neighborhoods, religious communities, and ethnic communities) ever been healed by truth? What happened? What did I/we learn from these experiences?

  • What current situation(s) in my life call for truth and reconciliation? What can I do to support truth and reconciliation? What challenges might I encounter in attempting to do this work? How might I address these challenges? What resources might I need?

You may produce any genre, or kind, of writing (e.g., personal essay, graphic novel, news article, “This I Believe” podcast, eulogy, sermon, scientific report, letter to a politician, local petition). If you find it helpful to state your intended audience at the beginning of your entry, you are welcome to do so. Please remember that your Theme entry should be no longer than four pages (or the equivalent in another medium, such as video). In addition, the genres (kinds of work) that you submit as your Theme and Best Writing entries must be different (e.g., personal essay and scientific report).


Tutu, D. (1997). No future without forgiveness. New York: Doubleday


More information:

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

Book Spine Poetry Contest @Your Library®

April 2, 2018

Please reload

Recent Posts

January 12, 2018

Please reload

Please reload

Search By Tags
Please reload

Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square

©2020 by Schenectady High School Library Learning Commons, Schenectady City School District