Steinbeck Young Authors

Steinbeck Young Authors is an innovative program that was created to provide an opportunity for middle school students to explore the excitement of writing, enhance their writing skills, and introduce them to the works of John Steinbeck.

Steinbeck Young Authors 02

Steinbeck himself was inspired by a good book and strong teachers—a combination we hope will motivate students to discover the power of the written word. Teachers in the Steinbeck Young Authors program use a specially developed curriculum written especially for The Red Pony.

Over 20,000 middle school students from Monterey County, Santa Cruz County and Solon, Iowa have participated in this program since it began. Steinbeck Young Authors teachers select two students to attend a special Day of Writing at the National Steinbeck Center, where they meet a real “Red Pony”, write an essay combining their personal life experiences and their studies of The Red Pony. They are then paired with a volunteer writing ‘coach’, a community member who uses writing as a part of their careers, who reviews their work with them. After the session with their coaches, students have an opportunity to edit their essays and turn them in for a final review. A panel of experts judge the students’ works over a two-week period. All “Day of Writing” participants are invited to celebrate their accomplishments and award recipients are acknowledged at an award ceremony held at the World Theatre on the campus of Cal State University, Monterey Bay. All of the student essays are published in the Gabilan Journal.

2012-2013 Steinbeck Young Authors Program

Click for Day of Writing Video March 12, 2012

Over 2,000 middle school students from Monterey County, Santa Cruz County and Solon, Iowa participated in last year’s program, and 9 schools were represented.  SYA teachers selected two students to attend a special “Day of Writing”, held Monday, March 12th at the National Steinbeck Center, where they met a real “Red Pony”, wrote an essay combining their personal life experiences and their studies of The Red Pony.  They were paired with a volunteer writing ‘coach’, a community member who uses writing as a part of their careers, and they reviewed their work with them.  After the session with their coaches, students had an opportunity to edit their essays and turn them in for a final review.  A panel of experts judged the students’ works over a two-week period. 

Steinbeck Young Authors is an innovative program that was created to provide an opportunity for students across Monterey County to explore the excitement of writing, enhance their writing skills, and introduce them to the works of John Steinbeck. Steinbeck himself was inspired by a good book and strong teachers—a combination we hope will motivate students to discover the power of the written word.  Teachers in the Steinbeck Young Authors program use a specially developed curriculum written especially for The Red Pony

The Steinbeck Young Authors Program consists of three stages: a classroom component for all students, a Day of Writing event for teacher-nominated students, and an Awards Ceremony. Over 20,000 students have participated from public and private schools from schools throughout California and beyond.

Download Coach Letter: ( PDF )

Download the Coach Response form: (PDF)

Download the Steinbeck Young Authors' CCSS Alignment: ( PDF )

Download the 2013-2014 SYA Program Description: ( PDF )

Download the 2013-2014 SYA Program Timeline: (PDF)

Download the 2013-2014 SYA Program Recruitment Letter: (PDF)

Download the 2013-2014 SYA Teacher Participation form:  (PDF)

Download the Student Nomination form: (PDF)

Parent Consent Form  (English): ( PDF )

Parent Consent Form (Spanish): ( PDF )

Student Selection Instructions: (doc)

Download the 2013-2014 Lending Library Application form: (PDF)

Download the Teacher Evaluation form: (doc)

Participation, recognition, and awards: (doc)

Download the 2013-2014 NSC contact information sheet (PDF)

Please send completed registration forms to Sandra Silva at  sandra@steinbeck.org or fax to 831.796.3828

Or by mail:
Att: Sandra Silva
National Steinbeck Center
One Main Street
Salinas, CA 93901

Download the Curriculum Binder

The 2012-2013 Steinbeck Young Authors program is supported by the generosity of the following individuals, businesses and foundations. Without their generous support, this program could not have existed.

•Alvarez Technology Group        •Belli Architectural Group          •Bruce Taylor    •California Rodeo Salinas    •Cominos Properties     •D’Arrigo Brothers of California    •Dunspaugh-Dalton Foundation   •The Gannett Foundation  •Huntington Farms    •Wells Fargo                •The James Irvine Foundation       •Mann Packing Company         •The Monterey County Weekly Community Foundation of the Community Foundation for Monterey County     •Pacific Valley Bank    •Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation    •Pebble Beach Company     •Rodger I. Thompson    •Union Bank of California   •Patricia Chapman