The National Steinbeck Center will be closed starting March 16, 2020. Please check back for updates for when our doors will be open again to the public.

Steinbeck Young Authors Program

Click on the image to view this year’s student essays.

The Award-winning Steinbeck Young Authors (SYA) program, which begins its 18th year in the fall of 2020, has educated and inspired over 60,000 students, serving over 6,000 elementary, middle, and high school students annually. The SYA program was recognized for outstanding dedication and extraordinary contributions toward the improvement of teaching English/Language Arts in California thereby earning The National Steinbeck Center the 2019 Award of Merit from the California Association of Teachers of English.

The Steinbeck Young Authors program provides teachers with curriculum guides focused on John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony or The Pearl which are aligned with Middle School Common Core State Standards and promote reading, responding and writing about complex texts, and honor and publish student work. Teachers bring Steinbeck’s books to life for their students, cultivate their comprehension and writing skills, and build a foundation upon which our program stands.

After completing the curriculum, teachers nominate student finalists for the Day of Writing. During this day, volunteer writing coaches amass to encourage, inspire, and guide students in the writing of their final essays. The insightful and unique student essays, which are published in The Steinbeck Young Authors Anthology, remind us that there are never too many ways to hear a story, feel connected to a character, or grow from life lessons in literature.

This year, we are bringing the Steinbeck Young Authors program virtually to more schools and learning institutions not only locally but nationally and internationally thereby keeping Steinbeck’s words alive today to inspire future generations of readers and writers.

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Special thanks to our sponsors for their generous support: