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Here's your chance to speak out and be heard! Creative Expressions of America is looking for original, unpublished stories, essays, poems and drawings from youths age 10 to 18 for its upcoming publication, "Listen America, Kids Speak Out." Youths may submit as many entries as they wish on the topic of their choice. Written entries must be typed or neatly printed in black ink, and each piece of work must be accompanied by a letter of consent from a legal guardian giving the youth permission to participate. Entries must be postmarked by Feb. 28 and mailed to Creative Expressions of America, P.O. Box 665, Layton, Utah 84041-0665. For more information, call Margaret Jackson at (801) 771-5995.

High school journalists are invited to apply for Hemingway Writing Awards, with a limit of two students per high school per category. Categories are features, news writing, sports writing and commentary. Submissions must have been published in calendar year 1999 in a student news publication. Students must enter two examples of original work per category. Cut out originals and mount on plain white 8 1/2 -by-11-inch paper. Entries must be postmarked Jan. 15, 2000. For information, contact Lisa Lopez, Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64108 or call (816) 234-4907.

NeXt is a section designed for teens and younger readers published every Tuesday in The News.

Have a story for us? Call the teen hot line: 849-5454. Or write to NeXt, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240. Or e-mail: