Leslie Walker Writers of Promise Contest

The Leslie Walker Writers of Promise Contest is open from December 3 – February 12.


We are sharing our lesson ideas for writing about place, so please visit our site as we update our contest page with downloadable lesson ideas. Share your lesson ideas with our KMWP community by emailing Heather Barton, contest director, at heather.barton@cherokee.k12.ga.us or posting to our KWMP Facebook page.

  • Map Sketches – Memory & Place: start writing about place with your students with this springboard lesson.
  • Fifteen-Sentence Portrait & The Six-Room Poem: We’ve adapted Wendy Bishop’s guided writing prompt Georgia Heard’s poem as springboard lessons for writing about place.
  • Leaf Man Adventures: “A Leaf Man’s got to go where the wind blows.” Fall is a terrific time to write about place with Lois Ehlert’s children’s book Leaf Man. This activity works well with lower elementary-age students, but consider how it could inspire writing with older students as well. KMWP Fellow Mary Ann Stillerman explains how her middle school students write stories of leaf adventures with second-graders at her school.
  • Writing Marathon / Poetry Walks – inspired by the National Writing Project’s Writing Marathon, this lesson provides a model for free writing with your students using place as inspiration.
  • Personality of Place –  Scott Smoot, 7th grade English teacher, shares his lesson: Prose like Poetry in To Kill a Mockingbird. A writer may borrow tricks from a poet to show personality of a place, as Harper Lee does in a passage early in chapter one of To Kill a Mockingbird.


Leslie Walker strived to create community in her classroom through writing about place. This ongoing effort was realized through her dedication to teaching writing to her students. To continue Leslie’s work, we invite teachers to prompt their students to experiment with writing about a specific place. What they express in their writing may be factual, imagined, or a combination of both.

Teachers are invited to submit up to 20 of their students’ most interesting pieces to our contest, or individual students may wish to submit a piece. Such writing may not be the most polished, and it may come from students who do not usually think of themselves as exceptional writers.

Students are encouraged to write about the experience of a place that holds significance to them. This open-ended topic serves teachers across the curriculum. The student’s voice should be evident throughout the piece. The following suggestions may help guide students to write about place, but any interpretations of the idea of place are welcome.

  • Social Studies and History teachers may invite students to write about place during a particular historical moment, on maps, or with data sets.
  • Science teachers might ask students to use what they know about certain scientific principles or methods in which place would hold significant meaning.
  • Math teachers may ask the students to write about place as it applies to numbers or mathematical concepts.
  • Language Arts and English teachers may use memoir writing to help their students explore the idea of place through their unique memories and experiences.


lwwop flierOnline submissions accepted December 3 – February 12 by individual students or teachers via the digital submission form below.

Writings MUST BE typed, in Word or PDF format (not to exceed 1MB), up to 1000 words in length, and mostly error-free.

Each submission MUST INCLUDE a LWWoP Entry & Parent/Guardian Permission Form If form is incomplete, the submission will not be accepted.

For general questions or issues with online submissions, please email kmwp@kennesaw.edu or Heather Barton, contest director, at heather.barton@cherokee.k12.ga.us