Royal Commonwealth Society.png


The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition (QCEC) is the world's oldest international schools' writing contest, established by the Society in 1883. With thousands of young people taking part each year, it is an important way to recognise achievement, elevate youth voices and develop key skills through creative writing. 

Each year, entrants write on a theme that explores the Commonwealth's values, fostering an empathetic world view in the next generation of leaders and encouraging young people to consider new perspectives to the challenges that the world faces. Themes have included the environment, community, inclusion, the role of youth leadership, and gender equality. 

In the past decade alone, this high-profile competition has engaged approximately 140,000 young people, over 5,000 schools and thousands of volunteer judges across the Commonwealth. 

This year, the competition theme was 'Our Commonwealth', reflecting on our Patron Queen Elizabeth II's seven decades of service to the Commonwealth as an inspiring example of the steadfast commitment and important contribution we can all make to our societies.

We were thrilled to receive a record-breaking 26,322 entries to the QCEC from every Commonwealth region, with the winners and runners-up from New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and India. Find out more about this year's winners below and watch their reactions on discovering this significant achievement!

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Sawooly Li 

Senior Winner 

Age 17, New Zealand 

Sawooly Li is a 12th grade student from Rangitoto College in New Zealand. Reading and writing have always been second nature for her—a way of expressing visions, thoughts, and emotions. She loves drawing inspiration and learning from other great writers and their works. Both reading and writing are things which Sawooly aspires to continue far, far, into the future.

Sawooly also has a love for maths and physics, and is heavily involved in such areas in her school, running clubs and participating in competitions. Fostering a strong sense of community, she also leads several in-school organisations, such as UN Youth and UNICEF. In the winters, Sawooly enjoys snowboarding in New Zealand’s beautiful mountains with friends and family.

Read Sawooly's winning entry, 'Willow Trees and Waterholes' .


Madeleine Wood

Junior Winner 

Age 14, Australia 

Madeleine is 14 years old and lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is in grade 8 at Camberwell Girls Grammar School.

She loves travelling, particularly through Europe, and enjoys visiting the museums, historical landmarks and cities in each country. It is from these experiences that she gained a love for ancient, medieval, and renaissance history.

She is also an avid reader, plays the violin and spends much of her time playing basketball or swimming.

Read her winning poem, 'Catalina' .

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Amaal Fawzi

Senior Runner-up

Age 17, United Kingdom

Amaal Fawzi is a 17-year-old girl who was born in Egypt, raised in Lebanon, and now lives in East London. She has an Iraqi father and a British mother, and because of the education system in Lebanon, she has started university a year early! She studies English Literature with Creative Writing and has been writing poetry for many years, though she wouldn’t say she’s been writing poetry well for all of them.

Most of the poetry and prose she likes to write is concerned with culture and identity. Her years in Lebanon formed the majority of her character and cultural experiences, so learning to interact with that in the UK has been a very interesting season. It makes for a lot of writing material, and she’d say that the way she writes is always personal and drawn somehow from her own life.

Read Amaal's poem, 'Nursing Homes' . 


Maulika Pandey

Junior  Runner-up

Age 13, India

Maulika Pandey, is an 8th grade student from Aurum the Global School.

She has always enjoyed writing since she was a child as she feels writing gives her the power to express her feelings in a creative way. Maulika also enjoys sketching and playing the guitar. Basketball is her favourite sport.

She aspires to be a successful entrepreneur but will definitely continue writing in the future.

She is a dedicated advocate for anti-bullying and body positivity.

Read her entry titled, 'The Molai Forest' .

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Best Writing Contests in 2024

Showing 342 contests that match your search.

The Reedsy Prompts Contest

Genres: Fiction and Short Story

Every Friday, Reedsy sends out five writing prompts. Enter your response within a week for a chance at $250. Winners may also be included in a future issue of Reedsy’s literary magazine, Prompted.

Additional prizes:

$25 credit toward Reedsy editorial services

💰 Entry fee: $5

📅 Deadline: December 31, 2024

Passionate Plume

Passionate Ink

Genres: Fiction, Novel, Novella, Romance, and Short Story

The 2024 Passionate Plume celebrates the best in erotic fiction, both long and short, and features a special category for emerging authors.

Publication in the Passionate Ink Charity Anthology

💰 Entry fee: $40

📅 Deadline: March 21, 2024 (Expired)

J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Awards

Columbia Journalism School

Genres: Non-fiction

Two J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Awards, in the amount of $25,000, are given annually to aid in the completion of significant works of nonfiction on topics of American political or social concern. Recognizing that a nonfiction book based on extensive research often overtaxes the resources available to its author, the project envisions the Awards as a way of closing the gap between the time and money an author has and the time and money that finishing a book requires.

📅 Deadline: December 07, 2023 (Expired)

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Plan, write, edit, and format your book in our free app made for authors.

Learn more about Reedsy Studio .

The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction 2024

SmokeLong Quarterly

Genres: Flash Fiction

The SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction (The Smokey) is a biennial competition that celebrates and compensates excellence in flash.

2nd: $1000 | 3rd: $500 | Finalists: $100 | Publication

💰 Entry fee: $14

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024

F(r)iction Short Story Contest

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction, and Short Story

We seek work that actively pushes boundaries, that forces us to question traditions and tastes. If your work takes risks, we want to read it. We like strong narratives that make us feel something and stories we haven’t seen before. We accept work, written in English, from anywhere in the world—regardless of genre, style, or origin—and welcome speculative writing and experimental literature. Strange is good. Strange with a strong character arc is even better. Keep it weird, folks.


💰 Entry fee: $15

CWA Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition

Crime Writers' Association

Genres: Mystery and Short Story

Every year since 2014, the CWA and the Margery Allingham Society have jointly held an international competition for a short story of up to 3,500 words. Our mission is to find the best unpublished short mystery, and not only that, but one which fits into Golden Age crime writer Margery Allingham’s definition of what makes a great story. Entries are invited from all writers, published or unpublished, writing in English.

Two weekend passes to CrimeFest

💰 Entry fee: $16

📅 Deadline: February 29, 2024 (Expired)

Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize

Academy of American Poets

Genres: Poetry

Established in 1975, this $25,000 award recognizes the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous calendar year. The prize includes distribution of the winning book to hundreds of Academy of American Poets members.

Publication and distribution of book

💰 Entry fee: $75

📅 Deadline: May 15, 2024

7 Day Story Writing Challenge

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Short Story, Crime, Fantasy, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller, and Young Adult

Register now for our next 7-day story writing challenge. A secret theme, a randomly assigned genre, and just 7 days to write a story of no more than 2,000 words. Our 7-day story writing challenges take place throughout the year. The challenges are free and you can even get feedback on your story. Take part in one challenge or take part in all of them!

Publication on website

💰 Entry fee: $0

📅 Deadline: April 22, 2024

BBC National Short Story Award

2024 marks the 10th anniversary of the BBC YWA, an award created to inspire and encourage the next generation of short story writers, open to 14 – 18-year-olds. BBC Radio 1 Presenter Katie Thistleton returns as Chair of Judges for the YWA for the seventh time.

4x shortlisted stories: £600

📅 Deadline: March 18, 2024 (Expired)

One Line Poem Contest Inc.

Share a one line poem to enter this poetry contest. Cash prize to the winner. How creative can you get with one line to work with.

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: July 07, 2022 (Expired)

Fanstory Writing Contests

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Poetry, and Short Story

Subscribe to Fanstory for $9.95 a month and enter as many contests as you like from their list of writing and poetry contests, updated daily. All participants receive feedback from a community of writers, and the winner of each contest receives a cash prize of up to $100.

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2023 (Expired)

World Historian Student Essay Competition

World History Association

Genres: Children's and Essay

The World Historian Student Essay Competition is an international competition open to students enrolled in grades K–12 in public, private, and parochial schools, and those in home-study programs. Membership in the World History Association is not a requirement for submission. Past winners may not compete in the same category again.

📅 Deadline: May 01, 2024

Free Verse Poetry Contest

Write a free verse poem. This is a method of writing poetry, which does not essentially follow any structure or style. There is no fixed meter and no structure regarding rhyme and lines in each stanza.

📅 Deadline: August 22, 2022 (Expired)

The Lascaux Prize in Short Fiction

The Lascaux Review

Stories may be previously published or unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are accepted. Winner receives $1,000 and a bronze medallion. Finalists receive $100. Winner and finalists are published in both the online and annual print editions of The Lascaux Review.

Publication in The Lascaux Review

📅 Deadline: December 31, 2021 (Expired)

Gulf Coast Writers Association Writing Contest

Gulf Coast Writers Association

Genres: Flash Fiction, Non-fiction, and Poetry

The Gulf Coast Writers Association is a twenty-nine year old association which was founded to promote writing and writers in Southwest Florida. Its annual contest is open to anyone from anywhere. The entries are judged blind by experienced members of the association and esteemed members of the local community. Entry fees are $20 for the first submission and $10 thereafter, with discounts for GCWA Members. Winners will be notified in June of 2024. Prose has a 1,500 word limit and poetry must be 40 lines or less. Send us your bravest work.

2nd: $75 | 3rd: $50

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: May 31, 2024

CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Competition

Crime Writers Association

Our mission is to find the best unpublished short mystery — one that fits into legendary crime writer Margery’s definition of what makes a great story: “The Mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a Crime, a Mystery, an Enquiry and a Conclusion with an Element of Satisfaction in it.”

Two passes to Crimefest & a selection of books

Shiny Dime Writing Challenge

Write of Passage

The Shiny Dime is a concept we teach to help people stand out online, and we’ve distilled it into a simple writing challenge. Challenge registrants will participate in a 10 week writing challenge where we request participants to publish once per week. We will choose among the participants who have the most impactful writing and who are the most consistent.

Free access to our 5 week writing bootcamp (a $4000 dollar value)

📅 Deadline: February 18, 2024 (Expired)

Creative Writing Award for Short Fiction

Aesthetica Magazine

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award celebrates outstanding writers. The Award was launched after the publication of Aesthetica Magazine, as a way to support the next generation of literary talent. The Creative Writing Award is open to Poetry and Short Fiction submissions on any theme, however, we are particularly interested in works that reflect upon our ever changing world.

Publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual | A five-day course from Arvon | Consultation with Redhammer Management | Six-week writing short stories course from Curtis Brown Creative

💰 Entry fee: $22

📅 Deadline: August 31, 2024

Debut Dagger

Crime Writer's Association

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Novel, Novella, Suspense, and Thriller

The Debut Dagger is a competition for the opening of a crime novel by a writer who isn’t represented by an agent by the time the competition closes, and who has never had a traditional contract for any novel of any length, or who has never self-published any novel of any length in the last 5 years. Writers submit their opening 3,000 words and a 1,500 word synopsis. Entries from shortlisted writers are sent to UK literary agents and publishers. Every year, authors find representation this way.

💰 Entry fee: $41

The Pinch Literary Awards & Page Prize

The Pinch Literary Journal

Genres: Fiction, Poetry, Short Story, and Non-fiction

The 2023 Pinch Literary Awards accepts poetry and fiction. The 2023 Page Prize accepts non-fiction.

$1000 for Page Prize winner

International Poetry Book Awards 2023

Poetry Book Awards

The Poetry Book Awards is an annual, international book award given to the best poetry books produced by indie writers, self published authors or books published by small, truly independent presses. We are proud to be a Welsh based international awards programme, open to all indie authors and self published poets globally.

2nd: £200 | 3rd: £100 | Publication

💰 Entry fee: $44

📅 Deadline: June 30, 2024

Ethos Literacy Annual Short Short Story Contest

Ethos Literacy

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, and Short Story

The challenge: write a story using 100 words on one of four topics. Open to all ages with a special prize for authors 14 years or younger. The contest supports nonprofit literacy programs.

6 cash prizes of $100 each; publication in digital magazine, inclusion in webcast

💰 Entry fee: $12

📅 Deadline: February 01, 2024 (Expired)

Askew's Word on the Lake Writing Contest

Shuswap Association of Writers

Genres: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Essay, Memoir, and Short Story

Whether you’re an established or emerging writer, the Askew’s Word on the Lake Writing Contest has a place for you. Part of the Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival in Salmon Arm, BC, the contest is open to submissions in short fiction (up to 2,000 words), nonfiction (up to 2,000 words), and poetry (up to three one-page poems).

💰 Entry fee: $11

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Expired)

Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize

Desperate Literature

The aim of the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize is both to celebrate the best of new, boundary-pushing short fiction and to give winners the most visibility possible for their writing. That’s why we’ve teamed up with fourteen different literary and artistic institutions to not only offer cash prizes and writing retreats but also to ensure that all our shortlisters have the opportunity to be published in multiple print and online journals, have their work put in front of literary agents, and present their stories in multiple countries.

2nd + 3rd: €1000 | All shortlisters: publication in our print collection Eleven Stories | All longlisters: One-year subscription to The Literary Consultancy's "Being a Writer" platform | One shortlister: two-week residency at Studio Faire, France

📅 Deadline: December 04, 2024

2024 Spring Prose & Poetry Contest

Onyx Publications

Genres: Crime, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Fiction, Short Story, and Thriller

Our contest provides a First, Second, and Third prize for both prose and poetry. There are no themes or special requirements so just send us your best work. We recommend you read through previous editions or listen to the works and author interviews on our Story Discovery Podcast to get a sense of the range of creativity we enjoy.

2nd: $150 | 3rd: $75

📅 Deadline: April 21, 2024

Sonnet Poetry Contest Inc

A sonnet is a poem with a specific structure. It has 14 lines and a specific rhyme scheme. The topic is open! Write about anything for this poetry contest. Just follow the rules on how to write a sonnet. To read the rules and for an example view the contest announcement. Cash prize for the winner of this contest.

