For Adults

Slammin' Rhymes Challenge Writing Contest for Grades 6-12


Slammin' Rhymes Challenge XIV is a contest for all poets, rappers and spoken word artists in grades 6-12. Write your inspiring thoughts on this year's theme, "In It To Win It".

Photo The Step Stool Chef

Fall Fest/Slammin'Rhymes Challenge
Saturday, November 16, 2019
12:00pm - 4:00pm
Central Library

Special Guest: Step Stool Chef - Since he began making his own cakes at age 3, the Step Stool Chef has used cooking as his outlet for creativity and independence. He earned a visit to the White House as a finalist in the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge and serves on the Kids Advisory Board for the award-winning kids cooking magazine, ChopChop. He contributes to the popular Super Healthy Kids blog and frequently conducts live cooking demonstrations at food festivals.

The Powerful Experience of Writing for Students

Back in the late '90s Indiana author Helen Frost held in-class poetry workshops in high schools and published the "most poignant'" in an anthology called Why Darkness Seems So Light. Fifteen years later, one of the students who had her poem published emailed her asking for another copy of the book. Helen wrote:

  • She sent pictures of her husband and children, said that she was now doing well, and had forgiven the person she wrote about—her uncle, who had killed her aunt in her presence when she was six years old, by stabbing her 38 times. It was that specific number—38 times—that made her story so impossible to forget.

Helen asked her what was more important, the writing, or that it got published. The young woman answered:

  • Writing the story was. I never shared that part of my life with anyone and it felt good to open up about what happened i wanted to give the victims like me a voice you never know who this could happen to. When i wrote this i wanted people to see that there is hope in bad situations. If my story touched or helped one person than it was worth it.

Afterward, in a blog interview, Helen wrote "We may never hear from most students and readers, but I know absolutely that reading and writing, especially poetry, helps young people in profound ways." You can read the full interview with Helen Frost.