Category Archives: High School Student Writing Contests

Davidson Fellows Scholarship Awards

DAVIDSON FELLOWS

Davidson FellowsThe Davidson Fellows Scholarship awards extraordinary young people, 18 and under, who have completed a significant piece of work. Davidson Fellows named as one of “The 10 Biggest Scholarships in the World” by TheBestColleges.org and one of “7 Prestigious Undergrad Scholarships” in U.S. News & World Report.

CATEGORIES: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and Outside the Box.

AWARD:

  • Scholarship awards $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000
  • Fellows are honored in Washington, D.C. with Congressional meetings and a special reception.

HOW TO APPLY: Visit: http://www.davidsongifted.org/Fellows-Scholarship  to review category requirements. Questions? Email DavidsonFellows@DavidsonGifted.org.

Deadline: February 8, 2017

The Theater Project NJ Young Playwrights Competition

Theater Project Young Playwrights  Contest 

Theater Project Young Playwrights ContestWebsite: The Theater Project; Deadline: January 20, 2017

For high school students
aged 13 – 18  

Key Dates

  • Scripts due January 2017
  • Finalists notified February 2017
  • Awards ceremony March  2017

The purpose of this playwriting competition is to encourage New Jersey high school students to write and also advance their interest in theater.    

High school students aged 13-18 are invited to submit either a short play or an excerpt from a longer work that they have written.  Winners’ plays will be performed by professional actors.

The prize winners will receive cash awards and see their work performed by the professional actors of The Theater Project at a ceremony. Additional writers will be presented with honorable mention citations and gift certificates.

In addition to the award ceremony, The Theater Project is providing free tutorials for any interested entrant in this year’s competition. Each young author has been offered a half hour script consultation with one of the adult playwrights and directors from the Theater Project. They will pass along their experiences with theater in general and discuss the challenges of playwriting.

Young writers will also have the chance to meet with other contestants and the actors who are performing that day.

Deadlines for 2017 submissions will be posted here November 2016.


Submission
​Guidelines

To enter
the competition

  • Entrants must attend a NJ high school  
  • Scripts must be between 10 and 30 pages
  • Scripts must be in play format
  • Original work only, no adaptations
  • One entry per author
1. Fill out entry form
2.Upload script, author bio and photo
3. Pay $10 entry fee by card or check

Writing Conference Inc. Contest

Writing Conference ContestA Kansas nonprofit established in 1980, the Writing Conference Inc. hosts an annual national writing contest for middle and high school students.

WHO: Students in grades 6 -12

WHAT TO SUBMIT: Each student may submit ONE entry: a poem, exposition (personal essay) or narration (short story or play).

2017 THEME: CHANGE: Change is found in almost every place – school, church, government, etc…  Or is it?  Some say change isn’t occurring at all or at least not fast enough. When change does occur, it may be planned or spontaneous. Create a  poem, narrative, or essay in which you incorporate your ideas and feelings concerning change.

ENTRY FORM: Required form found here.

PRIZE: Award winning pieces will be published in The Writers’ Slate whose audience is comprised of students and teachers at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels. Submissions should be appropriate for this audience.

SUBMISSION: Student’s name must NOT appear on the manuscript, only on the entry form. Mail manuscripts and entry forms to:

                The Writing Conference, Inc.
PO Box 664
Ottawa, Kansas
66067-0664

DEADLINE: Sunday, January 8, 2017

New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest

NJ Young Playwrights Contest

New Jersey Young Playwrights ContestWHAT: The Writers Theatre of New Jersey invites middle and high school students in grades 4-12 to submit plays to the New Jersey Young Playwrights Contest.

WHO: NJ students in grades 4 -12

LENGTH: up to 20 pages

TYPE OF PLAY: The contest seeks plays with “realistic” structures, but also encourages non-traditional and inventive work. Judges look for strong plot, characterization, dialogue, conflict, theme, and originality.

THEMES: Plays may be on any topic, but there is a special category, “Living with Disabilities” designed for plays either written by an author with a disability, or a play with themes or characters dealing with disabilities.

FORMATTING: Formatting instructions may be found under the Submissions Guidelines tab.

