Community Outreach

The UVU Community Writing Center (CWC), located at the Orem Public Library is a FREE resource provided to Utah Valley.

We aim to service the civic and professional needs of writers throughout Utah Valley with face-to-face coaching, composition workshops, handouts, and generalized writing practice. Writing coaches are available to assist with any part of the writing process.

The CWC is home to the Write Outside Yourself Journal and a co-host for the UVU Conference on Writing for Social Change.

In June 2019, the CWC will co-host the Utah CRLA regional conference.

Write Outside Yourself Journal


2018-2019 Theme: Mind Over Matter

The Utah Valley University & Community Writing Centers are accepting submissions for Vol. VI of Write Outside Yourself. Student writers in Utah junior high/middle or high schools may submit original works of writing for a chance to be guided through the publishing process, published in a print and online journal, and recognized at a celebration in September 2019.

Authors whose stories are accepted will receive a copy of the journal and are eligible to receive additional honors celebrating the merit of their newly published works.

Submission Deadline: April 5th, 2019 (extended deadline)

This year, the Write Outside Yourself theme is “Mind Over Matter,” stories and poetry that feature characters who rely on their wits and intelligence rather than their physical strength to overcome obstacles and adversity.

Whether your story or poem is about an outcast genius or a brilliant investigator, these stories should explore the minds of those who have exceptional intelligence, imagination, or ingenuity.

Perhaps your character is an illustrious wizard high in a tower, a young woman living in a dream world in her own imagination, or a virtuosic musician writing her magnum opus. Your story may feature a clever crime solver, a skillful student, a prodigious professor, or an insane inventor. You may write about a gifted doctor curing disease in the distant future or a cunning rogue solving deadly puzzles in an ancient ruin.

Stories and poems can be fantasy, science fiction, realism, or anything in between, as long as they fit the theme. Pieces can feature original characters or real figures from the past and/or present.

Fanfiction or pieces featuring fictional characters from other published works will not be considered for publication. 

Looking for Inspiration?


The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Artemis Fowl Series, Harry Potter Series, Ender’s Game, A Wrinkle in Time, Wee Free Men, The Book Thief, Inkheart, Pride & Prejudice, The Thief, Ranger’s Apprentice, The Bartimaeus Trilogy, The Westing Game, Marcelo in the Real World, The Freak Observer, The Giver, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


Thoughts” by Walt Whitman, “I Felt a Funeral in my Brain” by Emily Dickinson, “A Dream Within a Dream” by Edgar Allan Poe, “A Dream” by Edgar Allan Poe, “A Dream Pang” by Robert Frost


Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey and Dale Wasserman, Next to Normal by Brian Yorkey


Akeelah and the Bee, Legally Blonde, A Beautiful Mind, Hugo, Hidden Figures, Matilda, Iron Man, Back to the Future, August Rush, October Sky, Doctor Strange, The Theory of Everything, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Arrival, The Martian, The Imitation Game, The Help, Coraline, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Big Hero 6, Big Fish, Inception, Spare Parts


Sherlock, Psych, Monk, Lie to Me, The Mentalist, House M.D., Burn Notice, Stranger Things, MacGyver



“You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.” —Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” —Henry Ford

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” —Albert Einstein

“Genius… is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.” —Ezra Pound

“Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.” —Abraham Lincoln


Submission Guidelines

  • Authors must be middle/junior high or high school students and live in Utah
  • Submissions must be original; fan fiction is not allowed (no Harry Potter or Edward Cullen spin-offs)
  • Content must be appropriate for a young adult audience
  • Submissions cannot exceed 15 typed, double-spaced pages
  • Entries must fit within the contest theme
  • Work must be submitted online by the due date


Entries are due at 11:59 p.m. on April 5th, 2019.

Submissions will be judged in a double-blind reading by a panel of writing center staff, and notice of publication will be emailed on April 12th, 2019.


Note to Authors

If your work is selected for publication, you must attend at least one revision session (via phone, Skype, or face-to-face) with a Writing Center tutor. We offer an optional second revision session, The Story Exchange, where you can meet with other authors, exchange stories, and provide/receive feedback. Finally, we will ask you to submit a finalized draft of the entry for typesetting and publication.

These revision sessions help assure that we print the best version of your submission. Failure to attend the mandatory revision session will result in your entry being removed from the published journal. Additional details will be provided to each author in the notice of publication.

Schedule TBD 


Contest Timeline

Like writing, publishing is a process. The following timeline will be used for the 2018-19 publication:

Apr. 24 th - May 2nd   

 Author Edits

May 11th

Story Exchange



Calendar will be updated with additional information throughout the Contest Timeline. 


Write Outside Yourself Submission Form

Journal Archive

Print copies of the Write Outside Yourself Journal are available for check-out at the Utah Valley University Library. Authors may search for their volume by their name, entry title, or journal title. Access to the electronic copies are provided below: