New York Times Summer Reading Contest

Since 2010, the New York Times has held a summer reading competition for middle school and high school students from all over the world every summer. So far, more than 80,000 students have participated. The New York Times Summer Reading Contest invites students to choose something in The Times that has sparked their interest. At the end of every week, judges from the Times newsroom pick their favorite responses, and the winner’s work will be published in The NY Times. 
Interested in the competition?
New York Times Summer Reading Contest

Competition Overview

Middle and high school students
Entry fee
June 7 to August 16, 2024

Contest date

Every Tuesday during the contest
Results and winners are notified

Competition Details

1. 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 Friday from June 7, the NY Times will post a fresh version of this question: “What got your attention in The Times this week?” for students to respond accordingly until the following Friday.

WeekStart DateSubmission Deadline (9 am ET)
1June 7June 14
2June 14June 21
3June 21June 28
4June 28July 5
5July 5July 12
6July 12July 19
7July 19July 26
8July 26August 2
9August 2August 9
10August 9August 16

2. Eligibility and How to submit
If students are 13 to 19 in the United States and Britain—or 16 to 19 elsewhere in the world—they can submit by commenting on the post itself. If students are 13 to 15 anywhere in the world besides the United States and Britain, then a teacher, parent, or guardian should submit an entry on the student’s behalf using the form embedded at the bottom of each week’s post. Students who are directly related to New York Times employees or live in the same household as those employees are not eligible to enter this contest.

3. Results
The results will be announced every Tuesday during the contest.

4. Prizes
Having your work published on The Learning Network.

How Will Your Work Be Judged?

Response explains how the Times piece connects to the writer’s own life, interests, questions, or concerns, and explores the relationship between the reader and the topic or text.

Response traces aspects of the writer’s thinking while engaging with the text. This may include details of what the writer noticed and wondered, connections made, emotional reactions, critiques of the piece, and more.

Via the use of quotes or references to specific details from the text, response shows evidence that the writer read closely, and reacted to new or notable information or ideas.

Response is written in a natural
and engaging voice and uses language, style, and tone appropriate to its purpose. Features correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation

Submission follows all contest guidelines. 

Submission Guideline

All entries must be submitted by August 16, 2024

1. Written Response Guideline

  • Responses must be 1,500 characters or about 250 words.
  • Ensure to include the URL or headline of the Times piece you have chosen. For example, “The Joys and Challenges of Caring for Terrance the Octopus” or Yes, this is included in the word count.

2. Video Response Guideline

  • The video should be vertical (looks like TikTok or Instagram Reels) 
  • The video should be 90 seconds or fewer
  • In the video, please say or show the headline of the Times piece you are discussing. And your video may not use any images, video clips, music, or sound effects other than those that appear in the Times piece you are discussing or what you create yourself. 
  • Don’t include anyone else in the video 

3. Submission Preference

  • Students should not focus on a particular subject. Whatever the response, students must make personal connections to the news and discuss the broader questions and ideas that the topic raises.
  • Students can participate as often as every week, but please limit to one submission per person per week. 

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