PRIZE: Winning plays will be performed by professional actors at the NJ Young Playwrights Festival in June.

DETAILS & SUBMISSION: Find links on the Creative Writing News or email Ms. James at tjames@newarka.edu

Deadline: Extended to January 15, 2017

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

How do I enter work in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards?
Scholastic Writing

Sign Up!

The 2017 Scholastic Awards are open to students in grades 7 – 12. The writing and art deadlines vary according to region. Many fall in mid-December.  You can participate in the 2017 Scholastic Awards by creating an account and uploading your work .

Create!

The Scholastic Awards look for work that demonstrates originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal voice or vision. After you have created your work, uploaded it to your Scholastic Awards Account! Visit our online galleries to see examples of works from past National Medalists. Be sure to visit our copyright and plagiarism FAQ to learn more about submitting original works.

Stamp It and Send It!

After uploading your work, print your submission forms, have a parent/guardian and an educator sign them, and then mail them to the Affiliate Partner in your local region. Mailing instructions can be found on the submission form or on your local Affiliate’s Website.

What else do I need to know?

Eligibility

Public, private, or home-school students in the U.S., Canada, or American schools abroad enrolled in grades 7–12 are eligible to participate in the Scholastic Awards.

Category Descriptions: For a full list of category descriptions, click HERE.

Blind Judging:  The Scholastic Awards are adjudicated without knowledge of the artists/writers identity. Please make sure that your submission does not contain any personal information.

Freedom of Expression: Young artists and writers are free to explore any and all topics. There are no pre-defined prompts and no work is ever disqualified from the Scholastic Awards because of the nature of its content.

Judging Criteria

Originality: Work that breaks from convention, blurs the boundaries between genres, and challenges notions of how a particular concept or emotion can be expressed.

Technical Skill: Work that uses technique to advance an original perspective or a personal vision or voice, and show skills being utilized to create something unique, powerful, and innovative.

Emergence of a Personal Vision or Voice: Work with an authentic and unique point of view and style.

NJCTE High School Writing Contest

NJCTE High School WritingNJCTE High School Writing Contest invites New Jersey students in grades 9-12 to submit ONE entry in each category:

  • Poetry (one poem, 50-line max.) –FREE CHOICE (no theme)
  • Short story (5-page max. double-spaced) – FREE CHOICE (no theme)
  • Personal essay* (5-page max., double-spaced) – RESPOND TO PROMPT BELOW

See website for details.  Click here to register for the contest.

Have the following items ready to submit:

  1. Your sponsoring teacher’s name – Make sure to ask the teacher’s permission to use his/her name since each teacher can only sponsor 10 students per genre.
  2. Your teacher’s email address
  3. Your poem, short story or essay in pdf or MS Word format – The name of the file must match your title.
  4.  Make sure your name and personal information do NOT appear on the document you are submitting.
  5. Please refer to the writing contest flyer for length limitations.

2017 Personal Essay Writing Prompt — STICKS and STONES:

“Sometimes one or two words have a tremendous impact.  This may be true of words we have uttered or words that have been spoken or written to us.  We may have observed someone close to us afflicted or strengthened by words directed at them.  Write about a time when a word or a set of words had a powerful effect. (See, for example, Countee Cullen’s  “Incident”.) Did this word/these words have a long-term effect on your life or the life of someone close to you?  If the words inflicted pain, how and why? Did an insult ever make you stronger? Did a word haunt you for days or weeks later?  Did a word of praise ever come to your rescue?  Were you motivated to act decisively or change your ways by something someone said to you?  Bring readers into your story and help them think about the power of words.  Make us understand your thoughts, feel your pain, or share your joy.”

How to enter:

  1. Visit our web-site at njcte.com and follow the instructions provided. You must be a New Jersey high school student to enter.
    2017 NJCTE HS Writing Contest Flyer.doc
    Microsoft Word Document 40.0 KB

    You must complete a registration form for each genre you plan to submit.

Tips to Avoid Disqualification:

  1. The file submitted must be anonymous. Files with student name, school or class on them will be disqualified.
  2. Each student may submit a maximum of one entry in each category (i.e. only one poem, one short story and one essay).
  3. Each teacher may submit up to ten entries for their students in each genre. Surplus entries will be disqualified in order of submission date.

