Madison Public Library is seeking young writers in the Madison area! Have a story to share? Pen a tale with the theme of “teamwork” and submit it for the We Read: Youth Voices Writers’ Contest for a chance to win a $500 prize donated by Madison Public Library Foundation, plus many other items.

The library has partnered with Forward Madison FC to celebrate literacy, and its amazing panel of judges is excited to review the entries. Anyone 18 and under is eligible to submit a short story, poem, song, etc., that tells their story!

Any story or poem about people coming together toward a common goal, regardless of whether it is reached, is encouraged. Submissions don’t need to be limited to sports or competitive events. Please include the author’s name and contact information in any submissions.

The library will organize an anthology of the winning pieces that will be available for checkout from the libraries, and all chosen authors will be featured during a Wisconsin Book Festival event at the festival’s fall celebration in October. The submission deadline is September 17. The contest was inspired in part by local tween athlete Tikeh Tazeh, who turned his energy toward writing during the pandemic. While he could not play soccer, he captured the essential elements of the sport — teamwork, sportsmanship and perseverance — in a middle grade novel titled Hat Trick that is an homage to the game. Tikeh is an inspiration to the Madison Public Library staff, and we’re excited to share his story so that he may be an inspiration to you.

We Read is funded by Madison Public Library Foundation, the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation, Dick Goldberg & Lisa Munro, and David Wood & Jane Doughty.