27 Writing Competitions for High School Students in 2023

Writing Competitions for High School Students
As a writer, you have the freedom to express your feelings, your perspective, and your opinions on various matters. How about bringing that freedom of expression into a writing contest for a chance to win cash prizes and scholarships? Below is the list of 27 writing competitions for High School students.

Feel free to save the infographic at the end of the article to keep track of all writing competitions for high school students happening throughout the year of 2023. Please keep in mind that the infographic provides a deadline for competitions; however, each competition’s actual preparation time can vary, from 2 weeks to several months.  

2023 Writing Competition

What will be covered in the article?

Competition Introduction: The Ocean Awareness Competition provides a platform for young people to understand environmental issues through artistic creation and creative thoughts, explore their relationship with the changing world, and become advocates of positive change

Eligibility: International competition. Any student age 11-18 who is/was enrolled in middle or high school (secondary school) while the contest is open. Proof of age, identity, or eligibility may be required. Students who have started college or university are not eligible to participate in the Contest.

  • Junior Division: 11-14 years old 
  • Senior Division: 15-18 years old 

Competition theme: The theme of the 2023 Ocean Awareness Competition is “Climate Heroes in Action”

Competition time: The deadline for submission is June 13, 2023

Official website of the competition

Competition Introduction: Since 2010, the New York Times has held a summer reading competition for middle school students from all over the world every summer. So far, more than 50,000 middle school students have participated. 

The Summer Reading Contest invites students to choose something in The Times that has sparked their interest, then tell us why. At the end of every week, judges from the Times newsroom pick their favorite responses, and the winner’s work will be published in NY Times.   

Competition schedule: Before the end of the competition (August), participants can choose any article, essay, video, interaction, podcast, or photo published in the New York Times to analyze, write about, and submit to the competition. 

Every Tuesday after the start of the competition, the previous week’s winners will be announced and their writing pieces will be published. 

Competition time: June 11-August 19. 2022

Suitable for students: 13-19-year-old students from all over the world; 

  • Students aged 13-15 can submit via the form in the link to the weekly article, subject to parent or guardian consent; 
  • Students aged 16-19 can directly submit in the comments of the weekly articles. 

Official website of the competition

Competition Introduction:Write the World is an online community and writing competition for young writers. It is open to writers ages 13-18 and provides a platform for them to share their writing, receive feedback from their peers, and participate in writing challenges and contests. The website offers a range of resources and tools for writers, including writing prompts, writing tips, and the opportunity to join online writing groups and workshops. Write the World also hosts a number of writing contests throughout the year, with prizes ranging from publication and mentorship opportunities to cash awards.

Competition time: Varies

Suitable for students: 13-18-year-old students from all over the world 

Official website of the competition

Competition Introduction:  The John Locke Essay Competition is organized by John Locke Institute, an independent education organization located in Oxford, UK. 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. All of their essay prizes are judged by senior academics from the University of Oxford. The judges will choose their favorite essay from each subject category and an overall ‘best essay’ across seven subjects. Read more about the complete guide to John Locke Competition.  

Competition time: June 30, 2023

Suitable for students: 2 Levels – High school students 18 years old or younger and Middle School students 14 years old or younger at the submission deadline. 

Official website of the competition. 

5. National Scholastic Art and Writing Competition

Competition Introduction: The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is the longest-running, oldest, and most prestigious literary and art competition in the United States, aiming to find creative works and original technical skills by students in grades 7-12. Since 1923, the Academic Art and Writing Award has recognized the vision, originality, and talent of young people, and has provided opportunities and academic awards for creative young people to express their talent. The high school award is a symbol of the pursuit of excellence and will help students stand out in university and scholarship applications.

Competition time:  Deadlines vary by region and can be as early as December 1

Suitable for students:  Teens in grades 7–12 (ages 13 and up) can apply in 28 categories of art and writing.

Official website of the competition. 

6. Young Authors Writing Competition

Competition Introduction: Young Authors Writing Competition is sponsored by the English and Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago. The competition has grown into a yearly international contest of high school writers. You may enter up to two works (in separate files) in each category of Creative Nonfiction and Fiction. In the Poetry category, you may enter up to two files, but each can have 1-5 poems. You can submit up to six files (two in each category). You cannot upload three or more files in the same category.

Competition time: Deadline was January 31, 2023

Suitable for students: Open to students in grades 9-12 worldwide

Official website of the competition. 

7. River of Words Poetry and Art Contest

Competition Introduction: River of Words Poetry and Art Contest is a free, international youth poetry and art contest — the largest in the world — inspires children ages 5 to 19 to translate their observations into creative expression. River of Words® (ROW) is a program of The Center for Environmental Literacy and a part of the Kalmanovitz School of Education, at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Competition deadline:
January 31, 2023

Suitable for students: K through 12th-grade students, ages 5-20. Students must be enrolled in school to be eligible. All entries must be submitted by a parent, guardian, educator, or facilitator unless the student is 18 years old or older.

Official website of the competition. 

In early 2021, the nation’s art and writing contest (Scholastic Art & Writing Awards) announced their winners. Excitingly, Aralia students received a total of 38 awards, which consisted of 10 Golden Key Awards, 8 Silver Key Awards, 20 Honorable Mentions! More information about the awards can be found here

Golden Key Award 

Silver Key Award 

Honorable Mentions 

10 Awards 

8 Awards 

20 Awards 

In order to achieve these great results, most of the award-winning students have participated in the writing competition preparation program with the instruction and leadership of Aralia’s famous writing teachers. Aralia’s tutors are inspired teachers and professors who are committed to student success. They are recognized in their field or are currently teaching at top high schools and colleges/universities in the US. 

Writing Competition March

Students will learn the nuances of language, including figurative language, effective structuring, and specific forms to apply to their own piece(s). Students will work directly with both literary and media texts to plan and write their piece(s). This class will also help the students write with an aim for an audience as their submission for nation-wide and international writing competitions that are timely with the course schedule.

Project time: Rolling enrollment throughout the year, one class every weekend, 1.5 hours per class 

What's next?

How can I improve my writing? 20 Tips to Improve Your Writing

How can I stand out in writing competitions? The only 5 tips you need to know is here: 5 Tips to Stand Out in a Writing Competition

Heard about John Locke Essay Competition but not sure where to start? Read this Complete Guide to John Locke Essay Competition

Finished your writing work but not sure where to submit it? Where to Submit Your Writing Works: 5 Main Platforms will answer your questions


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