Special promotional content provided by Madison Public Library
The We Read Youth Voices Writing Contest is a collaboration between Madison Public Library, Forward Madison FC, and the Wisconsin Book Festival, with funding from the Madison Public Library Foundation. Young writers, ages 18 and under, from across Madison were encouraged to submit stories, songs, poems, etc. on the theme Moving Forward – Together. 144 kids submitted works and 52 were selected for inclusion in the 2023 anthology.
A print version of the anthology is now available at all Madison Public Libraries and at all school libraries in the Madison Metropolitan School District. The anthology represents highlights of some of the best submissions, judged by a panel of Madison community writers and advocates for youth.
Young authors who were selected to be in the anthology were invited to attend a special reception alongside their families during the Fall Celebration of the Wisconsin Book Festival in October 2023. Each author was invited to sign copies of the anthology for the Mayor of Madison, stopped in at a special selfie station with a huge copy of the cover, and were given a ribbon that read “author”. They also received three print copies of the anthology to take home with them and share with friends and family.
Kids got to make their own buttons and enjoy coloring sheets before the program began, then all six of the winners for the contest were acknowledged, while the Grand Prize Winner and two of the runners up did a Q&A. Donuts and coffee flowed throughout, and some of the judge’s comments were read aloud so kids could bask in the positive feedback and encouragement from the community.
The 2023 We Read Youth Voices Anthology contains more than 50 stories expressed in formats ranging from poetry to comics to choose-your-own-adventure. A digital copy of the anthology is available online at madpl.org/youthvoicesanthology and print copies can be checked out from Madison Public Libraries or MMSD school libraries.
The We Read Youth Voices Writing Contest will return in 2024! The contest will re-open for new submissions to align with special programming happening in Madison Public Libraries over Spring Break, March 25-29, 2024. The Grand Prize Winner for the 2023 We Read Youth Voices Contest, Diyah Dhawal (15), will return as next year’s Youth Ambassador, which entails helping to choose a theme for the contest, serving as a judge, and writing a forward in the anthology. Save the date for next year’s contest, and stay in the loop with what’s happening by visiting madpl.org/youthvoices.
About Madison Public Library
Madison Public Library’s tradition of promoting education, literacy and community involvement has enriched the City of Madison for more than 140 years. Visit the library online at www.madisonpubliclibrary.org, madisonpubliclibrary on Facebook, @madisonlibrary on X (formerly Twitter), or @madisonpubliclibrary on Instagram.