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Summer Learning: New York Times Reading Contest

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Summer Learning: New York Times Reading Contest

We all know that summer is one of the only times of the year when teens can relax—they are released from stressful responsibilities including homework, school sports games, and exams. But summer should not be a wasted opportunity to read for pleasure. To help incentivize teens over the last four years, The New York Times created their annual New York Times Summer Reading Contest.

How Does the Summer Reading Contest Work?

Every Friday from June 13th through August 15th, The NYT posts the same question: "What interested you most in The Times this week?"

Anyone 13 to 19 years old from around the world can post a response to an essay, article, photograph, or video. Responses are easy to post through the comments section of the original article/image. The two best responses are chosen on the following Tuesday, and are then published on the blog.

What Should the Responses Look Like?

The Times doesn’t care what the subject of your post is—they are interested in why you picked the story in the first place. Past winners’ posts include topics from Miley Cyrus and reality TV to Internet surveillance and superheroes. Again, all responses should be written in the comments section.

What Are the Rules?

Each response should remain at 350 words or fewer and follow these guidelines:

  • The writer can respond to anything printed on NYTimes.com in 2014, videos, graphics, slide shows, and podcasts.
  • Only one submission per person per week.
  • TEENAGERS ONLY! Ages 13 to 19.
  • Provide the full URL of the story/image you are responding to.

Other Considerations

Each week, a different Penguin Young Readers Group author will judge the entries.

Winners will be published every Tuesday in a separate post, on Twitter, and Facebook. Teachers, librarians, and parents can use this challenge as an easy way to encourage their students or children to read for pleasure and follow their interests and passions.

Teens: start reading up on your NYT content now! Good luck!

Information adapted from NYTimes.com.

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Sophie Borden graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with degrees in Environmental Studies, Spanish, and Writing. She is a Marketing Associate at TeenLife and lives in Boston. She loves traveling, cooking, and dogs, especially her little rescue pup, Lily.

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