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18 Writing Contests for High School Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

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18 Writing Contests for High School Students

If you’re a high school student passionate about writing, entering writing contests can open many doors. These contests do more than showcase your talent; they offer potential scholarships, publication opportunities, and recognition that can make you stand out in the college admissions process. Participating helps you sharpen your writing skills and shows college admissions officers your dedication, creativity, and ability to excel in your field.

Here’s a list of 19 writing contests tailored for high school students, giving you the opportunity to shine and strengthen your higher education applications.

1. American Foreign Service National High School Essay Contest

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Contest Dates: Accepting applications from October 2, 2023
  • Application Deadline: April 1, 2024, at 11:59 PM EDT
  • Eligibility: Open to students in grades 9-12 attending a U.S. high school or equivalent. Eligible students include those in the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and U.S. citizens attending high school overseas. Students whose parents are not in the Foreign Service can also participate if they meet the location criteria.

The American Foreign Service National High School Essay Contest offers a unique opportunity for high school students to engage in a critical analysis of international relations and U.S. foreign policy. Participants are tasked with writing an essay that demonstrates a clear understanding of the Foreign Service and its role in the global arena. The contest requires essays to be at least 1,000 words but not exceed 1,500 words. Submissions will be judged on analysis, research quality, and writing mechanics. Essays should follow the MLA Handbook guidelines and use a variety of sources, including academic journals, news articles, books, and government documents, ensuring at least three primary sources.

A student writing her essays

This contest distinguishes itself by emphasizing analytical skills, research quality, and writing style. It encourages participants to explore and understand the complex world of international diplomacy and foreign affairs. Winning this contest comes with prestigious awards, including a $2,500 cash prize, an all-expense-paid trip to the nation’s capital, and a voyage courtesy of Semester at Sea. The runner-up receives $1,250 and full tuition for a summer session of the National Student Leadership Conference. Participation in this contest not only offers significant rewards but also enhances your college application, demonstrating your ability to engage with complex topics and conduct thorough research. The skills developed through this contest, including critical thinking, effective communication, and a deep understanding of international relations, are highly beneficial for academic and career advancement in a wide range of fields.

2. Engineer Girl Essay Contest

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Contest Dates: Topic and instructions were posted in September, with the contest running until February 1st.
  • Application Deadline: February 1, 2024, by 11:59 pm ET
  • Eligibility: Open globally to girls in grades 3-12 (ages 8-18).

The Engineer Girl Essay Contest is an annual event that encourages girls to explore the intersection of engineering and writing. For the 2024 contest, participants are asked to write about the lifecycle of an everyday object, showcasing their understanding of engineering concepts and their ability to communicate these ideas effectively. This exercise pushes contestants to think about how objects are made, used, and disposed of, and to consider the engineering processes involved in each stage of the object’s lifecycle. The contest, a standout among writing contests for high school students, fosters a deeper appreciation for the role of engineering in daily life and promotes critical thinking about sustainability and environmental impact.

A young woman using a laptop while writing on her table.

This contest stands out by empowering young girls to engage with engineering topics, a field where women are traditionally underrepresented. It provides a space for girls to express their creativity and understanding of engineering through writing, bridging the gap between technical subjects and the arts. Winning this contest can significantly enhance college applications, demonstrating the participant’s ability to apply scientific concepts in a practical and thoughtful manner. It also helps in developing research and analytical skills, which are essential for academic success in any field. By participating in the Engineer Girl Essay Contest, girls not only expand their knowledge of engineering but also gain confidence in their ability to succeed in STEM-related fields.

 3. Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) Awards

  • Location:  Online (Columbia University)
  • Cost: Free for the Gold Circle Awards; Crown Awards included in Regular or Associate Membership fees
  • Contest Dates:  Guidelines for the 2024 CSPA Awards have not been announced
  • Application Deadline:  Guidelines for the 2024 CSPA Awards have not been announced
  • 
Eligibility: CSPA membership required. Open to middle/junior high schools, high schools, and colleges/universities in the U.S., Canada, and international schools with American or Canadian accreditation. Specific eligibility varies between Crown and Gold Circle Awards.

The CSPA Awards, comprising the Crown Awards and the Gold Circle Awards, are prestigious honors celebrating excellence in student publications. The Crown Awards recognize outstanding student newspapers, magazines, yearbooks, and digital/broadcast media published during the academic year. Entries are judged on their excellence as shown by their design, photography, concept, coverage, and writing. The Gold Circle Awards are individual honors for student journalists contributing to their school’s publications. These awards span various categories, including writing, editing, design, photography, and multimedia, allowing students to showcase their talents in specific aspects of journalism and publication design.