📅 Deadline: November 06, 2022 (Expired)

Frightening First Line Contest 2023

Gotham Writers Workshop

Genres: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Mystery, Short Story, and Thriller

Autumn is the season of rustling leaves, a chill in the air, and, of course, Halloween. In that spirit, we invite you to create the first line of a frightening story. But we want that first line to be so intriguing or chilling or scary that it makes our skin tingle and our nerves twitch.

📅 Deadline: November 30, 2023 (Expired)

National Essay Contest

U.S. Institute of Peace

Genres: Essay

This year, AFSA celebrates the 100th anniversary of the United States Foreign Service. Over the last century, our diplomats and development professionals have been involved in groundbreaking events in history – decisions on war and peace, supporting human rights and freedom, creating joint prosperity, reacting to natural disasters and pandemics and much more. As AFSA looks back on this century-long history, we invite you to join us in also looking ahead to the future. This year students are asked to explore how diplomats can continue to evolve their craft to meet the needs of an ever-changing world that brings fresh challenges and opportunities to the global community and America’s place in it.

Runner-up: $1,250

📅 Deadline: April 01, 2024

Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize

Genres: Fiction, Poetry, and Short Story

The 2024 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize, the fifteenth edition of the prestigious prize, is open from 1 February to 1 July 2024. Exceptionally international in scope, the prize supports writers who have not yet published a book-length work, with no limits on age, gender, nationality, or background. The winners of each category will receive a £1,000 cash prize and publication in Wasafiri magazine.

2024 International Literary Prize

Hammond House Publishing

Genres: Poetry, Script Writing, and Short Story

Our Annual Literary Prize is back again for 2024, with bigger cash prizes, publication for all shortlisted entries in our annual anthologies, a televised award ceremony, and an inspiring new theme.

Worldwide publication for all shortlisted entries

📅 Deadline: September 30, 2024

Four Line Poem

Write a four line poem that has a specific syllable count. The first line has 1 syllable, the second line has 5 syllables, the third line has 5 syllables, and the last line has 9 syllables. The subject can be anything.

📅 Deadline: May 16, 2024

Flash Memoir

Writer Advice

Genres: Memoir and Flash Fiction

WriterAdvice seeks flash memoir, a personal life story running 750 words or less.

Publication in our e-zine

📅 Deadline: March 02, 2024 (Expired)

Nature and Place Poetry Competition

The Rialto working in association with the RSPB, BirdLife International, Cambridge Conservation Initiative and The University of Leeds Poetry Centre. Poems are invited that deal with any aspect of nature and place – these terms will be given a wide interpretation by the judge Zaffar Kunial.

2nd: £500 | 3rd: £250

💰 Entry fee: $8

J. Michael Samuel Prize for Emerging Writers Over 50

Lambda Literary

Genres: LGBTQ

The J. Michael Samuel Prize honors emerging LGBTQ writers over the age of 50. This award is made possible by writer and philanthropist Chuck Forester, who created it out of the firmly held belief that “Writers who start late are just as good as other writers, it just took the buggers more time.” The prize will go to an unpublished LGBTQ writer over 50 working in any genre.

📅 Deadline: February 16, 2024 (Expired)

The Porter Fleming Literary Competition

The Morris Museum of Art

Genres: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, and Script Writing

Welcome to the 2024 Porter Fleming Literary Competition, now in its twenty-ninth year of recognizing outstanding writing and writers. The competition honors the memory of Porter Fleming, one of Augusta, Georgia’s leading citizens and foremost philanthropists. The competition is administered, with the support of the Porter Fleming Foundation, by the Morris Museum of Art, the first museum in the country to focus on the art and artists of the American South. Writers, ages 18 and older, who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, D.C are invited to apply.

2nd place: $500 & 3rd place: $250 in each of the four genre categories

Discover the finest writing contests of 2024 for fiction and non-fiction authors — including short story competitions, essay writing competitions, poetry contests, and many more. Updated weekly, these contests are vetted by Reedsy to weed out the scammers and time-wasters. If you’re looking to stick to free writing contests, simply use our filters as you browse.

Why you should submit to writing contests

Submitting to poetry competitions and free writing contests in 2024 is absolutely worth your while as an aspiring author: just as your qualifications matter when you apply for a new job, a writing portfolio that boasts published works and award-winning pieces is a great way to give your writing career a boost. And not to mention the bonus of cash prizes!

That being said, we understand that taking part in writing contests can be tough for emerging writers. First, there’s the same affliction all writers face: lack of time or inspiration. Entering writing contests is a time commitment, and many people decide to forego this endeavor in order to work on their larger projects instead — like a full-length book. Second, for many writers, the chance of rejection is enough to steer them clear of writing contests. 

But we’re here to tell you that two of the great benefits of entering writing contests happen to be the same as those two reasons to avoid them.

When it comes to the time commitment: yes, you will need to expend time and effort in order to submit a quality piece of writing to competitions. That being said, having a hard deadline to meet is a great motivator for developing a solid writing routine.

Think of entering contests as a training session to become a writer who will need to meet deadlines in order to have a successful career. If there’s a contest you have your eye on, and the deadline is in one month, sit down and realistically plan how many words you’ll need to write per day in order to meet that due date — and don’t forget to also factor in the time you’ll need to edit your story!

For tips on setting up a realistic writing plan, check out this free, ten-day course: How to Build a Rock-Solid Writing Routine.

In regards to the fear of rejection, the truth is that any writer aspiring to become a published author needs to develop relatively thick skin. If one of your goals is to have a book traditionally published, you will absolutely need to learn how to deal with rejection, as traditional book deals are notoriously hard to score. If you’re an indie author, you will need to adopt the hardy determination required to slowly build up a readership.

The good news is that there’s a fairly simple trick for learning to deal with rejection: use it as a chance to explore how you might be able to improve your writing.

In an ideal world, each rejection from a publisher or contest would come with a detailed letter, offering construction feedback and pointing out specific tips for improvement. And while this is sometimes the case, it’s the exception and not the rule.

Still, you can use the writing contests you don’t win as a chance to provide yourself with this feedback. Take a look at the winning and shortlisted stories and highlight their strong suits: do they have fully realized characters, a knack for showing instead of telling, a well-developed but subtly conveyed theme, a particularly satisfying denouement?

The idea isn’t to replicate what makes those stories tick in your own writing. But most examples of excellent writing share a number of basic craft principles. Try and see if there are ways for you to translate those stories’ strong points into your own unique writing.

Finally, there are the more obvious benefits of entering writing contests: prize and publication. Not to mention the potential to build up your readership, connect with editors, and gain exposure.

Resources to help you win writing competitions in 2024

Every writing contest has its own set of submission rules. Whether those rules are dense or sparing, ensure that you follow them to a T. Disregarding the guidelines will not sway the judges’ opinion in your favor — and might disqualify you from the contest altogether. 

Aside from ensuring you follow the rules, here are a few resources that will help you perfect your submissions.

Free online courses

On Writing:

How to Craft a Killer Short Story

The Non-Sexy Business of Writing Non-Fiction

How to Write a Novel

Understanding Point of View

Developing Characters That Your Readers Will Love

Writing Dialogue That Develops Plot and Character

Stop Procrastinating! Build a Solid Writing Routine

On Editing:

Story Editing for Authors

How to Self-Edit Like a Pro

Novel Revision: Practical Tips for Rewrites

How to Write a Short Story in 7 Steps

How to Write a Novel in 15 Steps

Literary Devices and Terms — 35+ Definitions With Examples

10 Essential Fiction Writing Tips to Improve Your Craft

How to Write Dialogue: 8 Simple Rules and Exercises

8 Character Development Exercises to Help You Nail Your Character

Bonus resources

200+ Short Story Ideas

600+ Writing Prompts to Inspire You

100+ Creative Writing Exercises for Fiction Authors

Story Title Generator

Pen Name Generator

Character Name Generator

After you submit to a writing competition in 2024

It’s exciting to send a piece of writing off to a contest. However, once the initial excitement wears off, you may be left waiting for a while. Some writing contests will contact all entrants after the judging period — whether or not they’ve won. Other writing competitions will only contact the winners. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind after you submit:

Many writing competitions don’t have time to respond to each entrant with feedback on their story. However, it never hurts to ask! Feel free to politely reach out requesting feedback — but wait until after the selection period is over.

If you’ve submitted the same work to more than one writing competition or literary magazine, remember to withdraw your submission if it ends up winning elsewhere.

After you send a submission, don’t follow it up with a rewritten or revised version. Instead, ensure that your first version is thoroughly proofread and edited. If not, wait until the next edition of the contest or submit the revised version to other writing contests.

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51 Writing Contests You Can Submit to Now (June - September 2022)

51 Writing Contests You Can Submit to Now (June - September 2022)

Find 51 excellent writing contests below with deadlines between June 2022 and September 2022. Polish your manuscript and submit it to one of these great writing contests (and, if you're looking for a class in fiction , poetry , nonfiction , or screenwriting , we've got you covered):

Bauhan Publishing

May sarton new hampshire poetry prize.

A prize of $1,000, publication by Bauhan Publishing, and 50 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Rebecca Kaiser Gibson will judge. Using only the online...

Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry

Griffin poetry prize.

Two prizes of $65,000 Canadian (approximately $51,123) each are given annually for poetry collections by a Canadian poet or translator and by an international poet or...

Poetry London

Poetry london prize.

A first-place prize of £5,000 (approximately $6,762), a second-place prize of £2,000 (approximately $2,705), and a third-place prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,353) will be...

University of North Texas Press

Katherine anne porter prize.

A prize of $1,000 and publication by University of North Texas Press is given annually for a collection of short fiction. Using only the online submission system, submit a...

Twyckenham Notes

Joe bolton poetry award.

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Twyckenham Notes is given annually for a poem or group of poems. The editors will judge. Using only the online submission...

Lascaux Review

Prize in flash fiction.

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Lascaux Review online and in print is given annually for a work of flash fiction. Previously published stories are eligible. Using...

International Short Story Prize

A prize of €3,000 (approximately $3,423) is given annually for a short story. A prize of a weeklong retreat at Circle of Misse in Missé, France, with a €250 (approximately $285...

University of Pittsburgh Press

Drue heinz literature prize.

A prize of $15,000 and publication by University of Pittsburgh Press is given annually for a collection of short fiction. Writers who have published at least one previous book...

Cider Press Review

Editors’ prize book award.

A prize of $1,000, publication by Cider Press Review , and 25 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. The editors will judge. Submit a manuscript of 48...

Winning Writers

North street book prize.

A grand prize of $8,000 and seven additional prizes of $1,000 each are given annually for self-published books of poetry, fiction, genre fiction, creative nonfiction, children’...

Los Angeles Review

Literary awards.

Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Los Angeles Review are given annually for a poem, a short story, a short short story, and an essay. Joshua Rivkin will...

Barrow Street Press

A prize of $1,500 and publication by Barrow Street Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Tina Chang will judge. Submit a manuscript of 50 to 80 pages with a $25...

Hidden River Arts

William van wert memorial fiction award.

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a short story or a novel excerpt. Using only the online submission system, submit up to 25 pages of fiction (and a synopsis if...

Omnidawn Publishing

Poetry chapbook contest.

A prize of $1,000, publication by Omnidawn Publishing, and 100 author copies is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Ruth Ellen Kocher will judge. Submit a manuscript of 20 to...

Claremont Graduate University

Kingsley & kate tufts poetry awards.

The $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is given annually to honor a book of poetry by a midcareer U.S. poet. The winner will spend one week in residence at Claremont Graduate...

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Barbara mandigo kelly peace poetry award.

A prize of $1,000 and publication on the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation website is given annually for a single poem that explores “positive visions of peace and the human spirit...

Conduit Books & Ephemera

Marystina santiestevan first book prize.

A prize of $1,500, publication by Conduit Books & Ephemera, and 30 author copies is given annually for a debut poetry collection. Bob Hicok will judge. Submit a manuscript...

Regal House Publishing

Petrichor prize for finely crafted fiction.

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Regal House Publishing is given annually for a novel. The editors will judge. Submit a manuscript of 100 to 350 pages with a $25 entry fee...

Ghost Story

Screw turn flash fiction competition.

A prize of $1,000 and publication on the Ghost Story website and in the 21st Century Ghost Stories anthology is given twice yearly for a work of flash fiction with a...

The Story Prize

A prize of $20,000 is given annually for a short story collection written in English and published in the United States in the current year. Two runners-up receive $5,000 each...

Bellevue Literary Review

Prizes in poetry and prose.

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Bellevue Literary Review are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay about health, healing, illness, the...

Comstock Review

Muriel craft bailey memorial award.

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Comstock Review is given annually for a single poem. Ellen Bass will judge. Submit up to five poems of no more than 40 lines each...

Cincinnati Review

Robert and adele schiff awards.

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Cincinnati Review are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. Rebecca Lindenberg will judge in poetry,...

Poetry Contest

A prize of $1,500 and publication in Narrative is given annually for a poem or group of poems. The poetry editors will judge. Using only the online submission system,...

The Word Works

Tenth gate prize.

A prize of $1,000, publication by the Word Works, and 30 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection by a poet who has published at least two full-length books of...

Poetry Prize

A prize of $15,000 and publication in Rattle is given annually for a single poem. A Reader’s Choice Award of $5,000 is also given to one of ten finalists. Submit up to...

