If you are a high school student interested in sharing your writing with others, there are a variety of journalism competitions available to you. Most of the contests below are open to all high school students, though some are limited to juniors and seniors. You can find a contest for all types of writing: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, personal, etc. and each program will specify their accepted submissions. I encourage all of you to submit your writing to at least one of these competitions.
John F. Kennedy Poetry Contest
Submissions accepted: Poetry inspired by John F. Kennedy’s life: “submit a poem on the subject of John F. Kennedy in any number of facets – relating to his childhood in Massachusetts, his time at Harvard University, his role in the Navy, his positions in politics (including as Congressman, Senator and President) and his subsequent work with the Peace Corps, NASA and Civil Rights, his family life, etc. Poems need not directly name John F. Kennedy but must relate to his life and/or work.”
Deadline: October 6, 2017
Who can participate: middle and high school students
Award: High School Winner will receive $200, High School Runner Up $150, Middle School Winner $150 and Middle School Runner Up $100)
You can find out more information at http://www.masspoetry.org/jfk-poetry-contest
Bennington College Young Writers Award
Submissions accepted: poetry (group of three poems), fiction, and nonfiction (personal essay) fewer than 1500 words
Deadline: November 1 by mail or online
Who can participate? High school sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Award: First place – $500, Second place – $250
You can find more information here: http://www.bennington.edu/events/young-writers-awards
Write the World
Submissions accepted: Writing that follows the monthly topic and theme guidelines (ex: fantasy, sports journalism)
Deadline: Monthly opportunities
Who can participate? Young writers ages 13-18
Award: Winner receives $100, runner-up receives $50; featured on Write the World blog and receive expert feedback
Learn more here: https://writetheworld.com/competitions
National High School Essay Contest
Submissions accepted: 1000-1250 word essay in response to the prompt: “Identify two cases—one you deem successful and one you deem unsuccessful—where the U.S. pursued an integrated approach to build peace in a conflict-affected country. Analyze and compare these two cases, addressing the following questions:
What relative strengths did members of the Foreign Service and military actors bring to the table? What peacebuilding tools were employed? Ultimately, what worked or did not work in each case?
How was each situation relevant to U.S. national security interests?
What lessons may be drawn from these experiences for the pursuit of U.S. foreign policy more broadly?”
Deadline: March 15
Who can participate? Students in grades 9-12
Award: First place – $2500, trip to Washington D.C. to meet a member of the State Department’s leadership and a full scholarship for Semester at Sea; Second place – $1250, full scholarship to attend the International Diplomacy Program of the National Student Leader Conference
You can find more information here: http://www.afsa.org/essay-contest