A student writing on his desk.

What sets the CSPA Awards apart is their comprehensive recognition of both collective and individual achievements in scholastic journalism and media. These awards provide an opportunity for students and advisers to showcase their creativity, journalistic skills, and dedication to producing high-quality publications. Participating in the CSPA Awards is not only an honor but also a valuable learning experience. Students receive professional feedback, helping them improve their journalism and design skills. This recognition and experience are impressive additions to college applications, demonstrating the students’ commitment to excellence in journalism and media arts. For advisers, the awards acknowledge their impactful mentorship, enhancing their professional credentials. Overall, the CSPA Awards foster a culture of excellence in scholastic journalism, encouraging students and advisers to strive for the highest standards in their work.

4. Letters About Literature Contest

  • Location:  Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Contest Dates: Entries typically begin in November each year
  • Application Deadline: January 29, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students in grades 4-12 in the United States. Participants are required to read a book, poem, or speech and write a letter to the author (living or deceased) about how the work personally affected them.

The Letters About Literature Contest is a unique reading and writing competition that invites students in grades 4 through 12 to deeply engage with literature. Participants select a book, poem, or speech and write a letter to the author explaining how the text impacted them on a personal level. This exercise encourages students to reflect on their reading experiences and articulate their feelings and thoughts in a meaningful way. Letters are judged at state and national levels, providing opportunity for young readers and writers to gain recognition for their insights and expressive abilities.

A woman taking an exam

What makes the Letters About Literature Contest stand out is its focus on the personal connection between reader and writer. Unlike typical writing contests that may emphasize creative or academic writing skills, this contest delves into the personal impact of literature, fostering a deeper appreciation for reading among participants. The contest’s format helps students develop empathy and reflective thinking, skills that are invaluable in both academic and personal growth. Winning state-level participants receive a $250 award, adding a tangible incentive to the contest. Participation in this contest can be a notable addition to college applications, showcasing a student’s engagement with literature and their ability to express complex thoughts and emotions in writing. It encourages a lifelong love for reading and writing, laying a strong foundation for future academic and professional endeavors in the humanities and beyond.

5. Goi Peace Foundation International Essay Contest for Young People

  • Location:  Online (based in Japan)
  • Cost: Free
  • Contest Dates: Guidelines for the 2024 International Essay Contest for Young People will be announced by mid-February 2024.
  • Application Deadline: Guidelines for the 2024 International Essay Contest for Young People will be announced by mid-February 2024.
  • Eligibility: Open globally to young people up to 25 years old, divided into two categories: children (up to 14 years old) and youth (15-25 years old)

The Goi Peace Foundation International Essay Contest for Young People is an annual global competition that invites young minds to explore themes of peace and sustainability. Each year, the contest focuses on a specific theme, encouraging participants to reflect and write about creating a better world. For instance, the theme for the 2023 contest was “Youth Creating a Peaceful Future.” This contest gives young people the opportunity to articulate their ideas and visions for a more harmonious and sustainable future. The winners receive a certificate of commendation from Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, along with a special gift.

a young college student writing while on online class

This contest stands out for its global reach and focus on critical contemporary themes such as peace and sustainability. It encourages young writers to think deeply about global issues and their role in addressing them. Participation in this contest can be a significant addition to college applications, demonstrating a commitment to global issues and the ability to think critically and creatively about solutions. It offers young people a chance to contribute to important global dialogues and to be recognized on an international stage for their ideas. The contest not only fosters writing skills but also promotes global awareness and a sense of responsibility towards creating a peaceful, sustainable future. The experience and recognition gained from this contest can inspire and empower young individuals to continue their efforts to make positive changes in the world.

6. Apprentice Writer Contest

  • Location: Susquehanna University
  • Cost: Free
  • 
Contest Dates: Guidelines for the 2024 contest are currently unspecified
  • Application Deadline: Guidelines for the 2024 contest are currently unspecified
  • Eligibility: Open to high school students in grades 9 to 12

The Apprentice Writer contest, held at Susquehanna University and overseen by the Writer’s Institute, offers a stage for high school students to showcase their writing and artistic talents. This annual competition focuses on capturing the creativity and skill of young writers and illustrators, providing an opportunity for them to get their work published in an esteemed journal. The contest covers various genres and styles, allowing students to express themselves in diverse literary and artistic formats. Aspiring writers and artists in high school are encouraged to submit their best work, which is then evaluated by a panel of judges with professional expertise.

