Write Outside Your Door Logo

Go Outside. Be Inspired. Be Creative. Write. Submit.

Write Outside Your Door is a free writing competition co-sponsored by the Missouri Botanical Garden and Gateway Writing Project that authentically integrates creative writing into the science and English language curriculums.  Write Outside Your Door invites students from grades K - 12 and adults to write about their experiences outside, with nature, and as stewards of the environment. 

The contest opens in October and runs through May, inviting writers to write through all of the beautiful seasons in Missouri.

   22-23 Submission Form


Guidelines:  writers may submit stories, essays, or poems that creatively address the theme 

  • a special place in nature and why it is meaningful
  • Describes an author’s specific experience in nature
  • a piece that reflects conservation, stewardship, or sustainability

Entries are judged based on:

  • content (how well the theme has been addressed)
  • voice (word choice and style)
  • merits of composition (grammar and organization)
  • Stories and essays should be 1,000 words or less
  • poetry should be 3 - 30 lines

Learn More about our badging program for writing outdoors in 2022 - 2023


Congratulations to our 2023 Winners!  Each is recognized at the Missouri Botanical Garden Green Living Festival with a prize pack including a family membership to the Missouri Botanical Garden.   

Zariah Goff, 

Tree Blow  Haiku (K-2 category)

from Kratz Elementary, Ritenour 

Roxy Cheek,

Trees (3-5 category)

from City Garden Montessori

Keyshawn McGee, 

Nature's Fate (6-8 category)

from Confluence Academy Old North

Ethan Sanders,  

Natural Order (9  -12 category)

from Webster Groves High School

Bethany Oesterle,  

Native Beauties (adult  category)

 

 


Congratulations to our 2022 Winners! Each is recognized with a prize pack including a family membership to the Missouri Botanical Garden. Our high school category winner is awarded a scholarship to OneCity Stories.  
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Matthew Scott, 

Beautiful Spring (K-2 category)

from Stanton Elementary, Rockwood 

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Rosalie Allen,

Nature (3-5 category)

from Webster Groves

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Claire Fuhr, 

Nature Poem (6-8 category)

from St. Raphael the Archangel

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Kailynn Stiff,  

Pondering Rain (9  -12 category)

from  Fort Zumwalt South High School  

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Zachary Oesterle,  

St. Louis Pastoral (adult  category)

Honorable Mention:  Amanda Bramley,

A Few Feet Away (adult category)

 


Congratulations to our 2021 Winners! Each was recognized at the Virtual Missouri Botanical Garden Green Living Festival and wpm a prize pack including a family membership to the Missouri Botanical Garden. Our high school category winner was awarded a scholarship to OneCity Stories.  
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Prenisha Prasai, 

Nature (K-2 category)

from Sappington Elementary, Lindbergh 

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Vada Kinworthy,

Why I Like Lone Elk Park (3-5 category)

from Murphy Elementary, Northwest

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Bethany Butryn, 

Three Steps to Green (6-8 category)

from Fort Zumwalt Middle



Congratulations to our 2020 Winners! Each is recognized at the Virtual Missouri Botanical Garden Green Living Festival and wins a prize pack including a family membership to the Missouri Botanical Garden. Our high school category winner is awarded a scholarship to OneCity Stories.  
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Rosario Kelley, 

Spring Bliss to Summer Beaches (K-2 category)

from Kennard Classical Junior Academy, SLPS  

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Ben Kettleson,

My Gardens (3-5 category)

from Fairway Elementary, Rockwood

Samantha Horn, 

A Day in St. Louis (6-8 category)

from Wentzville School District

Maria Adamitis,  

It Is Everything (9  -12 category)

from  Villa Duchesne  

Stephanie Pisani,  

It's Gonna Be O.K. (adult  category)

 


Congratulations to our 2019 Winners! Each were recognized at the Missouri Botanical Garden Green Living Festival and won a prize pack including a family membership to the Missouri Botanical Garden. Our high school category winner was also awarded a scholarship to OneCity Stories.  

Clara Hick, 

Spring Haiku (K-2 category)

from Wilkinson E Childhood Center, SLPS 

Paula Sun,

Spring (3-5 category)

from Fairway Elementary, Rockwood

Sierra Boehm, 

Right Outside My Door (6-8 category)

from Hancock Place Middle School, HPSD

Claire Adams,  

The Adventurer's Spirit (9  -12 category)

from Fox Senior High School, Fox C6 

Aria Thompson,

Getting Back to Nature (Judge's Choice)

from Metro Academic and Classical High School, SLPS

 


Congratulations to our 2018 Winners! Each were recognized at the Missouri Botanical Garden Green Living Festival and won a prize pack including a family membership to the Missouri Botanical Garden. Our high school category winner was also awarded a scholarship to OneCity Stories.  

Jack Skaggs,

Hiking (K-2 category)

from Geggie Elementary, Rockwood School District 

Shravanya Shrinivas,

Magical Nature (3-5 category)

from Lakeview Elementary, Wentzville School District

Devan Ellison,

The Two Sides to My House (6-8 category)

from Rockwood School District

Anna Forget,

A Letter of Deep Apology to the Botanical Gardens of Saint Louis

from Cor Jesu (9-12 category)