Santa Fe Writers Project

A prize of $1,500 and publication by the Santa Fe Writers Project is given biennially for a book of fiction or creative nonfiction. Deesha Philyaw will judge. Using only the...

Poetry and Short Story Awards

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Sixfold are given quarterly for a group of poems and a short story. Using only the online submission system, submit up to...

Hawk Mountain Short Story Collection Award

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Hidden River Press is given annually for a story collection. Using only the online submission system, submit a manuscript of approximately...

Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales

Dogfish head poetry prize.

A prize of $500, publication by Broadkill River Press, 10 author copies, and two cases of Dogfish Head craft beer are given annually for a poetry collection written by a poet...

Munster Literature Centre

Seán o’faoláin international short story collection.

A prize of €2,000 (approximately $2,178) and publication in Southword is given annually for a short story. The winner also receives a weeklong residency at the Anam Cara...

Award for Poetry

A prize of $1,000, publication by Press 53, and 50 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Tom Lombardo will judge. Submit a manuscript of 50 to 120 pages with...

New Millennium Writings

New millennium writing awards.

Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication in New Millennium Writings and on the journal’s website are given twice yearly for a poem, a short story, a short short...

Prairie Heritage, Inc.

Jan garton prairie heritage book award.

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a published book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that “illuminates the heritage of North America’s mid-continental prairies.” Authors...

Red Wheelbarrow

A prize of $1,000 and publication in  Red Wheelbarrow  is given annually for a single poem. The winner will also receive 20 copies of a letterpress broadside of the...

Staunch Book Prize

A prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,303) will be given for a thriller novel in which “no woman is beaten, stalked, sexually exploited, raped, or murdered.” Books published or...

Howling Bird Press

Book contest.

A prize of $2,500 and publication by Howling Bird Press is given in alternating years for a book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. The 2023 prize will be awarded in...

Spring Story Contest

A prize of $2,500 and publication in Narrative is given annually for a short story, a short short story, an essay, or an excerpt from a work of fiction or creative...

Connecticut Poetry Society

Experimental poetry contest.

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Connecticut River Review will be given annually for an innovative poem. Richard Deming will judge. Using only the online submission...

Sewanee Review

Fiction, poetry, and nonfiction contest.

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Sewanee Review are given annually for a group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Richie Hofmann will judge in poetry,...

Radar Poetry

Coniston prize.

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Radar Poetry is given annually for a group of poems by a poet who identifies as a woman. Dorianne Laux will judge. Using only the...

Delaware Division of the Arts

Individual artist fellowships.

Three Established Professional Fellowships of $6,000 each and three Emerging Artist Fellowships of $3,000 each are given annually to poets, fiction writers, and creative...

Granum Foundation

Granum foundation prizes.

A prize of $5,000 will be given annually to a poet, fiction writer, or creative nonfiction writer to support the completion of a manuscript-in-progress. Up to three finalists...

Literary Arts

Oregon literary fellowships.

Fellowships of $3,500 each are given annually to Oregon writers to initiate, develop, or complete literary projects in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. These include...

Aspen Words

Literary prize.

A prize of $35,000 is given annually for a book of fiction published in the current year that “illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power...

Gival Press

Short story award.

A prize of $1,000 and publication on the Gival Press website is given annually for a short story. Submit a story of 5,000 to 15,000 words with a $25 entry fee by August 8....

TulipTree Publishing

Stories that need to be told contest.

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a poem, a short story, or an essay that “tells a story that needs to be told.” The winner will also receive a two-year subscription to...

Grayson Books

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Grayson Books is given annually for a poetry collection. John Sibley Williams will judge. Using only the online submission system, submit a...

Open Book Prize

A prize of $3,000, publication by Omnidawn Publishing, and 100 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Shane McCrae will judge. Submit a manuscript of 40 to...

Other Futures Award

A prize of $1,000, publication by Futurepoem, and 25 author copies is given annually for a book of innovative poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or hybrid-genre work “that challenges...

Indiana Review

1/2 k prize.

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Indiana Review is given annually for a poem or a work of flash fiction or creative nonfiction. Submit up to three poems, stories,...

Kallisto Gaia Press

Poetry and short fiction prizes.

Two prizes of $1,500 each and publication in Ocotillo Review are given annually for a poem and a short story. Zoë Fay-Stindt will judge the Julia Darling Memorial...

Masters Review

Short story award for new writers.

A prize of $3,000 and publication in  Masters Review  is given twice yearly for a short story by an emerging writer. Writers who have not published a book are eligible, as...

Fool for Poetry International Chapbook Competition

A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,089) and publication by the Munster Literature Centre is given annually for a poetry chapbook. The winner will also receive accommodations...

Talking Gourds

Fischer prize.

A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a single poem. The winner will also be featured in a Bardic Trails online reading in 2023 and will receive a $100 honorarium for...

Utica College

Eugene paul nassar poetry prize.

A prize of $2,000 is given annually for a poetry collection published in the previous year by a resident of upstate New York. The winner will also give a reading and teach a...

Creative Writing Award

Two prizes of £2,500 (approximately $3,256) each and publication in Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual are given annually for a poem and a short story. In addition, the...

University of New Orleans Press

A prize of $10,000 and publication by University of New Orleans Press is given annually for a short story collection or novel. Using only the online submission system, submit a...

Prize in Translation

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gulf Coast is given in alternating years for a group of poems or a prose excerpt translated from any language into English. The 2022...

Barthelme Prize for Short Prose

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gulf Coast is given annually for a short work of prose. Submit a prose poem, a work of flash fiction, or a micro essay of up to 500...

Gemini Magazine

Flash fiction contest.

A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gemini Magazine is given annually for a short short story. The editors will judge. Submit a story of up to 1,000 words with a $7...

Black Lawrence Press

St. lawrence book award.

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Black Lawrence Press is given annually for a debut collection of poems, short stories, or essays. The editors will judge. Using only the...

Off the Grid Poetry Prize

A prize of $1,000 and publication by Grid Books is given annually for a poetry collection by a writer over the age of 60. Garrett Hongo will judge. Using only the online...

American-Scandinavian Foundation

Translation awards.

A prize of $2,500 and publication of an excerpt in Scandinavian Review is given annually for an English translation of a work of poetry, fiction, or creative...

Academy for Teachers

Stories out of school flash fiction contest.

A prize of $1,000 and publication in A Public Space will be given annually for a work of flash fiction about teachers and school, in which the protagonist or narrator is...

Academy of American Poets

First book award.

A prize of $5,000, publication by Graywolf Press, and a six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy, is given annually for a poetry collection by a poet...

Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Dogwood are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. Submit up to three poems totaling no more than 10...

Finishing Line Press

New women’s voices chapbook competition.

A prize of $1,500 and publication by Finishing Line Press is given annually for a poetry chapbook by a writer who identifies as a woman and has not yet published a full-length...

Nature Writing Prize

A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,089) and publication in the Moth is given annually for a poem, story, or essay that features “an exploration of the writer’s...

Fordham University at Lincoln Center 

Poetic justice institute prizes.

Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication by Fordham University Press are given annually for poetry collections. The winners also receive a publicity consultation and headline...

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How to get published.

essay writing competition topics 2022


2024 global essay prize.

The John Locke Institute encourages young people to cultivate the characteristics that turn good students into great writers: independent thought, depth of knowledge, clear reasoning, critical analysis and persuasive style. Our Essay Competition invites students to explore a wide range of challenging and interesting questions beyond the confines of the school curriculum.

Entering an essay in our competition can build knowledge, and refine skills of argumentation. It also gives students the chance to have their work assessed by experts. All of our essay prizes are judged by a panel of senior academics drawn from leading universities including Oxford and Princeton, under the leadership of the Chairman of Examiners, former Cambridge philosopher, Dr Jamie Whyte.

The judges will choose their favourite essay from each of seven subject categories - Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Psychology, Theology and Law - and then select the winner of the Grand Prize for the best entry in any subject. There is also a separate prize awarded for the best essay in the junior category, for under 15s.

Q1. Do we have any good reasons to trust our moral intuition?

Q2. Do girls have a (moral) right to compete in sporting contests that exclude boys?

Q3. Should I be held responsible for what I believe?


Q1. Is there such a thing as too much democracy?

Q2. Is peace in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip possible?

Q3. When is compliance complicity?

Q1. What is the optimal global population?  

Q2. Accurate news reporting is a public good. Does it follow that news agencies should be funded from taxation?

Q3. Do successful business people benefit others when making their money, when spending it, both, or neither?


Q1. Why was sustained economic growth so rare before the later 18th century and why did this change?

Q2. Has music ever significantly changed the course of history?

Q3. Why do civilisations collapse? Is our civilisation in danger?

Q1. When, if ever, should a company be permitted to refuse to do business with a person because of that person’s public statements?

Q2. In the last five years British police have arrested several thousand people for things they posted on social media. Is the UK becoming a police state?

Q3. Your parents say that 11pm is your bedtime. But they don’t punish you if you don’t go to bed by 11pm. Is 11pm really your bedtime?


Q1. According to a study by four British universities, for each 16-point increase in IQ, the likelihood of getting married increases by 35% for a man but decreases by 40% for a woman. Why? 

Q2. There is an unprecedented epidemic of depression and anxiety among young people. Can we fix this? How?

Q3. What is the difference between a psychiatric illness and a character flaw?

Q1. “I am not religious, but I am spiritual.” What could the speaker mean by “spiritual”?

Q2. Is it reasonable to thank God for protection from some natural harm if He is responsible for causing the harm?

Q3. Does God reward those who believe in him? If so, why?

woman praising.png

JUNIOR prize

Q1. Does winning a free and fair election automatically confer a mandate for governing?

Q2. Has the anti-racism movement reduced racism?

Q3. Is there life after death?

Q4. How did it happen that governments came to own and run most high schools, while leaving food production to private enterprise? 

Q5. When will advancing technology make most of us unemployable? What should we do about this?

Q6. Should we trust fourteen-year-olds to make decisions about their own bodies? 


Please read the following carefully.

Entry to the John Locke Institute Essay Competition 2024 is open to students from any country.


Only candidates who registered before the registration deadline of Friday, 31 May 2024 may enter this year's competition.

All entries must be submitted by 11.59 pm BST on  the submission deadline: Sunday, 30 June 2024 .  Candidates must be eighteen years old, or younger, on that date. (Candidates for the Junior Prize must be fourteen years old, or younger, on that date.)

Entry is free.

Each essay must address only one of the questions in your chosen subject category, and must not exceed 2000 words (not counting diagrams, tables of data, endnotes, bibliography or authorship declaration). 

The filename of your pdf must be in this format: FirstName-LastName-Category-QuestionNumber.pdf; so, for instance, Alexander Popham would submit his answer to question 2 in the Psychology category with the following file name:


Essays with filenames which are not in this format will be rejected.

The candidate's name should NOT appear within the document itself. 

Candidates should NOT add footnotes. They may, however, add endnotes and/or a Bibliography that is clearly titled as such.

Each candidate will be required to provide the email address of an academic referee who is familiar with the candidate's written academic work. This should be a school teacher, if possible, or another responsible adult who is not a relation of the candidate. The John Locke Institute will email referees to verify that the essays submitted are indeed the original work of the candidates.

Submissions may be made as soon as registration opens in April. We recommend that you submit your essay well in advance of th e deadline to avoid any last-minute complications.

Acceptance of your essay depends on your granting us permission to use your data for the purposes of receiving and processing your entry as well as communicating with you about the Awards Ceremony Dinner, the academic conference for essay competition finalists, and other events and programmes of the John Locke Institute and its associated entities.  

Late entries

If for any reason you miss the 30 June deadline you will have an opportunity to make a late entry, under two conditions:

a) A late entry fee of 20.00 USD must be paid by credit card within twenty-four hours of the original deadline; and

b) Your essay must be submitted  before 11.59 pm BST on Wednesday, 10 July 2024.

To pay for late entry, a registrant need only log into his or her account, select the relevant option and provide the requested payment information.

Our grading system is proprietary. Essayists may be asked to discuss their entry with a member of the John Locke Institute’s faculty. We use various means to identify plagiarism, contract cheating, the use of AI and other forms of fraud . Our determinations in all such matters are final.

Essays will be judged on knowledge and understanding of the relevant material, the competent use of evidence, quality of argumentation, originality, structure, writing style and persuasive force. The very best essays are likely to be those which would be capable of changing somebody's mind. Essays which ignore or fail to address the strongest objections and counter-arguments are unlikely to be successful .

Candidates are advised to answer the question as precisely and directly as possible.

The writers of the best essays will receive a commendation and be shortlisted for a prize. Writers of shortlisted essays will be notified by 11.59 pm BST on Wednesday, 31 July. They will also be invited to London for an invitation-only academic conference and awards dinner in September, where the prize-winners will be announced. Unlike the competition itself, the academic conference and awards dinner are not free. Please be aware that n obody is required to attend either the academic conference or the prize ceremony. You can win a prize without travelling to London.

All short-listed candidates, including prize-winners, will be able to download eCertificates that acknowledge their achievement. If you win First, Second or Third Prize, and you travel to London for the ceremony, you will receive a signed certificate. 

There is a prize for the best essay in each category. The prize for each winner of a subject category, and the winner of the Junior category, is a scholarship worth US$2000 towards the cost of attending any John Locke Institute programme, and the essays will be published on the Institute's website. Prize-giving ceremonies will take place in London, at which winners and runners-up will be able to meet some of the judges and other faculty members of the John Locke Institute. Family, friends, and teachers are also welcome.

The candidate who submits the best essay overall will be awarded an honorary John Locke Institute Junior Fellowship, which comes with a US$10,000 scholarship to attend one or more of our summer schools and/or visiting scholars programmes. 