Close up of a woman writing in a notebook.

What sets The Apprentice Writer contest apart is its association with Susquehanna University and the Writer’s Institute, institutions renowned for their commitment to fostering literary talent. Being published in the annual journal of The Apprentice Writer not only serves as a significant accolade for young creators but also offers an early start in building a portfolio of published work. This recognition can be instrumental in college applications, highlighting a student’s dedication to and proficiency in writing and art. Furthermore, participation in this writing contest helps high school students refine their skills, receive valuable feedback from established professionals, and gain confidence in their creative abilities. The experience gained from this contest can be a stepping stone to further opportunities in writing and art, setting the foundation for a successful academic and professional journey in the creative fields.

7. NCTE Recognizing Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines (REALM) Award

  • Location:  Online
  • 
Cost: $25 entry fee (waived for first-time submissions)
  • Contest Dates: Guidelines for the 2024 
 REALM Award have not been announced
  • Application Deadline: Guidelines for the 2024 
REALM Award have not been announced
  • Eligibility: Open to all middle and secondary schools, colleges, and universities that are US accredited. Magazines submitted must have been published between September of the previous year and June of the entry year. Newspapers and yearbooks are not eligible.

The REALM program is designed to honor and acknowledge outstanding literary magazines created by students under the guidance of their teachers. It serves as a national platform for recognizing the artistry and skill involved in producing student literary magazines. The contest requires digital submissions of a school’s magazine, ensuring a broad range of participation. The evaluation process involves a point system, where magazines are judged and awarded based on their total points, falling into categories such as REALM First Class, Superior, Excellent, Distinguished, and Honorable Mention. This comprehensive judging system ensures a fair and thorough assessment of each submission.

Close up shot of young woman writing notes with classmates studying in background.

The REALM Award stands out for its emphasis on the creative and editorial skills of students in the realm of literary publication. Participation in this contest not only fosters a love for literature and arts among students but also cultivates skills in writing, editing, and magazine production. Receiving recognition through the REALM program can significantly enhance the profile of the school’s literary magazine, serving as a testament to the quality of the student’s work and the school’s commitment to supporting the arts. For students, such an accolade is a valuable addition to their academic portfolio, reflecting their creative abilities and dedication to literary arts. This recognition can be advantageous for college applications, demonstrating involvement in and contribution to significant extracurricular activities. The REALM Award, therefore, not only celebrates student achievement but also nurtures future writers, editors, and literary enthusiasts.

8. One Teen Story Contest

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Contest Dates: Guidelines for the 2024
 One Teen Story Contest have not been announced
  • Application Deadline: Guidelines for the 2024
 One Teen Story Contest have not been announced
  • 
Eligibility: Open to writers aged 13-19 worldwide, with a limit of one story submission per writer

The One Teen Story contest is an international writing competition specifically designed for young writers between the ages of 13 and 19. This contest provides a unique opportunity for teenagers to showcase their storytelling skills through short stories. Participants are encouraged to submit original, unpublished stories. The focus of the contest is on fiction that resonates with both teenage writers and readers, offering a chance for young authors to have their voices heard on a global stage. The winning stories are selected based on originality, narrative coherence, character development, and overall impact.

Young woman writing essay on the table.

What sets the One Teen Story contest apart is its commitment to nurturing young literary talent. Winning stories are published in “One Teen Story,” a magazine that reaches over ten thousand readers, providing significant exposure for emerging young writers. Additionally, winners receive a prize of $500 and 25 copies of the magazine issue featuring their story. This opportunity not only rewards creativity but also introduces young writers to the publishing world. Working with a One Teen Story editor prior to publication is an invaluable learning experience, offering insights into the editorial process and professional writing standards. For college applications, this accolade is a powerful testament to a student’s writing abilities and dedication to their craft. Participation in this contest can ignite a passion for writing and storytelling, laying the groundwork for future literary pursuits and academic successes.

