A compilation of student writing about 2020

Cover Art Contest

The Young Writers Experience

Calling All District 181 Student Artists

Submission Deadline: March 26, 2021

We invite student artists to submit artwork for thefront and back covers of the Young Writers Night Book. What should the cover art depict? Anything students would like to share that captures their thoughts, impressions, feelings, or experiences related to 2020. 

Click her for more details. Artwork should be emailed to Meg Cooper mcooper@d181foundation.org.

Author Webinars

Registration Deadline - January 31, 2021

Webinar with Ben & Tonya Mezrich - January 14, 2021

1st Draft Due - February 15, 2021

Webinar with Nathan Hale - March 11, 2021

Finished Writing Due - March 15, 2021

​Cover Art Contest Submission Deadline - March 26, 2021

Student Writer Recognition Event - TBD

What is the 2020 project?

The COVID Pandemic  ·  Elections  ·  Shelter-in-Place Orders
Remote Learning  ·  Protests  ·  Wildfires  ·  Facemasks
Social Distancing  ·  Cancelled Events  ·  Hardships
Adaptability  ·  Community  ·  Caring

We have just experienced a year like no other.
Let’s write a book about it together!

What should students write about?
Anything that they would like to share about their thoughts, impressions, or experiences in 2020.

What type of writing can be submitted?
Any type! Describe a special memory, report on an event, write an opinion piece, compose a poem, create a short story, develop a graphic story or comic strip, etc. 

No minimum length requirement. Maximum length: 1000 words.

A Visit with Writing Couple Ben & Tonya Mezrich

Thursday, January 14th, 7:00pm


​Ever wonder what it’s like to work together as a couple? Find out first hand as you meet with the husband and wife team: Ben and Tonya Mezrich. They will be interviewed by a team of CHMS and HMS students as they discuss their newest STEM middle grade fiction book from their Charlie Numbers Series, the writing process, how to inspire budding authors, as well as how they found their way into writing and share tidbits about bringing a book to film, what it’s like to be a consulting producer on the TV show "Billions," and how being parents themselves helps them in the writing process for the 8-12 age set.

Student Writers

Young Writers Night - The 2020 Project is open to all interested District 181 3rd - 8th grade students. 

  • Student writers will be assigned a teacher mentor.
  • Teacher mentors will guide students in the writing process.
  • The writing will be compiled and published in a keepsake hardcover book given to each student writer. Extra copies will be available for purchase.
  • Students will be invited to share their writing remotely with a small group of student writers in their grade and a teacher facilitator
  • Students and families will be invited to webinars with youth authors throughout the winter and spring
  • Students and families will be invited to Special Recognition Program honoring student writers at the end of the year (format and date TBD).​

A Visit with Nathan Hale

Thursday, March 11, 7:00pm

​Nathan Hale is the author and illustrator of the Eisner-nominated, New York Times bestselling graphic novel series on American history Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales. He also created the sci-fi horror comics ONE TRICK PONY and APOCALYPSE TACO.

Important Dates