One of the best ways to instill a love of writing in students is to take it out of the academic context and towards something more personal and meaningful. While we encourage students to enter for fun, we also love to see them win — take a look at a few recent winners from Principia below, as well as some upcoming contests.

Recent Winners

Morgan Phelps, TJSST

2019 DC Metro Scholastic Art + Writing Contest

Gold Key Award

for her Short Story, “Liar Liar”

Brian Kim, McLean High School

2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Contest

National Gold Medal Award
DC Metro Gold Key Award

for his Critical Essay, Rating, Profits, and Fear: How a 41-Year Old Film Predicted the Role of the Media in the 21st Century

Gia Shin, Tenafly Middle School

2019 Northeast Scholastic Writing Contest

Gold Key Award

for her Critical Essay, “Seeking Solitude”

Ejun Kim, Madeira School

2018 DC Metro Scholastic Art & Writing Contest

Gold Key Award

for her Personal Essay/Memoir, Cracked Animals

Grace Jeong, Northridge High

2019 Southeast Scholastic Writing Contest

Gold Key Award

for her Short Story, “The Sus on the Operating Table”

Jonathan Lloyd, Rye School (NY)

Bill of Rights Institute
"We the Students" Essay Contest 2017-2018

$1,250 Prize

for his critical essay, We the Students


Senior Division, Honorable Mention

The Sejong Cultural Society
2018 Writing Contest 

Check out these upcoming Writing Contests and reach out to us if you'd like to enter!


Arkansas International Emerging Writer’s Prize

   The University of Arkansas Program in Creative Writing & Translation biannual publication, The Arkansas International, is devoted to supporting writers and translators. Their writing competition, The Arkansas International Emerging Writer’s Prize, will award $1,000 plus a publication to the best single prose work not exceeding 7,500 words. All writers in the United States who haven’t published a full-length book, and who have no book forthcoming May 1, 2020, are eligible to submit.

Eligibility:  All Ages
Deadline: October 2019


Stone Soup Submissions

   Stone Soup is a literary magazine and website written and illustrated by kids ages 13 and younger. They welcome submissions from all around the world. Although this is not a contest, this is an opportunity for your work to be published! Entrants whose work is accepted will receive a free copy of Stone Soup Annual for the year their work appears.

Eligibility:  Ages 13 and younger
Deadline:  No deadline, happens all year long.


Bennington Young Writers Awards

   Bennington College invites high schoolers from 10th to 12th grade to enter their annual Young Writers Awards contest. Bennington College faculty and students will judge submissions in the categories of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. First-place winners in each category win $500 and second-place winners win $250.

Eligibility:  10th, 11th, and 12th graders
Deadline:  November 1st, 2019


Scholastic Art & Writing Awards 2019

   The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers is a non-profit organization that holds this annual contest to recognize students with remarkable artistic and literary talent. Students in all states may submit their work in several different categories for a chance to win scholarships.

Eligibility:  Grades 7 - 12
Contest is open on September 2019.
Deadline:  December 2019


Bayou Magazine’s James Knudsen Prize for Fiction

   The University of New Orleans publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by both famous and emerging writers in their biannual Bayou Magazine. Named after the university’s former Director of the Creative Writing Workshop, the James Knudsen Prize for Fiction contest is open to anyone of all ages. Critically acclaimed author Marcy Dermanksy will judge all entries, and the winner will receive $1,000 plus a one-year subscription to Bayou Magazine. One great thing about this contest is that you can enter more than one submission - that means multiple chances to win!

Eligibility:  Anyone who is not a student/alumnus of UNO
Deadline:  January 1, 2020


Bayou Magazine’s Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry

   Bayou Magazine holds another writing contest, the Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry, named after their Poetry Editor. The winner will also receive $1,000 plus a year subscription to the magazine. This year the esteemed poet Danielle Pafunda will judge all entries.

Eligibility:  Anyone who is not a student/alumnus of UNO
Deadline:  January 1, 2020


JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest

   The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to America's 35th president, and welcomes students and scholars to conduct research using their collection of historical materials. The Musuem also holds many programs, including the annual JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest. Based on JFK's Profiles in Courage, the contest challenges students to write about an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1917, the year JFK was born.

Eligibility:  9th through 12th graders
Deadline:  January 17, 2020


Bill of Rights Institute - We the Students Essay Contest 2019

   The Bill of Rights Institute is a non-profit organization that creates many educational resources and programs, including their annual We the Students Essay Contest. Applicants are required to submit an essay that answers all of the contest's questions and sub-questions. Judges will review the entries, and select finalists and winners of generous scholarship prizes.

Eligibility:  Grades 8 - 12, Ages 14-19
Contest launches on Constitution Day, which is September 17, 2018.
Deadline:  February 14, 2019


Reedsy Writing Prompts Inspired Short Story Contest

   Reedsy is a website that delivers writing prompts to subscribers’ inboxes every Friday. Each week they hold a Short Story Contest in which anyone can submit a shorty story inspired by one of their writing prompts for a chance to win $50 and be featured on their blog.

Eligibility:  All ages
Deadline:  No deadline, happens year-round


The U.S. Institute of Peace - 2019 National Essay Contest

   The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) partner every year to hold their National Essay Contest, which is now in it's 21st year! High schoolers must submit an essay related to peace and conflict. The first place winner will receive $2,500; an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the winner and his/her parents to meet U.S. Department of State and USIP leadership; and an all-expense paid voyage with Semester at Sea. The runner-up will receive $1,250 and full tuition to a summer session at National Student Leadership Conference's International Diplomacy Program.

Eligibility:  9th through 12th graders
Deadline:  March 2020


Polyphony Lit - Claudia Ann Seaman Awards

   Polyphony Lit is an international magazine run by high school writers and editors. Each year they hold the Claudia Ann Seaman Awards for high schoolers anywhere in the world to submit poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction.

Eligibility:  High school student
Deadline:  May 31, 2020

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