9. Polyphony Lit

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Varies; free for the annual volume and some seasonal contests, others cost $5
(application fee)
  • Contest Dates: Vary depending on the contest; for example, the Polyphony Lit Winter Contest typically starts on January 1st, and the Fall Contest runs from September 1st to October 31st
  • Application Deadline: Varies; the Polyphony Lit Winter Contest is February 29th or until a maximum of 200 submissions is reached
  • Eligibility: Open to high school students globally, with specific writer qualifications varying by contest

Polyphony Lit offers a series of literary contests for high school students across the globe, focusing on poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Each submission is meticulously read and evaluated by an international editorial team comprising over 150 high school students. The contest cycles include various seasonal competitions and an annual volume submission period. The contest allows young writers to showcase their literary talents and gain recognition in the international literary community.

a female student writing essay for college admission while listening to music

The Polyphony Lit contest is unique in its global reach and its editorial process, which involves high school students from around the world. This peer-review system not only ensures a fair and relatable evaluation process but also fosters a sense of community among young writers. Winners of the contest receive the prestigious Polyphony Lit Writing Award, publication in the annual volume, a full scholarship for Polyphony’s editor training course, and eligibility for the Claudia Ann Seaman Awards. These accolades provide substantial recognition and can significantly enhance college applications, demonstrating a commitment to and achievement in creative writing. Participation in the contest also offers invaluable experience in the world of literary publishing and editing, equipping young writers with skills that are beneficial for both academic and future career endeavors in writing and beyond.

10. Teen Ink 

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Contest Dates: Guidelines for the 2024
 Teen Ink Writing Contest have not been announced
  • Application Deadline: Guidelines for the 2024
 Teen Ink Writing Contest have not been announced
  • Eligibility: Open to students ages 13 to 19 attending middle or high school globally

The Teen Ink contest, recognized as one of the premier writing contests for high school students, encourages young writers and artists aged 13 to 19 to submit their best work across various creative categories. This online contest is designed to publish exceptional works by teens in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, art, photography, and reviews. It provides an opportunity for high school students from around the globe to share their creativity, thoughts, and perspectives with a wider audience. Each submission is a chance to contribute to the rich collage of Teen Ink’s magazine content, which is celebrated for its diversity and depth.

a man sitting on the floor with his a laptop and notebook on his legs

What sets Teen Ink apart is its broad scope and inclusive nature, offering a venue for a wide array of artistic and literary expressions. The contest celebrates the voices of young creators, offering them publication opportunities in a magazine that has already featured the works of over 55,000 teens. Winning or being published in Teen Ink can be a significant feather in the cap of any young creator, providing not just the thrill of seeing their work in print, but also the validation of their talents. Such achievements can bolster college applications, showcasing a student’s commitment to and aptitude for their chosen art or literary form. In addition, the collaborative and competitive aspects of Teen Ink contests promote growth, resilience, and a sense of community among participants, all of which are invaluable traits for personal and academic success.

11. The Emerson Prize

  • Location: Worldwide
  • Cost:  Entry fee ranging from $70 to $150, based on the subscription type chosen.
  • Contest dates: Rolling admissions
  • Application Deadline: Rolling admissions; specific issues deadlines are February 1 (Summer), May 1 (Fall), August 1 (Winter), and November 1 (Spring)
  • Eligibility: High school students who have authored a history research paper.

The Emerson Prize is a distinguished annual award granted to high school students who have demonstrated exceptional historical scholarship through their research papers published in The Concord Review. As a celebration of scholarly excellence, it recognizes young historians who contribute original research and thoughtful analysis to the discourse of history. The essays cover a wide array of topics, showcasing the writers’ dedication to uncovering and presenting historical truths.

a male student studying inside his room

The Emerson Prize elevates the importance of historical study among high school students, spotlighting those who go above and beyond in their academic endeavors. Recipients of the prize not only receive national recognition but are also awarded $1,000, affirming the value of their scholarly contributions. This accolade can be a pivotal advantage for college admissions, underscoring a student’s capability for in-depth research and academic writing. It also signals to colleges the student’s readiness for the rigors of undergraduate study and potential for future scholarly work. Beyond the immediate recognition, the prize encourages a lifelong pursuit of historical understanding and critical thinking, fostering a foundation that benefits students in any field they choose to pursue.

12. NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Contest Dates: Accepting applications from August 29, 2023
  • Application Deadline: February 15, 2024
  • Eligibility: 10th and 11th-grade students in the United States and Canada

The NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing is a distinguished program designed to recognize the writing talents of 10th and 11th-grade students and to encourage their growth as writers. With the contest prompt released on August 29, 2023, students are invited to brainstorm, draft, and refine their submissions until the February deadline. The submissions are evaluated on a variety of criteria including content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, structure, development, and style. This comprehensive review process ensures a fair and merit-based assessment of each student’s writing.