Awards:

  • Genre Winners (poetry, short story, personal essay): Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals.
    • Gold medalists are eligible for the Governor’s Awards in Arts Education (GAAE).
    • Gold, silver, and bronze poets read at the Dodge Poetry Festival in 2014 and 2016.
  • School/District Winners:
    • Honorable Mention: Top scoring students
      • From schools with qualifying entries from at least 10 different students sponsored by at least three different teachers
    • Certificates of Merit – Top scoring students
      • From schools which submit qualifying entries from at least three different students.

DEADLINE: December 16, 2016. Questions: njctewritingcontest@outlook.com.

Poetry Society of America Student Award

Student Poetry AwardLouise Louis / Emily F. Bourne Student Poetry Award, $250

Endowed under the wills of Louise Louis Whitbread and Ruth M. Bourne, this prize is awarded for the best unpublished poem by a student in grades 9 through 12 from the United States. Teachers or administrators may submit an unlimited number of their students’ poems, one submission per student.

 Submission Details & Instructions

•  You can only  submit one entry per student.
•  A poem that has previously won a PSA Award cannot be re-submitted.
•  No previously published work can be submitted.
•  Translations are ineligible.
•  Poems by more than one author will not be accepted.
•  Entry should have one cover page and two collated copies of your poem.

The Cover Page must include:

Name
Address
Email (if available)
Phone
Name of the Award
Title and First Line of first poem in submission
Your name should not appear anywhere else besides this cover sheet.

Cover Sheet Template: It’s not a requirement, but you might find it helpful to use our cover sheet template.

Entry Fee

High school students may send single entries to the Louise Louis/Emily F. Bourne Student Poetry Award for the fee of $5.

High school teachers or administrators may submit an unlimited number of their students’ poems (one submission per student) for a $20 entry fee.

You do not need to be a member of the Poetry Society of America to submit to this award.

Checks should be made payable to the Poetry Society of America.

Mailing Address

Poetry Society of America
Annual Award Submission
15 Gramercy Park
New York, NY 10003

DEADLINE: December 22, 2016

Rider University High School Writing Contest

Rider University HIgh School Writing Contest37th Annual High School Writing Contest

Prizes in Each Category

  • 1st-$100
  • 2nd-$50
  • 3rd-$25

All Finalists of this high school writing contest will receive a Certificate of Honorable Mention. All Winners will be considered for publication in Venture, Rider’s literary magazine.

Categories

  • ESSAY: Write a personal essay, labeled ESSAY, on a topic of your choice of no more than five double-spaced, typed pages.
  • FICTION: Write a short story, labeled FICTION, of no more than five double-spaced, typed pages.
  • POETRY: Write a poem of no more than 50 lines.

Rules

  1. Type on the entry:
    Your Name and address
    Grade
    Teacher’s Name
    School Name and address
  2. Include a letter from a teacher stating that the work is original and by you.
  3. Entries must be typed.  Handwritten entries will not be read.  Stories and essays must be double-spaced.  Single-spaced prose will not be read.  Please give your story, essay and or poem a title.
  4. Only one entry per category will be considered.  Choose your best writing and send only one.
  5. Mail your entry postmarked no later than December 11, 2016 to:
    Dr. Roberta Clipper
    English Department
    Rider University
    2083 Lawrenceville Road
    Lawrenceville, NJ  08648

Entries cannot be returned.  Winners will be announced by May 2017. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope if you wish to receive a list of winners.

GOOD LUCK!

Kenyon Review Poetry Prize

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

Patrica Grodd ContestThe Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers recognizes outstanding young poets and is open to high school sophomores and juniors throughout the world. The contest winner receives a full scholarship to the Kenyon Review Young Writers workshop. In addition, the winning poem and the poems of the two runners-up will be published in The Kenyon Review, one of the country’s most widely read literary magazines.

yw-groupThe contest is named in honor of Patricia Grodd in recognition of her generous support of The Kenyon Review and its programs, as well as her passionate commitment to education and deep love for poetry. The final judge of the contest is KR Editor at Large Natalie Shapero.