The judges' decisions are final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

R egistration opens: 1 April, 2024.

Registration deadline: 31 May, 2024. (Registration is required by this date for subsequent submission.)

Submission deadline: 30 June, 2024.

Late entry deadline: 10 July, 2024. (Late entries are subject to a 20.00 USD charge, payable by 1 July.)

Notification of short-listed essayists: 31 July, 2024.

Academic conference: 20 - 22 September, 2024.

Awards dinner: 21 September, 2024.

Any queries regarding the essay competition should be sent to [email protected] . Please be aware that, due to the large volume of correspondence we receive, we cannot guarantee to answer every query. In particular, regrettably, we are unable to respond to questions whose answers can be found on our website.

If you would like to receive helpful tips  from our examiners about what makes for a winning essay or reminders of upcoming key dates for the 2024  essay competition, please provide your email here to be added to our contact list. .

Thanks for subscribing!


The John Locke Institute's Global Essay Prize is acknowledged as the world's most prestigious essay competition. 

We welcome tens of thousands of submissions from ambitious students in more than 150 countries, and our examiners - including distinguished philosophers, political scientists, economists, historians, psychologists, theologians, and legal scholars - read and carefully assess every entry. 

I encourage you to register for this competition, not only for the hope of winning a prize or commendation, and not only for the chance to join the very best contestants at our academic conference and gala ceremony in London, but equally for the opportunity to engage in the serious scholarly enterprise of researching, reflecting on, writing about, and editing an answer to one of the important and provocative questions in this year's Global Essay Prize. 

We believe that the skills you will acquire in the process will make you a better thinker and a more effective advocate for the ideas that matter most to you.

I hope to see you in September!

Best wishes,

Jamie Whyte, Ph.D. (C ANTAB ) 

Chairman of Examiners

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Top Five 2022 International Essay Writing Contests

Top Five: 2022 International Essay Writing Contests

Get your ultimate top five list of Essay Writing Contests for 2022 through OYA Opportunities!

essay writing competition topics 2022

Get out there and compete with people around the world in the competitions listed below for cash prizes and much more!

1. 2022 International Essay Contest for Young People

This annual essay contest is an effort to harness the energy, creativity, as well as initiative of the world’s youth in promoting a culture of peace and sustainable development. It also aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world.

Theme : My Values

Prize : 150,000 yen, gift prizes, certificates, and honorable mentions

Deadline : 15 June 2022

Organizer : goi peace foundation

Click here for more information.

2. Peter Drucker Challenge Essay Contest 2022

The Drucker Challenge is an annual international essay competition exploring a current topic in management, typically related to the theme of the Forum in the context of Peter Drucker’s human-oriented management philosophy.

Prize : $420,000, in-person pass for the 14th Global Peter Drucker Forum, Publication as well as Certificates

Deadline : 14 May 2022

Organizer : Peter Drucker Challenge

Click here to learn more

3. RD Walshe Memorial Writing for the Environment Prize 2022

Through the RD Walshe Memorial Writing for the Environment Prize, Sutherland Shire Environment Centre continues to value the role and place of the art of writing in bringing about change in issues of social justice as well as the environment. Writing offers a chance to reflect on these problems and their causes, as well as on the solutions and their causes.

This year’s competition intends to attract quality writing that can inspire or inform or incite change towards a more peaceful as well as the sustainable world – healthy people living on a healthy planet.

Theme : Peace and Sustainability

Prize : up to 700 dollar cash prize,

Deadline : 17 June 2022

Organizer : Sutherland Shire Environment Centre

Click here to learn more!

4. World Trade Organization Essay Award 2022 for Young Economists

The WTO has issued a call for young economists to submit papers for the 2022 WTO Essay Award. The award aims to promote high-quality research on trade policy and international trade cooperation as well as to reinforce the relationship between the WTO and the academic community.

Theme : trade policy and international trade cooperation

Prize : CHF 5,000 as well as an invitation to  the annual meeting of the European Trade Study Group (funded)

Deadline : 6 June 2022

Organizer : World Trade Organization

Click here for more information

5. Mountain Photo Essay Competition 2022

The Mountain Photo Essay Competition is a program of Mountain Culture at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. It promotes understanding and appreciation of the world’s mountain places by creating opportunities for people to share and find inspiration in mountain experiences, ideas, as well as visions.

Theme : Mountain Culture

Prize :  $2000 CAD Grand prize

Deadline : 2 May  2022

Organizer : BANFF

Moreover, click here for more information


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Choose Your Test

Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the 17 best writing contests for high school students.

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Other High School


If you're a writer—fiction, non-fiction, or fanfiction—you can put those skills to work for you. There are tons of writing contests for high school students, which can award everything from medals to cash prizes to scholarships if you win .

Not only will a little extra money, whether cash or scholarships, help you when it comes time to pay for college, but the prestige of a respected reward is also a great thing to include on your college application.

Read on to learn more about what writing contests for high school students there are, how to apply, and what you could win !

Writing Contests With Multiple Categories

Some high school contests accept entries in a variety of formats, including the standard fiction and non-fiction, but also things like screenwriting or visual art. Check out these contests with multiple categories:

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

  • Award Amount: $1,000 to $12,500 scholarships
  • Deadline: Varies between December and January, depending on your region
  • Fee: $10 for single entry, $30 for portfolio

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards celebrate art by students in grades seven through twelve (age 13 or older) on a regional and national scale. These awards have a huge number of categories and styles, including cash prizes or scholarships for some distinguished award winners . Categories include science-fiction and fantasy writing, humor, critical essays, and dramatic scripts, among others.

Deadlines vary by region (but are mostly in December and January), so use Scholastic's Affiliate Partner search to find out when projects are due for your area.

Scholastic partners with other organizations to provide prizes to winners, so what you can win depends on what you enter and what competition level you reach. Gold medal portfolio winners can earn a $12,500 scholarship, and silver medal winners with distinction can earn a $2,000 scholarship , as well as many other options in different categories.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are open to private, public, or home-schooled students attending school in the US, Canada, or American schools in other countries. Students must be in grades seven through twelve to participate. Eligibility varies between regions, so consult Scholastic's Affiliate Partner search tool to figure out what applies to you .

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have a $10 entry fee for individual submissions and $30 for portfolio submissions, which may be waived for students in need . These fees may vary depending on location, so be sure to check your local guidelines .

Ocean Awareness Contest

  • Award Amount: Scholarships up to $1,500
  • Deadline: June 13, 2023 (submissions open in September)

The Ocean Awareness Contest asks students to consider the future of a coastal or marine species that is under threat from climate change. Submissions are accepted in a variety of art forms, but all must consider the way that climate change impacts ocean life .

Submissions for all categories, including art, creative writing, film, interactive and multimedia, music and dance, and poetry and spoken word are due in June, although the exact date varies slightly each year.

Winners may receive prizes of up to a $1,500 scholarship , depending on which division they fall into and what prize they win.

The contest is open to all international and US students between the ages of 11 and 18.

River of Words

  • Award: Publication in the River of Words anthology
  • Deadline: January 31, 2023

The River of Words contest asks students to consider watersheds—an area that drains into the same body of water—and how they connect with their local community. Students can explore this concept in art or poetry, with winners being published in the annual River of Words anthology .

Entries in all categories must be submitted by January 31, 2023. 

The River of Words contest is primarily for recognition and publication, as the website doesn't list any prize money . The contest includes specific awards for certain forms, such as poetry, some of which may have additional prizes .

The contest is open to International and US students from kindergarten to grade 12 (ages 5 through 19). Students who have graduated from high school but are not yet in college are also eligible.

Adroit Prizes

  • Award Amount: $200 cash award
  • Deadline: Typically April of each year

Sponsored by the Adroit Journal, the Adroit Prizes reward high school students and undergraduate students for producing exemplary fiction and poetry. Students may submit up to six poems or three works of prose (totaling 3,500 words) for consideration. Submissions typically open in spring .

Winners receive $200 and (along with runners-up) have their works published in the Adroit Journal . Finalists and runners-up receive a copy of their judge's latest published work.

The contest is open to secondary and undergraduate students, including international students and those who have graduated early . The Adroit Prizes has a non-refundable fee of $15, which can be waived.

YoungArts Competition

  • Award Amount: Up to $10,000 cash awards
  • Deadline: October 15, 2022; application for 2024 opens June 2023

Open to students in a variety of disciplines, including visual arts, writing, and music, the YoungArts competition asks students to submit a portfolio of work. Additional requirements may apply depending on what artistic discipline you're in .

Winners can receive up to $10,000 in cash as well as professional development help, mentorship, and other educational rewards.

Applicants must be 15- to 18-year-old US citizens or permanent residents (including green card holders) or in grades 10 through 12 at the time of submission . There is a $35 submission fee, which can be waived.


Fiction Writing Contests for High School Students

Many contests with multiple categories accept fiction submissions, so also check out the above contests if you're looking for places to submit original prose.

EngineerGirl Writing Contest

  • Award Amount: $100 - $500 cash prize
  • Deadline: February 1, 2023

This year's EngineerGirl Writing Contest asks students (though the name of the organization is "EngineerGirl," students of any gender may participate) to submit a piece of writing that shows how female and/or non-white engineers have contributed to or can enhance engineering’s great achievements. Word counts vary depending on grade level.

At every grade level, first-place winners will receive $500, second-place winners will receive $250, and third-place winners will receive $100 . Winning entries and honorable mentions will also be published on the EngineerGirl website.

Students of any gender from third to 12th grade may submit to this contest. Home-schooled and international students are also eligible.


Nonfiction Contests for High School Students

Like fiction, non-fiction is often also accepted in contests with multiple categories. However, there are quite a few contests accepting only non-fiction essays as well.

The American Foreign Services Association Essay Contest

  • Award Amount: $1,250 to $2,500
  • Deadline: April 3, 2023

The American Foreign Services Association sponsors a high school essay contest tasking students with selecting a country or region in which the United States Foreign Service has been involved at any point since 1924 and describe, in 1,500 words or less, how the Foreign Service was successful or unsuccessful in advancing American foreign policy goals in this country/region and propose ways in which it might continue to improve those goals in the coming years .

One winner will receive $2,500 as well as a Washington D.C. trip and a scholarship to attend Semester at Sea . One runner-up receives $1,250 and a scholarship to attend the International Diplomacy Program of the National Student Leadership Conference.

Entries must be from US students in grade nine through 12, including students in the District of Columbia, US territories, or US citizens attending school abroad, including home-schooled students.

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Contest

  • Award Amount: $100 - $10,000
  • Deadline: January 13, 2023

The John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage contest tasks students with writing an essay between 700 and 1,000 words on an act of political courage by a US elected official serving during or after 1917 , inspired by John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage . Each essay should cover the act itself as well as any obstacles or risks the subject faced in achieving their act of courage. Essays must not cover figures previously covered in the contest, and should also not cover John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, or Edward M. Kennedy.

One first-place winner will receive $10,000, one second-place winner will receive $3,000, five finalists will receive $1,000 each, and eight semi-finalists will win $100 each.

The contest is open to students in grades nine through 12 who are residents of the United States attending public, private, parochial, or home schools . Students under the age of 20 in correspondence high school programs or GED programs, as well as students in US territories, Washington D.C., and students studying abroad, are also eligible.

SPJ/JEA High School Essay Contest

  • Award Amount: $300 - $1,000 scholarships
  • Deadline: February 19, 2023 (submissions open in November)

The SPJ/JEA high school essay contest , organized by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Journalism Education Association, asks students to  analyze the importance of independent media to our lives (as of now, the official essay topic for spring 2023 is TBD) . Essays should be from 300 to 500 words.

A $1,000 scholarship is given to a first-place winner, $500 to second-place, and $300 to third-place.

The contest is open to public, private, and home-schooled students of the United States in grades 9-12 .


Playwriting Contests for High School Students

For those who love the stage, playwriting contests are a great option. An original play can earn you great rewards thanks to any of these contests!

VSA Playwright Discovery Program Competition

  • Award: Participation in professional development activities at the Kennedy Center
  • Deadline: January 4, 2023 (Application opens in October)

The VSA Playwright Discovery Program Competition asks students with disabilities to submit a ten-minute script exploring their personal experiences, including the disability experience . Scripts may be realistic, fictional, or abstract, and may include plays, screenplays, or musical theater.

All entries are due in January. Scripts may be collaborative or written by individuals, but must include at least one person with a disability as part of the group .

One winner or group of winners will be selected as participants in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Winners will have access to professional assistance in developing their script as well as workshops and networking opportunities.

This contest is open to US and international students in ages 14 to 18 . Groups of up to five members may collaborate on an essay, but at least one of those students must have a disability.

Worldwide Plays Festival Competition

  • Award: Professional production in New York
  • Deadline: March (official 2023 deadline TBD)

In the Worldwide Plays Festival Competition , students from around the world can submit an eight-minute script for a play set in a part of a neighborhood —specifically, at a convenience store, outside a character's front door, or at a place where people convene. Each play must have roles for three actors, should not have a narrator who isn't also a character, and should not contain set changes.

Entries are due in February. Winners will have their play produced by professionals at an off-Broadway New York theater . Scholarships are also available for winners.

Any student, including US and international, in first through 12th grade may submit work for consideration.

  • Award Amount: $50 - $200 cash prize
  • Deadline: 2023 deadline TBD (application opens January 2023)

Students may submit a one-act, non-musical play of at least ten pages to YouthPLAYS for consideration . Plays should be appropriate for high school audiences and contain at least two characters, with one or more of those characters being youths in age-appropriate roles. Large casts with multiple female roles are encouraged.

One winner will receive $250, have their play published by YouthPLAYS, and receive a copy of Great Dialog , a program for writing dialog. One runner up will receive $100 and a copy of Great Dialog.

Students must be under the age of 19, and plays must be the work of a single author.

The Lewis Center Ten-Minute Play Contest

  • Deadline: Spring of each year

Students in grade 11 may submit a ten-minute play for consideration for the Lewis Center Ten-Minute Play Contest . Plays should be 10 pages long, equivalent to 10 minutes.

One first-prize winner will receive $500, one second-prize winner will receive $250, and one third-prize will receive $100.

All entries must be from students in the 11th grade .


Poetry Writing Contests for High School Students

For those who prefer a little free verse or the constraints of a haiku, there are plenty of poetry-specific contests, too.

Creative Communications Poetry Contest

  • Award Amount: $25
  • Deadline: December

Students in ninth grade or below may submit any poem of 21 lines or less (not counting spaces between stanzas) for consideration in the Creative Communications Poetry Contest .

Students may win $25, a free book, and school supplies for their teacher .

Public, private, or home-schooled US students (including those in detention centers) in kindergarten through ninth grade may enter.

Leonard L. Milberg '53 High School Poetry Prize

  • Award Amount: $500-$1500
  • Deadline: November 

Students in 11th grade may submit up to three poems for consideration in the Leonard L. Milberg '53 High School Poetry Prize . Submissions are due in November .

One first-prize winner will receive $1500, one second-prize winner will receive $750, and a third-prize winner will receive $500. Poems may be published on All entrants must be in the 11th grade.

Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest

  • Award Amount: $500 - $5,000 renewable scholarship, $350 cash prize
  • Deadline: October 31, 2022

Women poets who are sophomores or juniors in high school may submit two poems for consideration for the Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest .

One first-place winner will receive a $350 cash prize, publication in and ten copies of Cargoes , Hollins' student magazine, as well as a renewable scholarship of up to $5,000 for Hollins and free tuition and housing for the Hollinsummer creative writing program. One second-place winner will receive publication in and two copies of Cargoes, a renewable scholarship to Hollins of up to $1,000, and a $500 scholarship to attend Hollinsummer.

Applicants must be female students in their sophomore or junior year of high school .

What's Next?

If you're looking for more money opportunities for college , there are plenty of scholarships out there— including some pretty weird ones .

For those who've been buffing up their test scores , there are tons of scholarships , some in the thousands of dollars.

If you're tired of writing essays and applying for scholarships, consider some of these colleges that offer complete financial aid packages .

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Melissa Brinks graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a Bachelor's in English with a creative writing emphasis. She has spent several years tutoring K-12 students in many subjects, including in SAT prep, to help them prepare for their college education.

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10 Break-Out Sessions

  • Time: 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

India is undergoing its economic, technological and demographic transition simultaneously. An old country is becoming youthful and adventurous with the passage of time. Young Indians like OYO founder Ritesh Agarwal are quietly taking charge of Indian ethos by becoming icons of audacious aspirations and tangible proofs of its potential, spawning startups that are becoming most valuable and famous than many legacy companies. How can young revolutionaries find ways to carry the older generation of investors, regulators, workers and consumers with them and what can other economies and founders learn from India’s momentous transition?

For over 50 years teams of student have volunteered to organise the St. Gallen Symposium. They have written countless invitations, met thousands of partners, and welcomed some of the most important personalities of their time on stage. Together with former members of the ISC we will reflect on the St. Gallen Symposium experience of cross-generational dialogue and collaboration, the lessons they have learned for their lives and on how the symposium has evolved. This session is organised together with ISC Alumni.

As the need for innovation is growing, the routinisation of well-structured creative processes within organizations is key for concurrent value creation. Prof. Susan Goldsworthy of IMD, this year's St. Gallen Symposium artist Javiera Estrada and Light Artist Gerry Hofstetter will discuss the role of collaboration in the creative process. Together, and in conversation with the audience, they’ll explore the way collaboration can drive creativity in various organisational contexts, and, on the other hand, the role of introversion and lone contemplation in creating something new.

Many employee volunteering and giving programs are presented as an employee perk, similar to casual Fridays or a team-building event. But treating workplace giving and volunteering this way fails to fully capitalise on the great potential of such programs: to foster employee personal growth, and address key societal challenges. The panel will particularly explore the potential of skills-based volunteering, its benefits, and the unique challenges that arise when moving from merely transactional volunteering to something far more transformative.

The investment landscape over the next twenty years will be radically different from previous generations. While there appears to be greater access to capital, there also appears to be much more volatility and debt with no clear dominant financing mechanism. Entrepreneurs, VC, Private Equity, and banks will have to find new ways to work together to create growth and stimulate innovation. How can investors and entrepreneurs better collaborate and find mutually beneficial agreements that balance risk and return?

The fashion industry accounts for 10% of humanity’s annual carbon emissions – more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. For long, the fashion and luxury watchmaking industry drove, together with the fashion media industry, unsustainable dynamics in the sector: generating more and more demand through an artificial cycle of new collections and seasonal trends. Businesses’ marketing, media as well as influencers thereby create a constant longing and demand for their products. How can designers, fashion houses and publishers exit this vicious cycle and, collaboratively, drive the transition towards more sustainable and ethical fashion and luxury watchmaking?

Media diversity, freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Europe are currently under threat. Journalists and independent media companies are increasingly joining forces across borders to respond to such challenges as well as to be able to continue to offer independent quality journalism in the future. This session will identify learnings from new media partnerships such as the Leading European Newspaper Alliance (LENA) and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to identify how media can most effectively work together.

Technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship are key drivers of the modern economy and social mobility. Given their importance, we should strive to improve accessibility to tech, education and entrepreneurship across all backgrounds. Creating open and inclusive communities, especially with tech is important to accomplishing this goal, but it is easier said that done. Simultaneously, a third iteration of the internet – Web3 – has the potential to radically transform the internet of things and reduce barriers to access. How can these forces be effectively harnessed and directed for the benefit of all people and move the world forward?

Over the past decades, the tech sector, especially the internet of things, has become a central component of modern economies. Trying to catch up with the exponential pace of technological development, the US, China, and Europe are crafting rules of the game on digital markets. What are the emerging characteristic differences between regulatory regimes of digital markets, in the US, Europe and beyond, and how do they balance innovation and regulation? In light of strategic competition over tech dominance between the US and China, what are the opportunities and challenges for Europe in particular?

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world of work forever. The fast and widespread adoption of remote work and an ever-increasing concern of employees with purpose and meaning on their job have intensified the war for talents. Reaching out to and concurrently engaging employees is key for businesses across sectors and regions. What learnings can be drawn from the pandemic as regards our approach to work? Has the world of work changed for the better? And what role does leadership culture and a new approach to hiring play going forward?

  • A Demographic Revolution: Young India Takes Charge (with All India Management Association) 9:00 am - 10:00 am
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St. Gallen Symposium

Global Essay Competition

Compete in our Global Essay Competition and qualify for participation as a Leader of Tomorrow in the world’s premier opportunity for cross-generational debates: The St. Gallen Symposium.

Meet 300 of society’s brightest young minds. Present and debate your ideas with 600 senior leaders. Be inspired by some of the world’s most impressive speakers. Gain a unique and new perspective on this year’s topic. Become a member of a unique global community. Participate in the symposium with us. Win prize money of CHF 20,000 split amongst the three winners.

Topic Question

Striving for more or thriving with less – what pressing scarcity do you see, and how do you suggest to tackle it.

Scarcity generally refers to a situation where human needs exceed available resources . This year’s Global Essay Competition invites young leaders worldwide to focus on a specific contemporary or future challenge related to scarcity and propose an innovative way to address it.

Be creative in thinking about proposed solutions: do we need to strive for more and find ways to boost the availability of the resource in question? Or does it focus on ways to thrive with less and thus rethink our needs and demand?

Be free in choosing which scarce resource you focus on: examples include – but are NOT limited to – human labour, capital, natural resources, or intangibles like time, creativity, or care. Be bold and precise in describing a contemporary or future challenge of scarcity and the specific kind of resources you focus on, and offer a concrete and actionable idea of how we should confront it.

Registration window for the GEC for the 53rd St. Gallen Symposium is closed.

If problems occur during registration, please clear your cached images and files in your browsing history or consider using the browser Google Chrome. If you still cannot apply, use the following  link. For any unanswered questions please contact us via e-mail at  [email protected]


Qualify with an excellent essay.

We expect a professional, creative and thought-provoking essay. Be bold, unconventional, and distinctive on the competition question.

For your contribution to be valid, the following criteria must be met

Check your eligibility and prepare documents, to be eligible, you must fulfill all of the following criteria:.

  • Enrolled in a graduate or postgraduate programme (master level or higher) in any field of study at a regular university
  • Born in 1994 or later

Make sure you can provide the following documents:

  • Copy of passport or other identification (in English for non-Roman languages)
  • Confirmation of matriculation/enrolment from your university which proves your enrollment in a graduate/postgraduate level programme as of 1 February 2024 (download sample document  here )
  • Your contribution file with no indication of your name in the file name, the file metadata or the file itself

Meet us and ask your questions!

Meet our student representatives to learn how you can qualify for a participation in the 53 rd St. Gallen Symposium. We will have physical presentations at your university again as well as regular webinars to answer your questions!

Accompanying a Leader of Tomorrow

General questions, who can compete for a participation as a leader of tomorrow at the st. gallen symposium.

Students enrolled at a regular university, who are matriculated in a graduate or postgraduate programme.

What is the St. Gallen Global Essay Competition?

The St. Gallen Global Essay Competition is a global student essay competition, offering students who study at graduate or postgraduate level around the world the opportunity to apply for participation at the St. Gallen Symposium.

What is the Knowledge Pool?

The Knowledge Pool is a group of Leaders of Tomorrow with a strong affiliation to topics of relevance to the St. Gallen Symposium. They show outstanding track records in the particular fields they work or study. They are hand-selected by the International Students’ Committee. It is not possible to apply for membership in the Knowledge Pool.

How much does it cost to participate? 

The participation in the symposium is free for all Leaders of Tomorrow. Moreover, expenses for travel, board and lodging are covered by the ISC. However, we recommend bringing a small amount of pocket money for your convenience.

Essay Competition

Who is eligible for the 54 th  st. gallen symposium.

Students enrolled at a regular university, who are matriculated in a graduate or postgraduate programme as of 1 February 2025, from any field of study, born in 1995 or later.

What is a “regular university”?

In the context of the Global Essay Competition, a regular university is defined as an institution of higher education that also conducts research and offers at least one PhD programme. Exceptions are possible and are granted on a case-by-case basis.

Can Bachelor students participate?

Unfortunately, students on bachelor level do not fulfil the eligibility criteria and therefore cannot enter the competition. There is no other way to apply for participation and we, therefore, encourage all students to join the competition once they pursue with their studies at a graduate level. You may, however, be eligible if the level of study in your current year is equivalent to international graduate level which must be confirmed in writing by your university.

Can teams participate?

Only individual submissions are allowed as we can only grant participation to one contender per contribution.

How long should the contribution be? 

The maximum amount of words is 2,100 (excluding bibliography or graph descriptions and the like). There is no minimum word count. Please make sure to state the exact word count in your document. Also keep in mind that you must not state your name in the contribution.

Do I have to quote my sources?

All sources must be quoted and all essays are scanned for plagiarism. You must refer each source to the respective text passage. Please note that plagiarism is a serious offense and that we reserve the right to take further steps in case of deliberate fraud. Self-plagiarism will also result in disqualification, as the work has to be written exclusively for the Global Essay Competition of the St. Gallen Symposium.

Can I have a look at previous Winner Essays?

Yes, you can find winner essays as well as other publications from the Global Essay Competition here .

What file formats are accepted?

Please make sure to hand in your essay in either a doc, docx or pdf format. The document must allow to copy the text easily (no document protections).

What documents do I need to submit?

In addition to your contribution, make sure to upload

  • a copy of your passport (or any other official government ID but no driver’s license) to verify your age
  • a confirmation of matriculation from your university confirming your graduate or postgraduate student status as of February 2023
  • a short abstract (200–300 words) which can be entered in the registration form directly

in the applicable field of the registration form.

What happens after I submitted my application?

The ISC will verify your eligibility and check all submitted documents for completeness and readability. Due to the large amount of essays we receive, our response may take some time, so thank you for your patience. If the jury selects your essay in the top 100 , you qualify as a Leader of Tomorrow for an expenses-paid participation in the 52 nd St. Gallen Symposium (4-5 May 2023). The results will be announced via e-mail by mid-March 2023. The jury selects the three awardees based on the quality of the idea on paper. The award is endowed with a total prize money of CHF 20,000. In addition, there will be a chance for the very best competitors (including the awardees) to present their ideas on the big stage at the symposium. For this, the students will be asked to pitch their idea on video beforehand.

Who’s in the jury?

The Award Jury consists of leading executives, journalists and professors from all around the world. The Academic Jury is composed of young top academics from the University of St. Gallen and the ETH Zurich.

When will the results be announced?

The jury’s decision will be announced by mid-March at the latest.


How do the travel arrangements work.

The organizing committee will get in touch with you prior to the symposium to discuss your itinerary and to book your travel.

Can the organising committee help me get a visa?

All Leaders of Tomorrow are self-responsible to get a visa. However, we will inform the applicable Swiss embassy about the invitation and will provide you with the necessary documents. Should a problem arise anyway, we are happy to help. Expenses for visa application are borne by the Leaders of Tomorrow themselves.

Where am I accommodated during the symposium?

All Leaders of Tomorrow are accommodated at private student flats across the city. Please give us an early notice should you have any special requirements (e.g. female flatmates only).

What transport is provided?

We book flights or train tickets and provide shuttle service from and to the airport. Furthermore, all Leaders of Tomorrow receive a free ticket for the public transport in St. Gallen during the week of the symposium.

How much money do I need? 

We recommend bringing some pocket money (CHF 100–200) for your convenience. Please note that depending on your time of arrival and departure, some meals might not be covered.

Can disabled people participate as well? 

Yes, of course. Most of the symposium sites are wheelchair-accessible and we are more than happy to help where we can. Although our ability to provide personal assistance is very limited, we do our best to provide the necessary services.

Is there any touristic programme and do I have time for sightseeing?

During the symposium there will be no time for sightseeing. However, we may offer selected touristic programmes a day before or after the symposium. These days can, of course, also be used for individual sightseeing. Nearby sites include the old town of St. Gallen, the lake Constance and the mountain Säntis.

Can I extend my stay in Switzerland?

Yes, upon request we can move your return flight to a date of your choice. If the new flight is more expensive, we may ask you to cover the price difference. Please note that we are unable to provide any services such as accommodation or transportation after the end of the symposium week.

Can I bring a spouse?

Unfortunately, we cannot provide any services such as travel, room, board or symposium access to any additional person.

Past Winners & Essay Reviews

Out of approx. 1,000 annual contributions submitted by graduate and post-graduate students from all around the globe, the jury selects three winner essays every year. Meet our competition’s past winners and read their contributions.

2023 – A New Generational Contract

Elliot gunn, gaurav kamath, megan murphy, essay question:.

The best or worst legacy from previous generations: How to preserve or replace it?

A great deal of our lives is influenced by when we were born. As those currently alive, we have inherited the world which previous and older generations have built. We owe a great deal to the efforts of our forebears, but we also inherit problematic legacies.

2022 – Collaborative Advantage

Sophie lara neuber, anton meier, bryan kwang shing tan.

Collaborative Advantage: what should be written into a new intergenerational contract?

 The idea of a “generational contract” embodies the principles that younger and older generations rely on each other to provide mutual support across different stages of their lives. Inclusive education systems, sustainable welfare states and meaningful environmental action are some of many challenges requiring a cross-generational collaborative effort. Yet, with the climate crisis, rapid technological change and societal aging in many countries, the generational contract and notions of intergenerational fairness have been challenged. Members of the younger generation are raising their voices as they reflect on how their futures are being compromised by current decision-makers.

 What’s your specific and actionable idea that should be written into a new generational contract? Choose an area where you see evidence that intergenerational fairness is – or, going forward, will be – challenged and where the generational contract needs to be rewritten. Potential areas include, but are not limited to, business strategy and the economy, inclusive governance and education, the welfare state and health care, environmental sustainability, or the world of work. Describe your problem and offer concrete and practical proposals how inter-generational fairness can be restored or reinvented. Explain your idea’s impact for the future.

2021 – Trust Matters

Janz irvin chiang.

1st place – Peking University

Joan  Nyangena

2nd place – York University

Karl Michael Braun

3rd place – Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

A Matter of Trust: How Can Trust be Repaired When It’s Lost?

In recent years, we have seen many reports about “trust crises” in the realms of politics, health, business, technology, science, and media. Political and corporate scandals, mass protests, and deteriorating trust indicators in global perception surveys support this diagnosis. As a result, senior leaders in many of these sectors publicly aspire to “rebuild trust” in their decisions, products, or institutions. What would be your advice to them?

Choose an area in one of the above-mentioned sectors where you see evidence that citizens’, consumers’, regulators’, employees’ or other stakeholders’ trust has been lost. Describe your example of an apparent loss of trust; offer concrete and practical proposals on repairing damaged trust. Describe your idea’s impact for the future.

2020 – Freedom Revisited

Symposium  postponed.

As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the final review and communication of the results of the contributions to the Global Essay Competition was stopped prematurely.

Freedom Revisited: Which aspects of freedom need to be defended, or recalibrated, to meet the challenges of our time?

Domestically and on the international stage, values of individual, economic, and political freedom are subject to critical inquiry or outright attack. Diverse phenomena such as populism, global power shifts, climate change, the digital revolution, and global migration call for a reflection on the value of freedom for the way we live, do business, and organize politically in the years ahead. While some call for a defence of established freedoms, others call for recalibration of our concept of freedom, or the balance we strike between freedom and other values, such as equality, sustainability, and security. Where do you stand in this debate? Choose one of the following positions as you develop your essay:

In defence of freedom: Choose an area in the realm of business, economics, politics, or civil society where current concepts of freedom are under pressure and where they need to be defended. Describe the problem and offer a concrete and practical proposition of how established concepts of freedom should – and can be – defended. Describe its impact for the future.

In defence of recalibrating freedom: Choose an area in the realms of business, economics, politics or civil society where current concepts of freedom are unsuitable for the challenges we face and where they need to be recalibrated. Describe the problem and offer a concrete and practical proposition of how established concepts of freedom should and can be recalibrated. Describe its impact for the future.

2019 – Capital for Purpose

Reuben muhindi wambui (ke).

1st place – The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Natalie Hei Tung Lau (HK)

2nd place – University of Pennsylvania

Toan Do (VN)

3rd place – Yale University

Is it as good as it gets? – What approach would you suggest to change the current purpose of capital?

Political volatility, environmental issues, precarious labour markets, technological monopolies, managerial and investment short-termism are only a few challenges we face. The time has come to counter excessive short-termism and start doing business as unusual. Think about the status quo and its implications. What would be an idea to change it? Develop projects or actions you would trust in to bring new and expanded purposes to capital and aim for a long-term positive impact. In your essay you should consider how the use of capital (financial, human, social,…) can solve complex challenges and address substantial changes, be it by individuals, civil society, businesses or governments. Your idea must inspire leaders worldwide to take on responsibility and put it into practice. Be bold and develop a truly impactful concept to win our prestigious award.

2009 – 2018

2018  – beyond the end of work, nat ware (au).

1st place – University of Oxford

Janis Goldschmidt (DE)

João abreu (br).

3rd place – Harvard University

Robots are coming for your job. How do you augment yourself to stay economically relevant?

Author Yuval Noah Harari claims that the rapid progress of artificial intelligence technology will render the human species economically useless within decades. Imagine a world in which humans fight back, harnessing AI and other technologies to stay economically indispensable – and, ultimately, competitive against the computers. Describe the job you aspire to in the future, how it will potentially be influenced by AI, and how you would augment yourself technologically if necessary to prevail in your chosen career.

2017  – The dilemma of disruption

1st Place – University of Oxford

Benjamin Hofmann (DE)

2nd Place – University of St. Gallen

Sigin Ojulu (SS)

3rd Place – University of Southern California

Breaking the status quo – What’s YOUR disruptive idea?

The notion of disruption captures today’s innovation zeitgeist. Nowadays, it seems everyone claims to be a disruptor – particularly young people with an entrepreneurial mindset. Let’s think beyond disruptive innovation in management and look at disruption more generally as something that breaks the status quo – be it in business, politics, science, or society. Pick the one of these four fields you are most passionate about, identify a problem of greater magnitude and come up with a disruptive idea to solve it. Your idea must aspire to inspire top-notch leaders worldwide. Do not free ride on the buzzword “disruption” but rather be bold and develop a truly novel and radical concept to win our prestigious award.

2016  – Growth – the good, the bad, and the ugly

Schima labitsch (at).

1st place – Fordham University

Alexandra Ettlin (CH)

2nd place – University of St.Gallen

Colin Miller (US)

3rd place – New York University

What are alternatives to economic growth?

2015  – Proudly Small

Laya maheshwari (in).

1st place – London School of Economic

Leon Schreiber (ZA)

2nd place – Freie Universität Berlin

Katharina Schramm (DE)

3rd place – University of St.Gallen

Essay Questions:

  • What is the next small BIG thing?

Think about unconventional ideas, undiscovered trends or peripheral signals that may turn into ground-breaking changes for societies. Present one idea which is not on the radar of current leaders yet but will change the game in business, politics or civil society – the best ones will be put to the test by the global audience of the St. Gallen Symposium.

  • Collaborative Small State Initiative

Although small states lead the global rankings in international benchmark studies on competitiveness, innovation and wealth, they are often politically marginalised. Explore a common agenda for small and prosperous countries and identify one joint project that would increase the relevance of small states on the global stage. Go beyond politics and diplomacy by also including economic and civil players.

  • Elites: small but superior groups rule the world – at what price?

Human history shows that the world has been ruled by tiny but superior groups of people. It is the elites who have been controlling societies and the allocation of resources. Given the rise of inequality, a devastating level of famine that still exists, ubiquitous corrupt systems of government, limited access to education for the underprivileged, to name just a few of the world’s greatest problems, elites are challenged to redefine their roles and agenda settings. Share your thoughts on how elites are supposed to emerge and transform in the 21st century.

2014  – The Clash of Generations

Ashwinikumar singh (in).

1st place – University of Mumbai

Martin Seneviratne (AU)

2nd place – University of Sydney

Set Ying Ting (MY)

3rd place – National University of Singapore

  • Balancing Generational Claims

The presumption of an altruistic relation between generations and its positive effect on the economic well-being of societies is illusionary. Welfare states have widened fiscal gaps to an irreparable extent for the next generations. When aspiring to a sustainable welfare system, how should intergenerational claims balance without having to rely on selflessness?

  • A Double-Edged Legacy

Let’s be frank: The generational contract has failed everywhere – but for different reasons. Exuberant public debts, zooming healthcare costs, unequal distribution of wealth, loss of ethical and moral anchors, loss of trust in existing institutions: each state is facing a unique set of problems. Briefly describe the situation in your country and propose a generational contract defining mutual responsibilities on an economic and social level.

  • A Prospect for the Young

Highly educated and ambitious, yet unemployed. A whole generation of young is entering the labour market with little prospect of success. The implications go way beyond individual tragedies as economies with lasting high levels of youth unemployment risk social instability. Present new solutions on how we can overcome this crisis.

  • Business between Generations

Slogans like “rent is the new own” or Botsmann and Rogers’s “what’s mine is yours” (HarperBusiness, 2010) mark the trend of shared economy. Although not a new economic phenomenon per se, particularly the Millennials are embracing this attitude towards doing business where they value access over ownership. The trend is gaining global mainstream acceptance which is resulting in a lasting impact on economic performance. Discuss the future of shared economy, its overall implications and the dynamics between supply and demand.

2013 – Rewarding Courage

Kilian semmelmann (de).

1st place – Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Dragov Radoslav (BG)

2nd place – Rotterdam School of Management

Bree Romuld (AU)

3rd place – University of St.Gallen (HSG)

The competitors must choose from one of four competition questions, which refer to the four topic clusters “Putting incentives right”, “Coping with institutions”, “Against the current – courageous people” and “Management of excellence”

  • Putting incentives right

How come that both in the corporate world and in politics, responsible courage (e.g. whistleblowing, courage to disagree with current paradigms, etc.) is hardly ever rewarded? Where the big decisions for the future are taken, anxiety, conformity and despondence prevail. How can this be changed?

  • Coping with institutions

Institutions of all kinds shape our behaviour – be it economic, political or social behaviour. How should institutions be designed in order to foster a sustainable economic and social development?

  • Against the current – courageous people

Observers lament that younger generations, as individualistic as they are, tend to settle for a highly streamlined social and economic world that does not ask for big decisions or unconventional thinking. Please share your opinion on this observation and explain why you agree or disagree. Please use examples that support your arguments.

  • Management of excellence

New insights can only flourish within a culture of dialogue in different opinions. No assumptions should be taken for granted nor should there be any unquestioned truth. However, most people (decision makers, managers, students, etc.) often fail to deal constructively with conflicting opinions. How can companies encourage their employees to build a healthy attitude towards unconventional thinking and acting?

2012 – Facing Risk

Rodrigues caren (in).

1st place – St. Joseph’s Institute of Management

Jennifer Miksch (DE)

2nd place – Geneva Graduate Institute

Jelena Petrovic (SR)

3rd place – King’s College London

Detecting Risks

  • The methodological tools that allow early detection of what will shape future trends are pivotal. While risks are emerging faster, these tools still need fostered advancement. What is the role of scenario planning and forecasting methods and who is or should be responsible for these aspects in the organisation? How should the detection of risks be addressed in an increasingly complex and interconnected global landscape?

Risk Aversion

  • In wealthy societies, most people tend to suppress risk taking. Given this increasing trend of risk aversion in saturated societies, what are the long term consequences for economy and society? What are the long term consequences of a high level of risk aversion?

Emerging Risks

  • There are tremendous risks facing the global community and many people have not yet become aware of their potential consequences (e.g. public debt burden). What are the societal, economic and/or political risks your generation of decision makers will be facing in the future? How could you convert these risks into opportunities?

Managing Risk

  • There is often a disconnect between taking risks and bearing the burden of the consequences of doing so (e.g. risk taking in investment banking). Who should bear the consequences of negligent risk taking and why? How can healthy risk taking be fostered in wealthy societies?

2011 – Just Power

Marcelo ber (ar).

1st place – New York University

Dhru Kanan Amal (IN)

2nd place – London School of Economics

Maria de los Angeles Lasa (AR)

3rd place – Università di Camerino

  • Justice and Power
  • Rethinking Leadership
  • Public Goods and Values

We asked you to contribute visions and ideas to the theme “Just Power” – Power in the sense of its use in various areas of politics and economics. We expected a professional work which could be an essay, a scenario, a project report or proposal, a multi- media presentation or an entrepreneurial concept. It should be constructive, provocative or instructive, inspiring thoughts and actions as well as introucing new approaches and unconventional ideas. Within the framework of the theme you may choose between three subtopics for your contribution.