A person writing with a pile of books beside them

What sets the NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing apart is its status as a school-based recognition program, underlining the educational community’s role in nurturing young writers. Students who earn the Certificate of Superior Writing/First Class distinction gain national recognition, with their names and states published on the NCTE website. This recognition can enhance a student’s academic portfolio, reflecting their dedication and skill in writing—an asset for college applications. The emphasis on varied elements of writing also prepares students for the demanding writing tasks they will face in higher education and beyond, fostering a skill set that is critical for academic success across disciplines.

13. Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Contest Dates: Specific submission dates for the 2023-2024 contest have not been mentioned
  • Application Deadline: October 31, 2023
  • Eligibility: 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students in public, private, parochial schools, home-schooled, and dependents of U.S. military or civilian personnel in overseas schools

The Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest is a youth essay competition that inspires middle school students to reflect on American history and their own experiences to express their ideas based on a patriotic theme. Participants are tasked with writing a 300 to 400-word essay, typed in English with black ink, to articulate their views under the guidance of the annual theme set by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. The essays must adhere to strict guidelines, including word count and anonymity, to ensure a level playing field. Contestants must also submit three typed copies of their essay along with the official entry form.

A person writing on a notebook

The Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest distinguishes itself with its patriotic emphasis, motivating students to engage critically with their national heritage and the principles of American society. It offers significant rewards, including a $5,000 national first-place prize, and a minimum of $500 for each first-place state winner, fostering academic motivation and recognition. Participation in this contest can be an impressive addition to educational credentials, signalling a student’s ability to think critically and write clearly about complex themes. For many young students, the contest provides their first experience with a national competition, laying a foundation for future academic pursuits and instilling a sense of national pride and responsibility.

14. Profile in Courage Essay Contest

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Contest Dates: Submissions open on September 1, 2023
  • Application Deadline: January 12, 2024
  • Eligibility: U.S. high school students in grades 9-12 attending public, private, parochial, or home schools; U.S. students under 20 in high school correspondence/GED programs; U.S. citizens attending schools overseas.

The Profile in Courage Essay Contest challenges high school students to write an essay on a U.S. elected official who demonstrated political courage past 1917, the year of John F. Kennedy’s birth. The essay must explore an act of bold leadership on a pressing issue at any level of government — local, state, national, or international. Students are asked to provide an in-depth analysis of their chosen act of political courage, discussing the implications and the impact of the official’s actions.

A person writing on their notebook

Standing out for its focus on political courage and historical analysis, the Profile in Courage Essay Contest provides an enriching educational experience that extends beyond the classroom. It encourages students to delve into the complexities of governance and ethics, fostering critical thinking and an appreciation for civic responsibility. The contest offers substantial awards, with the first-place winner receiving $10,000, and additional significant prizes for runners-up and finalists. The recognition from such a prestigious writing contest can be a remarkable asset for college applications, highlighting high school students’ research skills and ability to engage with historical and contemporary political issues. Winners also have the honor of attending the Profile in Courage Award ceremony, providing a unique opportunity to connect with leaders and be part of a community that values courage and integrity in public service.

15. Stone Soup Contests

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Contest Dates: Guidelines for the 2024
 Stone Soup Contests have not been announced
  • Application Deadline: Guidelines for the 2024
 Stone Soup Contests have not been announced
  • Eligibility: Varies by contest; the Annual Book Contest 2022 was open to individuals aged 14 or under, and there are specific contests for upcoming college students.

Stone Soup, the esteemed literary magazine for young writers and artists, holds various contests throughout the year, such as the Annual Book Contest and writing contests for college-bound students. These competitions seek to discover and celebrate the talents of young creators in genres, including short stories, poetry, personal essays, and artwork. Each contest comes with its own theme and guidelines, offering young creators multiple opportunities to showcase their skills and creativity.

a female student studying outside with her laptop on her lap

What distinguishes the Stone Soup contests is their commitment to fostering the artistic and literary development of young people. The contests provide a respected outlet for publication, which can be a significant milestone in a young creator’s life. Having work published in Stone Soup can be a strong point of interest in college applications, indicating a student’s dedication to their craft and ability to achieve at a competitive level. Beyond the honor of publication, the contests offer experience with the submission and editorial process, which is valuable for any budding writer or artist. Participation also encourages discipline and creativity, which are important skills for academic success and personal growth.

16. We the Students Essay Contest

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: Free
  • Contest Dates: Submissions typically open in the fall
  • Application Deadline: February 14, 2024
  • Eligibility: Students in grades 8-12 attending public, private, religious, or charter schools, enrolled in a GED or correspondence school program, or participating in a home school program in the United States and its territories

The “We the Students Essay Contest” is a prestigious annual competition hosted by the Bill of Rights Institute, designed to engage U.S. students in grades 8 through 12 in thoughtful reflections on the principles of the Constitution. Participants are tasked with crafting compelling essays on topics related to civic understanding and the role of the Constitution in the contemporary United States. The contest provides the opportunity for students to articulate their insights and demonstrate their understanding of the importance of the Bill of Rights and the founding principles of American governance.