Every year, submissions are accepted electronically November 1 through November 30.

It’s Simple to Enter

    • Limit of one, previously unpublished poem per entrant (please do not simultaneously submit your contest entry to another magazine or contest.)
    • You must be a high school sophomore or junior to enter
    • Make sure your file is in ONE of the following formats:

-.PDF (Adobe Acrobat)
-.DOC or .DOCX (Microsoft Word)
-.RTF (Rich Text Format)
-.TXT (Microsoft Wordpad and Notepad, Apple TextEdit)

  • Submit your poem between November 1 and November 30, 2016 by pressing the “Submit Here” button on the website and uploading your file.
  • No entry fee; it’s 100% free!

Bennington Young Writers Awards

Bennington Young Writers AwardsThe Bennington Young Writers Awards are offered annually by Bennington College—whose literary legacy includes seven Pulitzer Prize winners, three U.S. poet laureates, the youngest Man Booker Prize winner, a MacArthur “Genius,” countless New York Times bestsellers, and one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people.

WHO CAN SUBMIT: Students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.

WHAT TO SUBMIT: Students may enter in ONE of the following categories: poetry (a group of three poems), fiction (a short story or one-act play), or nonfiction (a personal or academic essay). All entries must be original work and sponsored by a high school teacher. Short stories and nonfiction must be fewer than 1500 words.

JUDGES: Judges include Bennington College faculty and students.

AWARDS: First-place winners in each category are awarded a prize of $500; second-place winners receive $250. The annual competition runs from early September to November 1 with winning entries posted after April 15.

HOW TO SUBMIT: You may submit online or by mail (mailed entries must be accompanied by a submission form, available from your English teacher or by downloading here.) We welcome entries from international students—in order to submit online, please enter N/A in place of the CEEB code for your high school if it doesn’t have one.

DEADLINE: Submission deadline: November 1.

Last year, more than 2,300 students submitted poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to the Young Writers Awards competition. We congratulate all entrants on their extraordinary submissions, and are pleased to share past winning entries.

MORE INFORMATION: For more information about the Young Writers and other programs at Bennington College, please contact us by email at admissions@bennington.edu or phone at 800-833-6845. Visit the website to see past winners.

National YoungArts Writing Awards

YoungArts WritingNational YoungArts Writing & Other Awards:

  • Up to $10,000 monetary award (total awarded each year is over $500,000)
  • Exclusive eligibility for recognition as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts
  • Master classes with world-renowned artists
  • Access to scholarships, career opportunities and professional contacts

The National YoungArts Foundation identifies and nurtures the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts and assists them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development. YoungArts aspires to create a community of alumni that provides a lifetime of encouragement, opportunity and support.

The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison. YoungArts’ signature program is an application-based award for emerging artists ages 15–18 or in grades 10–12 from across the United States. Selected from a pool of more than an average of 11,000 applications (in 2015, the organization received a record-breaking number of more than 12,000 applications), YoungArts Winners receive valuable support, including financial awards of up to $10,000, professional development and educational experiences working with renowned mentors—such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Sarah Brightman, Plácido Domingo, Frank Gehry, Jeff Koons, Wynton Marsalis, Rebecca Walker and Carrie Mae Weems—and performance and exhibition opportunities at some of the nation’s leading cultural institutions.

PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLAR NOMINATIONS: Additionally, YoungArts Winners are eligible for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic and artistic excellence. U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts receive a Presidential Medal at the White House and perform and exhibit at the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian.

YoungArts ALUMNI: YoungArts alumni who have gone on to become leaders in their fields include actresses Viola Davis, Anna Gunn, Zuzanna Szadkowski and Kerry Washington; Broadway stars Raúl Esparza, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells and Tony Yazbeck; recording artists Josh Groban, Judith Hill and Chris Young; Metropolitan Opera star Eric Owens; musicians Terence Blanchard, Gerald Clayton and Jennifer Koh; choreographers Camille A. Brown and Desmond Richardson; visual artists Daniel Arsham and Hernan Bas; internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Doug Aitken; television writer, producer, and director Jenji Kohan; New York Times bestselling author Sam Lipsyte; and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Doug Blush

Who can Submit: Students age 15-18 (grades 10-12)

What to Submit: Categories include: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, playwriting, scriptwriting, novel excerpts, film, dance, design, jazz, music, photography, theater, visual arts and voice.

