2020 Bechtel Prize

For an Innovative Creative Writing Classroom Project

The submission deadline for the 2020 Bechtel Prize has been extended to January 31, 2020!

Teachers & Writers Collaborative is now accepting submissions for the 2020 Bechtel Prize in support of literary arts education.

In keeping with the tradition of the award but with an updated focus, this year’s prize will be awarded to a classroom teacher or teaching artist for an innovative classroom project that supports student development as creative writers and thinkers. We are looking for projects that get students excited about writing, seek to educate the imagination, and promote a vibrant and dynamic culture of literacy in the classroom. The project should be one that you plan to complete in the next calendar year (eg. in 2020).

The submission selected to receive the Bechtel Prize will be published in Teachers & Writers Magazine, and the prizewinner will receive a $1,000 honorarium.   The prize winner must agree to send Teachers & Writers Magazine a report on the completion of their exciting vision by 12/31/2020. 

Submissions may include—but are not limited to—proposals that:

  • help students identify as writers
  • open new pathways to creative writing
  • engage students in all parts of the writing process
  • promote connections between reading and writing
  • support the publication of student writing

This prize is named for Louise Seaman Bechtel, who was an editor, author, collector of children’s books, and teacher.  She was the first person to head a juvenile book department at an American publishing house.  As such, she took children’s literature seriously, helped establish the field, and was a tireless advocate for the importance of literature in kids’ lives.

Selection criteria for the Bechtel Prize include the project’s relevance and appropriateness for readers of Teachers & Writers Magazine, most of whom teach writing at the elementary, secondary, or post-secondary level. Teachers & Writers Magazine publishes work that is concise, lively, and geared to a general audience. Prospective entrants for the Bechtel Prize are encouraged to visit the magazine to become familiar with the work of Teachers & Writers, and to read past published lesson plans and articles.  The prize selection committee is made up of members of the editorial board of Teachers & Writers Magazine.

Please refer to the submission guidelines below for additional information.

2020 Bechtel Prize Submission Guidelines

Submissions must be uploaded at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2020Bechtel

  • Proposals must be previously unpublished and under 2,500 words. They should include:
    • An introduction that gives context to and/or describes the inspiration behind the project.
    • A clear description of the project.
    • A description of how the project promotes a vibrant and dynamic culture of literacy in the classroom and helps students develop as creative writers.
  • Submissions must include a cover page with the project title, author’s name, e-mail address, phone number, and a brief bio (no more than 150 words).
  • Submissions must be typed, paginated, and double-spaced.
  • Submissions must be sent in Word or PDF format.
  • Submissions Format: the ideal plan will be a combination of a narrative describing the inspiration behind the plan, followed by the plan itself.  Click here for lesson plans published by T&W magazine that can serve as an example of this format.
  • The Bechtel Prize winner must permit T&W to publish their submission in Teachers & Writers Magazine. T&W reserves the right to edit submissions for publication.
  • Submissions that do not conform to the above guidelines will not be reviewed for the Bechtel Prize.

Questions regarding these guidelines may be sent to bechtel@twc.org.


Teachers & Writers Magazine

Teachers & Writers Collaborative: www.twc.org