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. River of Words has established itself as a pioneer in local education, inspiring educators and students alike through the innovative integration of science and art.
River of Words aims to create a network that connects individuals from across the United States and the world, all of whom are committed to teaching young people about local arts and poetry. Since its inception in 1995, River of Words has motivated young individuals to explore and appreciate their surroundings, while also training educators to guide them with passion and inspiration. Through exhibitions, publications, and community projects, River of Words reaches thousands of educators and young people worldwide.
Submission Deadline: January 31, 2024
Suitable for students: The competition is open to students aged 5-19 from around the globe.
- Category 1: K-Grade 2 (Primary) or 5-7 years old
- Category 2: Grades 3-5 (Elementary) or Ages 8-11
- Category 3: Grades 6-8 (Intermediate) or Ages 11-14
- Category 4: Grades 9-12 (Secondary) or Ages 14-19
The John Locke Essay Competition is widely recognized as one of the most popular humanities and social science competitions for middle school students. It is organized by the John Locke Institute, an independent education organization based in Oxford, UK. The institute collaborates with esteemed institutions such as Oxford University, Princeton University, Brown University, and the University of Buckingham. Participants in this competition are middle school students from around the world who possess strong analytical and critical thinking skills.
The competition encompasses seven subject groups including Philosophy, Political Science, Economics, History, Psychology, Theology, Law, and the Junior Prize. The Junior Prize specifically caters to children under the age of 15.
Competition Timeline: The 2023 competition has already concluded, and information regarding the 2024 competition has yet to be announced.
Suitable for students: Students worldwide under the age of 15.
Competition Website: https://www.johnlockeinstitute.com/essay-competition
The Foyle’s Young Poets Competition is a prestigious global competition specifically designed for young writers between the ages of 11 and 17. Since its inception in 1998, the competition has grown to become one of the most significant literary events worldwide, drawing aspiring poets from all corners of the globe each year.
This competition provides young writers with a platform to showcase their literary creations, enabling them to gain recognition for their talents. Moreover, winners of the competition receive valuable support and mentorship from established poets, further nurturing their artistic development. Many previous winners have gone on to achieve remarkable success in the literary world, with their works being published and garnering numerous accolades.
Competition Timeline: July 31, 2024 (based on last year’s deadline)
Suitable for students: Students aged 11-17 from all over the world.
Competition Website: https://poetrysociety.org.uk/competitions/foyle-young-poets-of-the-year-award/
The Ocean Awareness Contest serves as a platform for young individuals to engage with environmental issues through artistic expression and creative communication. It encourages participants to deepen their understanding of the changing world and their role in it, fostering their ability to advocate for positive change.
This annual competition focuses on themes revolving around environmental protection, which resonates strongly with many students. It provides an excellent opportunity for them to explore and showcase their artistic talents while raising awareness about pressing environmental concerns. However, it’s worth noting that the actual writing in the contest can be challenging, as it tests students’ writing skills and proficiency in English.
Submission Deadline: June 10, 2024.
Suitable for students: Students worldwide aged 11-18
Competition Group: Junior group 11-14 years old / Senior group 15-18 years old
Competition Website: https://bowseat.org/programs/ocean-awareness-contest/contest-overview/
The Betty Award Writing Competition is specifically designed for children between the ages of 8 and 12, with the aim of fostering their passion for writing and nurturing their imagination and creativity.
There are two competitions each year; one in the spring, and another in the autumn; children from all around the world are encouraged to participate. Entries should not exceed a length of 1,000 words. Students can freely choose the appropriate theme for their writing, as long as it is suitable for the specified age group. It can be in the form of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. It is important to note that all entries must be original and unpublished works.
Submission Deadline: May 4, 2024.
Suitable for students: Students worldwide aged 8-12
Competition Awards: 1ST – $300 USD / 2ND – $200 USD / 3RD – $100 USD
Competition Website: http://www.thebettyaward.com/
6. Tadpole Press 100-Word Writing Contest
Amber Byers, founder of Tadpole Press or the organizer of the competition, is an accomplished author, editor, and writing coach. Amber Byers has received recognition for her work, including winning the 2019 American Moonlight Children’s Book Gold Award for her book “Sophie and Spot.” Tadpole Press is dedicated to supporting writers in rediscovering their passion for writing, and helping them produce outstanding literary works.
In this competition, each entry must be limited to 100 words. There are no restrictions on the subject matter or the number of submissions. Additionally, the competition is open to contestants of any age, gender, or region.
Competition Timeline: The competition is currently open for submission until November 30
Competition Awards: 1st place: $2,000 USD. / 2nd place: Writing coaching package valued at $450 USD. / 3rd place: Developmental and diversity editing package valued at $250 USD.
Competition Website: https://www.tadpolepress.com/100-word-writing-contest
7. "It's All Write!" Teen Writing Contest
The Ann Arbor District Library is proud to announce the upcoming 31st annual “It’s All Write!” Teen Writing Contest, scheduled for Winter 2023. This contest is a highly anticipated event, and each year it attracts renowned Young Adult authors who serve as judges. These esteemed authors carefully read and select the winning stories from the submissions.
To ensure fair competition and appropriate recognition, the contest is divided into the following three groups based on age and grade level:
- Grades 6-8
- Grades 9-10
- Grades 11-12
In each group, the top three winners will be awarded generous prizes in recognition of their outstanding writing achievements.
Competition Timeline: January 9-March 5, 2023
Suitable for students: For 2023, the competition is open to Michigan residents only.
Competition Website: https://aadl.org/events/itsallwrite
8. EngineerGirl Engineer Girl Writing Contest
The Engineer Girls website organizes an annual competition that focuses on engineering and its impact on the world. The specific theme and detailed description of the competition are typically announced in September. Participants are then given several months to work on their submissions, as the deadline for entry is February 1 of the following year.
The awards and recognition for the competition are typically announced in the spring of the same year. This allows ample time for the judges to review the submissions and select the winners in each category.
The competition is divided into different groups based on the age and academic level of the participants. These groups are as follows:
- Elementary School (Grade 3-5)
- Middle School (Grade 6-8)
- High School (Grade 9-12)
For each grade level, students will receive different prompts for their writing submissions.
Competition Timeline: The 2023 competition closed in February, and the 2024 competition information has not yet been released.
Suitable for students: Students from all over the world in grades 3-12
Competition Website: https://www.engineergirl.org/148000/2023-Contest
Further Your Writing Skills with Aralia
Aralia is also offering various year-round preparation programs for writing competitions for teen and high school students, along with academic writing courses for students worldwide. Our teachers are more than regular tutors because we are committed to bringing the best personalized support for students’ growth.
This class is offered in the summer every year. Students from 13 to 18 years old wanting to learn how to shape their written English into effective and publishable creative pieces will find this particular Writing Competition course very exciting. The class will be shown a range of tools to learn the nuances of controlled, purposeful writing, including: figurative language, effective structuring and specific forms that they will apply to their own pieces.