SAY what?

Since 1997, Stanford Anthology for Youth has published an annual literary and artistic review of work by Bay Area middle school students.

We give young writers and artists the opportunity to hone, revise, and publish their best work. Most of all, we aim to spark conversation between students, parents, and teachers about the things that are most important to them.

Submission Guidelines

Are you in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade? Then what are you waiting for? Share your work with us!

Whether you're a writer, an artist, or just one person who once wrote one poem, you've come to the right place. We're searching for the best middle school writing and art in the Bay Area, and we think you might just have it.

Read this carefully

Submit no more than two pieces of writing of any style (poetry, fiction, nonfiction...whatever you'd like to share!) and three pieces of art. Show us your very best work!

Written submissions should be in a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file. Times New Roman 12 point font is preferred. Art should be submitted as high-quality JPEG files. Art may be in color or in black and white. Please do not write your name directly on your artwork.

New this year! Theme: Resilience

This year, we are changing things up and centering a section of the Anthology around the theme of resilience. You may use this theme as a starting point and write or create art relating to your experiences of this challenging past year or any point in your life. However, submissions do not have to be about resilience, and a substantial portion of the Anthology will remain theme free.

The deadline for SAY 2021 has passed. See below for the 2021 anthology!

We will begin accepting submissions for SAY 2022 in early December. In the meantime, check out our tips for creating your work below.

Hints & Tips for Writers

Every year, we recieve more writing and art than we can publish. With the wealth of fantastic work that shows up in our inbox, it's always difficult to decide what to include in the anthology. Here are some tips on how to make your work stand out:

SAY loves all types of writing: poetry, stories, and everything in between and beyond. Great writing has:

Originality. All submissions should, of course, be your own work. Let your imagination go wild! Send us something that only you could write.

Note: We prefer submissions that are not based on another piece of writing (a book or poem you read in class, for example). Your writing should stand on its own, even if we haven't read the book! However, any submission that is truly original and full of your own voice - even if it was inspired by another author's work - will impress us.

Clarity. You have something important to say, and we want to be able to understand it! If there's a narrative in your piece, can we follow it? Does the structure of your piece, and each sentence within it, make sense? Eliciting a strong emotional response is also a form of clarity. While there is no strict page or word limit, we strongly encourage you to be mindful of the length of your submission. In order to publish as many great works of poetry and prose as possible, SAY prefers to publish shorter pieces.

Polish. We want to see that you put time and care into your work. Has it been double-checked for spelling and grammar? Did you think carefully about where to put paragraph, line, or section breaks? We recommend giving your work to a trusted friend or family member before you submit it - often they'll catch things that you've missed! Reading your work out loud to yourself is also a great technique.

Brevity. Most of the prose we publish ranges from 500 to 1000 words. Due to space constraints, we cannot consider anything longer than 5000 words.

Hints & Tips for Artists

Many of the ideas from above go for art as well, but here are some specific guidelines:

Originality. As with writing, we want to see the unique art only you can create! The art you submit should be your own work and should not be a reproduction of someone else's art.

If your work was inspired by an existing piece of art, please cite the original artist and the specific work that inspired your piece in your bio.

Polish. We much prefer finished art to sketches. We accept drawings, paintings, photography, and anything else that will look good in print! Make sure that the photo or scan you send us presents your work at its best and that you crop out floors, walls, and anything else in the background that is not part of your art submission.

Ready to Submit?

Check back soon! Our submission form will go live December 2021!

Please note that we are using a Google form to collect submissions this year, rather than the website we have used in the past. You will need to sign in with a Google/Gmail account to access it. Once on the form, please provide an email address other than your school email if possible, there are often security features on the accounts that make it difficult for us to contact you!

If you have any issues using or accessing the form, feel free to send your submissions to

NOTE: You may have issues accessing the form if using Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge. If so, try using another web browser (i.e. Safari, Chrome, Firefox) and if that doesn't work, email us your submissions!

We can't wait to see what you've got!

Remember: by submitting, you give SAY permission to publish your work in the print anthology as well as online and to do minimal amounts of editing.

Submit Now

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SAY Hello

Stanford Anthology for Youth is a nonprofit organization run by students at Stanford University.

Are you a teacher looking to bring SAY into your classroom? A young writer or artist with questions about our submission process? A Stanford student interested in becoming an editor?

Whoever you are and however you got here, you can always drop us a line at