HIR Academic Writing Contest

The HIR Harvard International Review Academic Writing Contest is founded by the Harvard International Review, a quarterly magazine covering insights on international affairs. The magazine has featured commentary by 43 Presidents and Prime Ministers, 4 Secretaries-General, 4 Nobel Economics Prize laureates, and 7 Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
Interested in the competition?
John Locke Essay Competition

Competition Overview

Grade 9 to 12 in the U.S, and international students
$40 USD (including 1-year HIR digital subscription)
Entry fee
January 2, 2024 (Fall 2023/Winter 2024)
Submission deadline
February 5, 2024
HIR Defense Day
July 31, 2024
Notification of short-listed essayists
September 21, 2024
Academic conference & awards dinners

Competition Details

1. Eligibility
United States: Students are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories, or if they are U.S. citizens/lawful permanent residents attending high school overseas.

International: Students outside of the United States are welcome to submit, and submission should be written in English and with traditional American spelling.

2. Contest format
Participants submit short-form articles on topics in international affairs, which are then read and graded by the Harvard International Review (HIR). Finalists are selected from these submissions and invited to participate in a virtual HIR Defense Day. During Defense Day, finalists give a 15-minute presentation and oral defense of their articles to HIR judges. Additionally, participants have the opportunity to attend special events related to international affairs.

3. Theme
2023 Theme: Technological Advancement and the World

4. Prizes
All submissions will receive a letter grade. Contestants who receive a passing grade without qualifying for a HIR Defense Day will receive a Commendation. Finalists will be eligible for the following medals based on their preliminary grade and performance on the HIR Defense Day.

Commendation: HIR Certificate

Bronze Medal: HIR Certificate and name listed on the website

Silver Medal: HIR Certificate, name listed on website, and 1-year HIR print subscription

Gold Medal: HIR Certificate, name, and paper linked on website and 2-year HIR print subscription

Submission details

All entries must be submitted by January 2, 2024.

1. Word Limit
The article must be around 800-1,200 words (not counting diagrams, data tables, or authorship declaration). 

2. Writing Style
Submissions must be analytically backed perspectives on an under-appreciated global topic. The HIR does not accept op-eds. 

3. Citations and Sources
All factual claims must be backed by a citation from a reliable source. All ideas that are not your own must be properly attributed.

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