2010 – Entrepreneurs – Agents of Change

Ainur begim (kz).

1st place – University of Oslo

James Clear (USA)

Christoph birkholz (de).

  • What makes an entrepreneur an “agent of change”?
  • Changing of the guard: Who are the new entrepreneurs?
  • Corporate entrepreneurship within large companies: a concept for the future or a mere pie in the sky?
  • Entrepreneurship between environmental risks and opportunities: What does it take to succeed?

2009 – Revival of Political and Economic Boundaries

Shofwan al-banna choiruzzad (id), jason george (us), aris trantidis (gr), 1999 – 2008, 2008  – global capitalism – local values, guillaume darier (ch), jacobus cilliers (za), feerasta aniqa (nz), christoph matthias paret (de), 2007  – the power of natural resources, benjamin block (us), gustav borgefalk (se), kevin chua (ph), 2006  – inspiring europe, maximilian freier (de), chen yesh (sg), elidor mëhilli (al), william english (us), 2005  – liberty, trust and responsibility, christian h. harding (de), luana badiu (ro), norbert jungmichel (de), fabien curto millet (es /fr), 2004  – the challenges to growth and prosperity, ravi rauniyar (np), peter g. kirchschläger (at / ch), xin dong (cn), 2003 – seeking responses in times of uncertainty, stefanie klein (de), rosita shivacheva (bg), 2002 – pushing limits – questioning goals, constantine (dino) asproloupos (ca / gr), manita jitngarmkusol (th), 2001 – new balance of power, marion mühlberger (at), uwe seibel (de), moses ekra (ci / ca), gerald tan (my), 2000 – time, martin von brocke (de), pei-fu hsieh (tw), tzvetelina tzvetkova (bg), 1999 – new markets, new technologies, new skills, peter doralt (fr), valérie feldmann (de), rajen makhijani (in).

“Partaking in the competition was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only was I able to come to St. Gallen and meet incredible young entrepreneurs and leaders who I’m still in contact with, but it provided me the opportunity to develop and share ideas with key decision-makers. The main idea I submitted was for a new way to finance retraining and healthcare at no cost to individuals or governments. Given the COVID- 19 pandemic, this idea is needed now more than ever, so I’m currently implementing the idea through a new organization I’ve established called FORTE ( Financing Of Return To Employment ).” NAT WARE , Founder & CEO of FORTE, Leader of Tomorrow at the 47th and 48th St. Gallen Symposium

essay writing competition topics 2022

Competition Open

full scholarships Awarded each year

entries each year

Share Your Success

Scholarship Award Certificate PDFs For Winners

What is the Essay Competition?

The Immerse Education Essay Competition provides the opportunity for students aged 13-18 to submit essay responses to a question of their choice relating to a subject of interest. There are over twenty questions to choose from which can be found in our full Essay Competition Guide. 10 winners will receive a 100% scholarship to study with us at a world-leading university of their choosing. Outstanding runners-up also receive partial scholarships.

23rd February 2024

Competition opens

12th September 2024

Competition closes

17th October 2024

Results announced

January, July & August 2025

Programme dates

Who Can Apply?

  • The Immerse Education Essay Competition is open to students worldwide of all nationalities. You must be aged between 13-18 during your chosen programme.

10 winners will receive a 100% scholarship. Take a look at previous essay competition winners.

Runners Up will be awarded partial scholarships of up to 50% to study their chosen subject with Immerse. The number of runners-up will be determined by the number of entries received and the quality of the work submitted. The next category of entrants who are not runner-ups receive partial scholarships worth up to 20%.

Our Guest Judges

Programmes our scholarship can be redeemed against, reviews and winners, what do our alumni say.

essay writing competition topics 2022

I loved the little conversations we had when a question about the topic turned into explanations of the ethical, personal and economic issues that surround medicine. Overall, I found my lessons very beneficial. I know so much more about medicine and its different subsets, but also about what a career in medicine really looks like.

Immerse alumni, and scholarship winner

essay writing competition topics 2022

I could see that the essay competition was an incredible opportunity for international students to win a scholarship purely based on merit. More importantly, after doing some more research, I realised that the process for choosing winners was incredibly fair, that everyone would get an equal chance regardless of their socio-economic background, race, nationality, gender, etc.

100% Scholarship Winner

essay writing competition topics 2022

I enrolled because I wanted to expand my knowledge of physics and meet other people with the same interests as myself. Both of which I was successful in doing! My favourite aspect of the programme was the small class sizes – this helped both the tutor and students with learning and understanding the subject.

essay writing competition topics 2022

Immerse was very fun as well as useful. You were able to experience what it would be like if you studied here for university. The most beneficial part of the course was being able to see what International Relations is like, and it helped me decide what I want to study in the future.

essay writing competition topics 2022

My school invited everyone to participate, and the further I read about Immerse Education, the more motivated I was to enter the competition. Not only did I have the chance to study a subject I love, I would also be able to expand on my essay skills since writing has always been a passion of mine.

essay writing competition topics 2022

I really wanted to go to medicine summer school this year, and so I literally was searching for summer school opportunities and Immerse is one that came up. Through this, I found out about the essay competition and I decided to submit an answer. Immerse was very helpful whilst I was writing my essay, especially with things like the referencing guide.

I’m 16, so I’ve never written an academic essay before, so it was really important that I actually knew what I was doing in the first place and it definitely helped me with that. The programme so far has been very enriching. It’s helped me understand more about medicine and made me realise that this is what I want to do in life. Meeting new friends, tutors, and the mentors, they’re all amazing. My favourite things on the programme have been the evening activities, like murder mystery night. I am so happy to be able to have seen people that are like minded, and competitive as well. I really think that the tutors and the mentors have all been very supportive of me.

Academic Insights, Medicine

Hear From a Previous Scholarship Winner

essay writing competition topics 2022

The Immerse Education Essay Competition is open to entries from young people aged 13-18 interested in all subjects, from Architecture to Medicine, Creative Writing to Film Studies. If participants are successful, they should be aged 13 and above before the start of their programme.

Immerse provides a full essay-writing guide which is sent to your email address once you register your interest in the competition. This guide includes a full list of essay questions, our essay specification, top tips for writing an academic essay, referencing guidance, our terms and conditions and guidance on plagiarism! Registering interest also ensures that you’re on track to submitting your essay on time, through a series of helpful reminder prompts. To support further you can register for our  webinars , which offer top tips and guidance with essay writing from our experts. You are also welcome to explore our  creative writing resources .

Funded scholarship to study abroad:  Our essay competition offers students like you the chance to win a full or partial scholarship to one of our Online Programmes or residential programmes in locations such as Oxford, Cambridge, Sydney, London and more.

Ongoing support from Immerse while you write:  Full support from our team as you write your essay, with free guides and top tips to help you along the way. Sign up to receive our full Essay competition Guide and free tips and tricks as you write. You can also follow us on Instagram and Tik Tok to get more useful essay writing tips.

Demonstrate what you know:  The competition is a chance for you to demonstrate your content knowledge by answering advanced university-style questions.

Build your skills and knowledge:  The opportunity to apply and advance your essay writing skills. You will likely learn something new in the process!

Develop your self-discipline:  A chance to strengthen your self-discipline as you commit to a challenging project and complete it from start to finish.

If you win a scholarship via the Essay Competition 2024/2025 you can use it toward any residential course in any of our locations. Use your scholarship to enrol on one of our renowned online programmes* or enriching in-person/residential summer school programmes in cultural melting pots such as Cambridge, Oxford, London or Sydney and more. * Essay competition schorlaships cannot be redeemed against online Intensive programmes.

No, there is no entry fee and you do not need to have already enrolled onto any of our programmes to take part in the essay competition.

The deadline for all essay entries for the last round of the competition is 4th January 2024. The next deadline will most likely be on 12th September 2024.

Register to receive free Essay Competition guidance

The Immerse Education Essay Competition provides the opportunity for students aged 13-18 to submit essay responses to a pre-set question relating to their chosen subject. Register interest to receive your guide with the comprehensive list of questions including:

  • – Essay Specifications
  • – Top Tips for Writing an Academic Essay
  • – Referencing Guidance
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Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2024 (Prize + Certificate)

If you have good essay-writing skills and want to participate in an international competition. Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition is for you to show your skills and is currently open. In this article, we will explain in detail about this competition, its prize and step by step application process.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2024 is the world’s oldest international writing competition for schools, established in 1883. With thousands of young people taking part each year, it is an important way to recognize achievement, elevate youth voices and develop key skills through creative writing.

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the Commonwealth Youth Programme, Commonwealth Heads of Government declared 2023 a year dedicated to youth-led action for sustainable and inclusive development and called on renewal and strengthening of our commitment to youth engagement and empowerment.

Of the Commonwealth’s population of almost 2.5 billion people, 60% are under the age of 30. This young demographic represents a dynamic ‘youth force for change’, made up of exceptional young people who are increasingly involved in advocacy, decision-making and action.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2023 asks entrants to explore the power young people hold within the global community and consider how this power can be harnessed to make a meaningful impact in the world.

The Society has a rich history of nurturing the creative talents of young people around the Commonwealth and we endeavour to promote literacy, expression and creativity by celebrating excellence and imagination. The Competition invites all young Commonwealth citizens and residents, regardless of region, education or background, to share ideas, celebrate their story and have their voice heard. Through partnerships with Book Aid International, Worldreader and the National Literacy Trust, the Society is working to increase access to this opportunity for a wider range of young people.

Scholarship Summary

  • Level of Study: Competition
  • Institution(s): The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS)
  • Study in: UK
  • Deadline: May 15, 2024

Essay Topics

The theme for the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which will take place in Samoa in October 2024, is ‘One Resilient Common Future: Transforming our Common Wealth’.    

Nearly half of Commonwealth countries are Small Island Developing States like Samoa that are disproportionately affected by climate change. Communities across the Commonwealth are also facing a range of challenges, including economic growth, peace and security. Creating strong and resilient societies is now more important than ever.   

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2024 asks entrants to consider how they deal with adversity, and how community and culture can be used to encourage resilience and hope in a world with a growing number of global issues.  


(Born between 16 May 2005 and 15 May 2010 (14-18 years of age)) 

  • “It’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.”– Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. What small steps can you take to help tackle the climate crisis?   
  • Write a speech highlighting what you think is the most challenging issue facing the world today, and how Commonwealth values can be used to solve it.      
  • At the heart of Samoan way of life is ‘aiga’, meaning ‘family’ values including selflessness, hospitality, co-operation, respect and dignity. What core values and ideas from your culture can be used to enhance co-operation and community in the Commonwealth?  
  • The Commonwealth’s London Declaration aimed to strive for peace, liberty and progress. Write a letter to your President or Prime Minister about how to achieve those aims. 


(Born on or after 16 May 2010 (under 14 years of age))

  • What new habit could you adopt to positively contribute towards a greener Commonwealth?   
  • Write a dialogue between yourself and a grandparent about resilience and hope. What can you share with the older generation, and what can you learn from them?  
  • You are taking part in a beach clean-up and discover that you can speak to sea creatures. What are they saying, and how do you respond?
  • You’re on a school exchange in a Commonwealth country different to your own. How do you make friends with people your age? (Consider similarities and differences in culture that may unite you).

Scholarship Coverage/Prize

Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition provides the recipient with the following benefits:

– All entrants receive a Certificate of Participation and one Winner and Runner-up from the Senior and Junior categories will win a trip to London for a week of educational and cultural events.

– Prizes have traditionally been awarded only to the first prize winners in the Senior and Junior categories and also vary year by year. This means they are not able to confirm what the prizes will be until after the winners are announced in August 2024. Past prizes have included:

  • Resources for winner’s school
  • Certificates
  • Visits to Cambridge University
  • A trip to London and a week of activities
  • Having your entry featured in worldwide media
  • Work experience at international organisations, and
  • RCS regional and branch offices often hold ceremonies or offer prizes. Please contact your nearest RCS branch after the competition closes on June 30, 2024, to inquire about any activities planned.

Eligibility Criteria for Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

To participate in the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, following is the criteria:

  • Required Language:  All entries must be written in English.
  • Eligible Countries: Nationals and residents of all Commonwealth countries and territories aged 18 and under are eligible to enter the competition, including entrants from Zimbabwe.
  • Entries are accepted from residents of non-Commonwealth countries who submit through their local RCS branch.
  • Entrants can be presented in any form/method of creative writing. Pictures/Illustrations are particularly encouraged in the Junior Category.

How to Apply for Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition?

Please follow the following important application instructions to participate in Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition:

Online Submission:

  • The Royal Commonwealth Society is building a new online platform that will be much easier to use and accessible on all devices, but it’s not quite ready yet.
  • They are encouraging young people to begin writing their pieces and will open the new platform for submissions in early 2024.
  • Please note: They do not accept essays sent by email.

Offline Submissio n  ( P ost):  (Check the  How to Enter  section in the official website for more details)

  • Offline submissions are very difficult to process and can mean that your entry arrives after the Competition closing date. They will only accept an offline entry where the person submitting has no access to internet and is unable to submit online.
  • If you are submitting your entry by post, please complete an entry form (Can be found in the official website) in block capitals and attach it to the front of your essay. Entries should be sent to your nearest postal hub, details of which are listed below.
  • Please note that for postal entries, your essay must be received by June 30, 2023 in order to be eligible. They, therefore, suggest that you send your essay with plenty of time for delivery, as essays received by a postal hub after June 30 will not be considered in the competition.
  • Check the official website for posting address.

