The Ultimate Guide to Writing Competitions for High School Students

Updated: Feb 10


Creative writing is often not taught formally until the college-level, and yet so many students are drawn to it far earlier than that. In Sky Admission's writing competitions class, students can develop and strengthen their creative writing skills -- be it fiction, life writing, poetry, drama, or even nontraditional essay writing -- through personalized lessons designed to hone their craft. We match students with regional and national writing competitions we think they can succeed in, and then work with them every step of the way to develop, write, and revise their pieces for submission. Writing exercises aimed at generating content and developing the stream of consciousness essential for long-form writing are conducted, as are intensive revision workshops and lessons on particular elements of craft. An extremely important part of any creative class, and a staple of ours, is the intensive reading and deconstructing of published, successful pieces of writing; each week, we take a look at model examples, breaking them down to see what we can learn from them, and how we can adapt their lessons for our own writing. This class is suitable for anyone at the high school level who has an interest in creative writing and is willing and able to make time for creative work alongside regular schoolwork.


We've compiled the ultimate list of writing competitions that high school students can participate all throughout the year! Take a few minutes to see any of them suit your interests and get prepare to see some motivational work!


  1. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

  2. YoungArts' National Arts Competition

  3. American Foreign Service High School Essay Contest

  4. John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

  5. Bennington Young Writers Awards

  6. Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition

  7. The Princeton Ten-Minute Play Contest

  8. Princeton University Poetry Contest for High School Students

  9. Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest

  10. The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

  11. Jane Austen Society Essay Contest

  12. SPJ / JEA High School Essay Contest

  13. We the Students Essay Contest

  14. The Voice of Democracy Audio-Essay Contest

  15. The Ocean Awareness Contest

  16. Engineer Girl Annual Essay Contest

  17. NCTE Student Writing Awards

  18. Patriot's Pen Contest

  19. Rachel Carson Intergenerational Sense of Wonder / Sense of the Wild Contest

  20. PTA Reflection's Contest

  21. GPA Writing Contest for Scifi and More

  22. World Historian Student Essay Competition

  23. 100,000,000 Words Writing Contest

  24. Inkitt Midsummer Mystery Contest

  25. Accenti Writing Contest

  26. Storyathon

  27. WOW Women on Writing Flash Fiction Contest / Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

  28. Autumn Writing Competition

  29. The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing

  30. Sarton Women's Book Awards

  31. Drue Heinz Literature Prize

  32. Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize

  33. Miami Book Fair / De Groot Prize

  34. Write the World

  35. Servicescape Short Story Award

  36. Narrative Prize

  37. Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) Awards

  38. National Scholastic Press Association Competitions

  39. Quill and Scroll Writing, Photo, and Multimedia Contest

  40. Robert F. Kennedy Book and Journalism Awards

  41. The Adroit Prizes for Poetry and Prose

  42. The Bennington Young Writers Awards

  43. The Claudia Ann Seaman Award for Young Writers

  44. Elizabeth Bishop Prizes in Verse and Fiction

  45. Davidson Fellows Awards

  46. Manningham Student Poetry Awards

  47. Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest

  48. NaNoWriMo

  49. National Youth Foundation Student Book Scholars

  50. Ocean Awareness Student Contest

  51. OdysseyCon Flash Fiction/Prose Poetry Contest

  52. The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

  53. Princeton University Writing Contests

  54. Reflections Program

  55. River of Words Poetry and Art Contest

  56. Torrance Legacy Creative Writing Awards

  57. VSA Playwright Discovery Competition

  58. Writopia Lab Worldwide Plays Festival

  59. American Foreign Service National High School Essay Contest

  60. Engineer Girl Essay Contest

  61. Goi Peace Foundation International Essay Contest for Young People

  62. Voice of Democracy Contest

  63. Profile in Courage Essay Contest

  64. Daphne Review


Update as of May 24, 2021


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