How to Submit:On-line application and submission of an audition or portfolio. NO references or academic transcripts are required. There is a $35 (non-refundable) application fee per category. Fee waivers are available. Applicants may submit in more than one discipline or category within a discipline. Please refer to the discipline and category guidelines for details.

Deadline: October 14, 2016 at 11:59pm EST (Eastern Standard Time). There will be NO grace period for uploading materials.

NJ Youth Poet Laureate Competition

NJ Youth Poet Laureate Contest

New Poetry Contest:

The Writers Theatre of New Jersey is launching a brand-new NJ Youth Poet Laureate program! High school students from all over the state can enter by submitting five poems via our online form, found here, under the “Prepare the Submission” tab.

What To Submit:

Four of the poems can be on any subject at all, but the fifth poem must be a “poem of place;” a poem of place is a poem that describes, whether literally or metaphorically, where the poet lives. The poems can be in any style of poetry, including rap or spoken word (though they must be submitted in written form), and can be new works created just for the contest or existing poems the poet has written. Prizes include a Governor’s Award, opportunities for the poets to read their work throughout the state, and the publication of the poems in an anthology, so reach out to the high school poets in your life and make sure they get their poems in before that deadline. Only a few weeks to go!

How to Submit:

For more information on the program, go to the NJYPL page here:  Deadline: October 24, 2016 . Extended to December 1, 2016.

Cicada Magazine “Flux” Poetry Contest

Creative Endeavors Poetry Contest

cicada magazine poetry contestCicada Magazine challenges writers ages 14-23 to answer their Call for Creative Endeavors Contest with poems on the theme of “flux.” Entries accepted via Submittable. Deadline: 9/30/16.

FLUX: More often than we’d like, we find ourselves in one of those in-between spots in which nothing is certain, everything is uncomfortable and weird, and just when you get used to one thing, it changes again. In poetry or art, talk about the frustration (inspiration?) that comes with being in a state of flux. Visit cicadamag.com/submitwork for more info.

CICADA is a YA lit/comics magazine fascinated with the lyric and strange and committed to work that speaks to teens’ truths. We publish poetry, realistic and genre fiction, essay, and comics by adults and teens. (We are also inordinately fond of Viking jokes.) Our readers are smart and curious; submissions are invited but not required to engage young adult themes.  We especially welcome: works by people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQAI+ folks, genderqueer folks, and other marginalized peoples. Not welcome:
cultural appropriation.

Favorite writers, YA and otherwise: Sarah McCarry, Nnedi Okorafor, Sherman Alexie, David Levithan, Daniel Jose Older, Holly Black, Kelly Link, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ntozake Shange, Anne Carson, Jacqueline Woodson, ZZ Packer, Angela Nissel, Sofia Samatar, Malory Ortberg, Saeed Jones, Octavia Butler, Andrea Gibson.

@cicadamagazine / cicadamagazine.tumblr.com

Teen Ink College Essay Call for Submissions

teen ink college essay writing contestCollege Essay Submissions Wanted: In preparation for their College Issue, the national print and online magazine Teen Ink is looking for articles about the whole process. Reviews, college essays, advice articles for upcoming juniors and seniors, or reflections on watching a sibling leave for college – the editors will consider all of the above for their upcoming special issue. http://www.teenink.com/submit

Foyle Young Poets Contest

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award

Foyle-poster-wolvesSponsored by the Poetry Society, the Foyle Young Poets Award is the UK’s largest poetry competition for students age 11 – 17 throughout the world. This international competition is free to enter. Individuals may submit more than one poem, however the contest judges strongly advise that you concentrate on drafting and redrafting your poems and send only a small selection of your very best (no more than 6-8 maximum). Remember, quality is more important than quantity! See Full Rules. Deadline: July 31, 2016.