To know more about Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, please visit the official website:

Official Website

Related Scholarships: 

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National Online Essay Writing Competition

essay writing competition topics 2022

The office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India is organising a National Online Essay Writing Competition to commemorate the occasion of Audit Diwas. Each year, ...

The office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India is organising a National Online Essay Writing Competition to commemorate the occasion of Audit Diwas. Each year, 16th November is celebrated as Audit Diwas, as it was on this day in the year 1860 that Sir Edward Drummond took charge as the first Auditor General of India.

The essay competition aims to make the youth of the country aware of the institution of CAG of India and appreciate the contribution of the CAG in promoting public accountability and good governance. The competition will also give an opportunity for young minds to harness their creativity and expression of the ways in which the institution of the CAG can contribute to good governance.

Topics for the online essay competition for the year 2022 are as follows: A. The CAG: Helping India achieve Panchamrit - five nectar elements to deal with climate change B. The CAG: Realising the Constitution's vision, Enlivening Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav C: CAG@2047: Imagine you are the CAG of India in year 2047. What will be your strategy for the institution?

Participants can submit an essay on any one of the above topics.

The essays will be evaluated separately in English and Hindi.

Winners of the competition will be awarded cash prizes as follows: First prize: ₹30,000 Second prize: ₹20,000 Third prize: ₹15,000

There are no charges/registration for participation in the competition.

Eligibility: 1. The online essay writing competition is open to all persons who are currently enrolled in a course of study at any institution recognized by any University in India. 2. The participant should not be more than 25 years old as on 15.08.2022. 3. Employees of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department shall not be eligible for participating in the competition. 4. Only one entry from each participant will be considered. In case it is discovered that a participant has submitted more than one entry, all the entries from the participant will be disqualified.

Manner of submission: The participants would be required to submit six documents online as attachments in a single e-mail to the address: [email protected] . The details of these documents are given in paras to The subject of the e-mail should be written as “Audit Diwas 2022 Essay".

Entries may be e-mailed on any date till 15th September, 2022 by 5 PM.

Click here to read the details.

essay writing competition topics 2022

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Open Letters: Our New Opinion-Writing Contest

We invite students to write public-facing letters to people or groups about issues that matter to them. Contest dates: March 13 to May 1.

By The Learning Network

What’s bothering you? Who could do something about it? What could you say to them that would persuade them to care, or to make change?

And … what if we all read your letter? How could you make us care too?

These are some of the questions we’re asking you to ponder for our new Open Letter Contest. An open letter is a published letter of protest or appeal usually addressed to an individual, group or institution but intended for the general public. Think of the many “Dear Taylor Swift” open letters you can find online and on social media: Sure, they’re addressed to Ms. Swift, but they’re really a way for the writer to share opinions and feelings on feminism, or ticket sales, or the music industry, or … the list goes on.

As you might already know if you’ve read Martin Luther King’s famous Letter From Birmingham Jail , an open letter is a literary device. Though it seems on the surface to be intended for just one individual or group, and therefore usually reads like a personal letter (and can make readers feel they are somehow “listening in” on private thoughts), it is really a persuasive essay addressed to the public. This recent letter signed by over 1,000 tech leaders about the dangers of A.I. , this funny 2020 letter addressed to Harry and Meghan , and this video letter from young Asian Americans to their families about Black Lives Matter are all examples of the tradition.

Now we’re inviting you to try it yourself. Write your own open letter, to anyone you like on any issue you care about, as long as it is also appropriate and meaningful for a general Times audience.

Whom should you write to? What should you say? How do open letters work?

The rules and FAQ below, along with our Student Opinion forum and related how-to guide , can walk you through ways to get started.

This is a new contest and we expect questions. Please ask any you have in the comments and we’ll answer you there, or write to us at [email protected]. And, consider hanging this PDF one-page announcement on your class bulletin board.

Here’s what you need to know:

The challenge, a few rules, resources for students and teachers, frequently asked questions, submission form.

Write an open letter to a specific audience that calls attention to an issue or problem and prompts reflection or action on it.

Whether you choose to write to your parents, teachers, school board members or mayor; a member of Congress; the head of a corporation; an artist or entertainer; or a metonym like “Silicon Valley” or “The Kremlin,” ask yourself, What do I care about? Who can make changes, big or small, local or global, to address my issue or problem? What specifically do I want my audience to understand or do? And how can I write this as an “open letter,” compelling not just to me and the recipient, but to the general audience who will be reading my words?

The Times has published numerous open letters over the years, to both famous and ordinary people. You can find a long list of free examples in our related guide .

This contest invites students to express themselves and imagine that their words can lead to real change.

Your open letter MUST:

Focus on an issue you care about and with which you have some experience. You can write about almost anything you like, whether it’s a serious issue like bullying , or something more lighthearted like why bugs deserve respect , but we have found over the years that the most interesting student writing grows out of personal experience. Our related Student Opinion forum and how-to guide can help you come up with ideas.

Address a specific audience relevant to the issue. Choose an individual, group, organization or institution who is in a position to make change or promote understanding about your topic.

Call for action, whether the change you seek is something tangible , like asking Congress to enact a law or demanding a company stop a harmful practice, or something more abstract, like inviting your audience to reflect on something they may have never considered.

Be suitable and compelling for a wide general audience . An open letter simultaneously addresses an explicit recipient — whether Joe Biden or your gym teacher — as well as us, the general public, your implicit audience. Though your letter might seem to be meant just for one person, it is really trying to persuade all readers. Make sure you write it in such a way that it is relevant, understandable, appropriate and meaningful for anyone who might come across it in The New York Times. (Again, our related guide can help.)

Be written as a letter, in a voice and tone that is appropriate for both your audience and purpose. Are you simply taking an argumentative essay you’ve written for school already and slapping a “Dear X” on top of it and a “Sincerely, Y” on the bottom? No. A letter — even an open letter — is different from a formal essay, and your writing should reflect that. Can you be informal? Funny? If that makes sense for your purpose and audience, then yes, please.

Our related guide, and the many examples we link to, can help you think about this, but we hope the format of a letter will let you loosen up a bit and express yourself in your natural voice. (For example, you’ll be writing as “I” or “we,” and addressing your letter’s recipient as “you.”)

Also attempt to persuade a general audience. Though it is written in the form of a letter, it is an opinion piece, and you are trying to make a case and support it with evidence, as you would any argument. Remember that you are trying to change hearts and minds, so you’ll be drawing on the same rhetorical strategies as you might have for our long-running editorial contest . (Again, more on this in the related guide .)

Make your case in 460 words or fewer. Your title and sources are not part of the word count.

Inform with evidence from at least two sources, including one from The Times and one from outside The Times. We hope this contest encourages you to deepen your understanding of your topic by using multiple sources, ideally ones that offer a range of perspectives. Just make sure those sources are trustworthy .

Because this is a letter, not a formal essay, we are not asking you to provide in-text citations, but we will be asking you to list the sources you used — as many as you like — in a separate field that does not contribute to your word count. Keep in mind, however, that if you include evidence from those sources, our readers (and judges) should always be able to tell where it came from. Be careful to put quotations around any direct quotes you use, and cite the source of anything you paraphrase.

In addition to the guidelines above, here are a few more details:

You must be a student ages 13 to 19 in middle school or high school to participate , and all students must have parent or guardian permission to enter. Please see the F.A.Q. section for additional eligibility details.

The writing you submit should be fundamentally your own — it should not be plagiarized, created by someone else or generated by artificial intelligence.

Your open letter should be original for this contest. That means it should not already have been published at the time of submission, whether in a school newspaper, for another contest or anywhere else.

Keep in mind that the work you send in should be appropriate for a Times audience — that is, something that could be published in a family newspaper (so, please, no curse words).

You may work alone or in groups , but students should submit only one entry each.

You must also submit a short, informal “artist’s statement” as part of your submission, that describes your writing and research process. These statements, which will not be used to choose finalists, help us to design and refine our contests. See the F.A.Q. to learn more.

All entries must be submitted by May 1, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time using the electronic form at the bottom of this page.

Use these resources to help you write your open letter:

Our step-by-step guide : To be used by students or teachers, this guide walks you through the process of writing an open letter.

A list of free examples of open letters published both in and outside The New York Times, which you can find in our step-by-step guide .

A writing prompt: To Whom Would You Write an Open Letter? This prompt offers students a “rehearsal space” for thinking about to whom they’d like to write, the reason they’re writing and why they think that issue is important — not only for the recipient but also for a wider audience.

Argumentative writing prompts: We publish new argumentative writing prompts for students each week in our Student Opinion and Picture Prompt columns. You can find them all, as they publish, here , or many of them, organized by topic, in our new collection of over 300 prompts .

Argumentative writing unit: This unit includes writing prompts, lesson plans, webinars and mentor texts. While it was originally written to support our Student Editorial Contest , the resources can help students make compelling arguments, cite reliable evidence and use rhetorical strategies for their open letters as well.

Our contest rubric : This is the rubric judges will use as they read submissions to this contest.

Below are answers to your questions about writing, judging, the rules and teaching with this contest. Please read these thoroughly and, if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, post your query in the comments or write to us at [email protected].

Questions About Writing

How is this contest different from your long-running Editorial Contest? Can we still use those materials?

For a decade we ran an editorial contest , and the students who participated wrote passionately about all kinds of things — A.I. , fast fashion , race , trans rights , college admissions , parental incarceration , fan fiction , snow days , memes , being messy and so much more . You can still write about the issues and ideas that fire you up — it’s just that this time around you’ll be framing your work as a letter to a person who has the power to make change on or bring understanding to that issue.

Our related guide has more about the differences between a traditional opinion essay and an open letter, but the many materials we developed for that earlier contest are also woven into the guide, as concepts like ethos, logos and pathos are still very much relevant to this challenge.

I have no idea what to write about. Where should I start?

Our Student Opinion forum can help via its many questions that encourage you to brainstorm both the audience you might write to and the topics you’d like to address.

Can I actually send my open letter?

You can! Just wait until after you have submitted your work to us to do so. (As always for our contests, you retain the copyright to the piece you submit, and can do whatever you like with it.)

Questions About Judging

How will my open letter be judged?

Your work will be read by New York Times journalists, as well as by Learning Network staff members and educators from around the United States. We will use this rubric to judge entries.

What’s the “prize”?

Having your work published on The Learning Network and being eligible to have your work published in the print New York Times.

When will the winners be announced?

About 8-10 weeks after the contest has closed.

My piece wasn’t selected as a winner. Can you tell me why?

We typically receive thousands of entries for our contests, so unfortunately, our team does not have the capacity to provide individual feedback on each student’s work.


Who is eligible to participate in this contest?

This contest is open to students ages 13 to 19 who are in middle school or high school around the world. College students cannot submit an entry. However, high school students (including high school postgraduate students) who are taking one or more college classes can participate. Students attending their first year of a two-year CEGEP in Quebec Province can also participate. In addition, students age 19 or under who have completed high school but are taking a gap year or are otherwise not enrolled in college can participate.

The children and stepchildren of New York Times employees are not eligible to enter this contest. Nor are students who live in the same household as those employees.

Can I have someone else check my work?

We understand that students will often revise their work based on feedback from teachers and peers. That is allowed for this contest. However, be sure that the final submission reflects the ideas, voice and writing ability of the student, not someone else.

Do I need a Works Cited page?

Yes. We provide you with a separate field to list the sources you used to inform or write your open letter. You’re allowed to format your list however you want; we will not judge your entry based on formatting in this section. Internal citations in your letter are not necessary.

Why are you asking for an Artist’s Statement about our process? What will you do with it?

All of us who work on The Learning Network are former teachers. One of the many things we miss, now that we work in a newsroom rather than a classroom, is being able to see how students are reacting to our “assignments” in real time — and to offer help, or tweaks, to make those assignments better. We’re asking you to reflect on what you did and why, and what was hard or easy about it, in large part so that we can improve our contests and the curriculum we create to support them. This is especially important for new contests, like this one.

Another reason? We have heard from many teachers that writing these statements is immensely helpful to students. Stepping back from a piece and trying to put into words what you wanted to express, and why and how you made artistic choices to do that, can help you see your piece anew and figure out how to make it stronger. For our staff, they offer important context that help us understand individual students and submissions, and learn more about the conditions under which students around the world create.

Whom can I contact if I have questions about this contest or am having issues submitting my entry?

Leave a comment on this post or write to us at [email protected].


Do my students need a New York Times subscription to access these resources?

No. All of the resources on The Learning Network are free.

If your students don’t have a subscription to The New York Times, they can also get access to Times pieces through The Learning Network . All the activities for students on our site, including mentor texts and writing prompts, plus the Times articles they link to, are free. Students can search for articles using the search tool on our home page.

How do my students prove to me that they entered this contest?

After they press “Submit” on the form below, they will see a “Thank you for your submission.” line appear. They can take a screenshot of this message. Please note: Our system does not currently send confirmation emails.

Please read the following carefully before you submit:

Students who are 13 and older in the United States or the United Kingdom, or 16 and older elsewhere in the world, can submit their own entries. Those who are 13 to 15 and live outside the United States or the United Kingdom must have an adult submit on their behalf.

All students who are under 18 must provide a parent or guardian’s permission to enter.

You will not receive email confirmation of your submission. After you submit, you will see the message “Thank you for your submission.” That means we received your entry. If you need proof of entry for your teacher, please screenshot that message.

If you have questions about your submission, please write to us at [email protected] and provide the email address you used for submission.


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