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Lafayette Youth
Arts Society
Bridges
In 2015, the 2nd Annual Writing and Photography Contest went across seas to partner with Tingstrup Skole in Thisted, Denmark, to host a sister photography contest! Read more...
Welcome!
We're an organization run by kids, for kids. We're here to provide a place for the kids of Lafayette to showcase their artistic talents (and artistic doesn't necessarily mean painting and drawing alone).
Meet the LYAS
The Lafayette Youth Arts Society is run entirely by high school and middle school students. Click here to meet the team!
Press Attention
Meet the winners of the 2nd Annual Writing and Photography Contest!
Video filmed and edited by LYAS team member Isaac Douglas, a sophomore at Acalanes High School.
Free Writing Workshops
The Lafayette Youth Arts Society conducts free writing workshops for middle school students. The last series of workshops took place in November 2014 through January 2015, on the Saint Mary's College campus in Orinda. Read more...
Thank you to the Lafayette Community Foundation and the Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary Club for your support!
Congratulations to the winners of the 3rd Annual Writing and Photography Contest!
Best of the Best
Photos from our contest winners over the years
Writing Contest Judges
The LYAS always strives to find the most illustrious judges for our annual contests. Here are a few of our judges from over the years.
Robert Hass
Former U.S. Poet Laureate; winner of the 2007 National Book Award; shared the 2008 Pulitzer Prize
Daniel Handler
Author of the wildly popular book series A Series of Unfortunate Events (under the pen name Lemony Snicket)
Yiyun Li
Recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant in 2010; winner of two California Book Awards
Gary Crabbe
Photographer for various publications, including the National Geographic Society, TIME Magazine, New York Times, Forbes Magazine, The North Face, Sunset, L.L. Bean, The Nature Conservancy, & The Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
Cheri Facer
Cheri Facer is a teacher who has taught for over thirty years in Lafayette. She loves her life's work - working with children and sharing her love and the magic of reading and writing with her students.
Alison Burke
Alison Burke was born in Berkeley and raised in Orinda. After graduating from Miramonte High School in 1970, she received a BA in English at Stanford before getting her teaching credential at UC Berkeley. She has taught Spanish and English for 24 years at Miramonte. 
LYAS in the news
John Kalil, the 1st place winner for writing in the 3rd Annual Writing and Photography Contest, was featured in Lamorinda Weekly in September. Click here to read the article!
May 15th, 2016
The 4th Annual Writing and Photography Contest

​• ​When are entries due? January 31st, 2017.

• Who's it for? Middle school (grades 6-8) students who either live in Lafayette, or attend a Lafayette school.

• Who are the judges? Click here to go to the Judges' Page!

• What's the point? To get kids to realize how much fun writing and photography can be.

• What can I win? There are almost 30 prizes to be won! Look here for more information.

​• How do I submit an entry? Download an entry form (link) and check out our instructions here.


It was thrilling to read so much fresh and imaginative work. I don't know what I was expecting, but not so much vivid and original writing. It was the live detail, story by story, the fullness of imagination that surprised me. It made me feel that the future of literature is in good hands and your young writers should (1) keep at it and (2) feel very proud of themselves.
—Robert Hass, Chief Judge of the 2nd Annual LYAS Writing Contest
Former U.S. Poet Laureate and 2008 Pulitzer Prize Winner
My students over the years have been glad to enter, and even more thrilled to be recognized for their writing. It has been a huge boost to many kids' confidence as writers and creators. I believe that the LYAS contest has shown kids that they are capable and talented... what an awesome accomplishment for the LYAS!
—Kathleen McGough, English teacher at Stanley Middle School
The LYAS contest has become an important yearly tradition for my students. It pushes them to expand their abilities to be creative and improves their craft
as writers. They're excited about it every year, often asking me if the prompts are out yet within the first few weeks of school! It's also great for them to see young people taking the initiative to create such a great organization. I'm grateful to the founder and members of LYAS for all that they're doing for Lafayette students!
—James Shapiro, Humanities teacher at Contra Costa Jewish Day School
—Robert Hass, Chief Judge of the 2nd Annual LYAS Writing Contest