A person wearing a red shirt is writing on a notebook.

The contest is distinguished by its emphasis on civic education and the encouragement of students to critically analyze and discuss key constitutional concepts. Winning this contest comes with substantial awards, with the first-place winner receiving $7,500 and a scholarship to attend the Constitutional Academy in Washington, D.C. Such an achievement can be instrumental in college applications, highlighting students’ engagement with complex historical and governmental topics and their ability to express informed opinions. Participation in the contest not only bolsters students’ credentials but also enriches their understanding of American democracy, a knowledge base that is valuable in academic pursuits and as active citizens.

17. American Scholastic Press Assn (ASPA) Yearbook and Newspaper Contest

  • Location: Online
  • Cost: $100 for yearbooks, $60 for newspapers
  • Contest Dates: Submissions for 2024 Yearbooks and Magazines accepted in Summer and Fall 2024
  • Application Deadline: The 2024 deadline has not 
been announced
  • Eligibility: Open to schools in the United States and its territories that publish yearbooks or newspapers

The ASPA Yearbook and Newspaper Contest is an annual event dedicated to celebrating and recognizing excellence in scholastic publishing. Schools across the United States and its territories are invited to submit their yearbooks and newspapers for critique and assessment. The contest aims to evaluate the quality of student journalism and design, offering categories that cover a broad spectrum of school publication activities. It gives students an opportunity to showcase their journalistic talents, editorial skills, and creativity in both print and digital formats.

A woman with a laptop in front is writing on a notebook.

The ASPA contest stands out for its comprehensive evaluation process, which offers valuable feedback sensitive to school budgetary concerns. This feedback helps schools improve their publications and encourages high standards in scholastic journalism. The recognition from winning an ASPA award can significantly enhance the profile of a school’s publication team, demonstrating a commitment to excellence in journalism and publication design. For high school students, participating in this writing contest can be instrumental in college applications, as it showcases their involvement in significant extracurricular activities and their ability to collaborate on complex projects. The skills developed through participation—writing, editing, design, and teamwork—are invaluable for academic and professional success. Additionally, the contest fosters a sense of pride and accomplishment among student journalists and can inspire them to pursue careers in journalism, media, and related fields.

18. Quill and Scroll Yearbook Excellence Contests

  • Location: United States and its territories
  • Cost: Each entry is $7
  • Contest dates: Typically opens for submissions in the fall (specific dates for the 2024 contest not mentioned)
  • Application Deadline: The 2024 deadline has not 
been announced
  • Eligibility: Open to schools in the United States and its territories that publish yearbooks

The Quill and Scroll Yearbook Excellence Contests are designed to honor and celebrate superior yearbook design and coverage by schools across the United States and its territories. This contest provides a platform for students and educators to showcase their yearbook programs, focusing on various aspects of yearbook production, such as design, photography, and editorial content. Participation in these contests offers an opportunity for schools to have their yearbook evaluated against high standards, encouraging excellence in scholastic journalism and publication design.

 

What sets the Quill and Scroll Yearbook Excellence Contests apart is their focus on both the overall yearbook program and individual achievements within yearbook production. This dual approach allows for recognition of comprehensive team efforts as well as individual talent in various aspects of yearbook creation. Winning these contests or receiving critiques can significantly benefit a school’s yearbook program, offering insights for improvement and recognition for excellence. Participating in writing contests for high school students can be particularly advantageous for those interested in careers in journalism, design, or related fields, as it showcases their practical experience and achievements. Participation in the contests can also enhance college applications, demonstrating involvement in significant extracurricular activities and the ability to work collaboratively on complex projects. Furthermore, these contests foster a sense of pride and accomplishment in students, motivating them to continue striving for excellence in their creative and journalistic endeavors.

In conclusion, these 18 writing contests provide high school students with a remarkable opportunity to cultivate their writing skills, gain recognition, and potentially earn scholarships and other rewards. Participating in these contests not only prepares students for the challenges of college-level writing but also adds significant value to their college applications, showcasing their talents and commitment to their craft. Whether aspiring to a career in journalism, creative writing, or any other field, these contests are a stepping stone toward achieving academic and professional goals.

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