Speak Leadership Awards Logo

The SPEAK! Leadership Awards (SLA) is the only awards program that recognizes teenage readers and leaders across the country for accomplishments in dialogue facilitation. SPEAK! Award Winners leverage the combined power of stories and conversation as a force for positive social change in their schools and communities.

Be A New Kind Of Leader.

We need to talk. As Cat, one of our SPEAK! certification graduates, shared with us, “Right now, what we’re lacking in society is the ability to listen to each other.” We need a new kind of leader, one who believes that skills in empathy and dialogue are not just "nice to have," but are absolutely necessary for great leadership in a rapidly changing world. We need a new kind of leader who taps into stories and storytelling as powerful ways to build empathy and create space for dialogue.

Teenaged girl with short hair and a red streak holds a purple book and smile with a light sea-foam green background.

SPEAK! Leadership Certification

  • Students must be in middle or high school (ages 13-18) and living in the US or Canada.
  • Must have access to stable internet to complete the online course
  • Program Duration: 5 weeks
  • Time Commitment:  2-3 hours/week on coursework and assignments
  • Attend 1 virtual dialogue event with your peers who have received or are working towards their certification.
  • After completing the training, students will receive a certificate confirming that they've developed skills in dialogue facilitation, especially the integration of young adult (YA) literature, personal experiences, and narratives in courageous conversations that promote social change.
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How do I apply for a SPEAK! Award?

In order to apply for SPEAK! Leadership Award, you must first be certified by Novelly in dialogue facilitation.

Step 1: Get Certified

Earn your certification in dialogue facilitation, specifically healing justice dialogue through literature.

Step 2: Host a dialogue

Apply your skills by leading a
dialogue project for your community virtually or in-person.

Step 3: Apply

Write and submit an essay about the impact of the dialogue project to be
considered for a SPEAK! Award.

What are the SPEAK! Leadership Awards?

Every June, Novelly will host AMPLIFY, a summer awards event recognizing diverse youth voices in publishing and dialogue leadership. The SPEAK! Leadership Awards are presented at this event. The Awards recognize students who have led exemplary courageous conversations and have demonstrated excellence in 21st century leadership skills, such as empathy, communication, and dialogue facilitation.

To apply, you will:

  • Confirm that you are a high school student living in the US or Canada.
  • Upload a copy of your SPEAK! certification.
  • Write a short essay about the impact of your dialogue project on yourself and your community.
  • Include an image or video from your project as well as a quote from an attendee. Please obtain any images, videos, and quotes with permission from attendees.

What counts as a dialogue project?

First, the dialogue is centered on a social issue.
Second, it should last at least 1 hour for meaningful
discussion. Third, the event must use a story, such
as a novelly from the Novelly library, to kick off
the discussion.

All dialogue projects and applications should be
completed by:

May 2022

Not ready to apply just yet?

Join the community in order to get reminders about deadlines, find new opportunities and resources, and collaborate with other students who are interested in the power of stories and dialogue!