Just for Fun

(and maybe glory!)

It feels great to reach a personal goal, and it's also nice when someone else recognizes your accomplishment. Motivation is key to achievement of any kind. Here are some contests and activities that could be motivating, fun and potentially lucrative!

Writing Contests Speak Your Mind and Get Free Books Other Word Play Fun With Technology Daily Fun Quiz Reading Celebrations

Writing Contests

Writing Contests

Write the World

November 14, 2018 10:10:53 AM

Write the World is a community of young writers (ages 13-18), hailing from over 120 countries. Each month, Write the World holds a new competition, developed around a particular idea or genre of writing, such as poetry, fantasy, sports journalism, or flash fiction. Competitions encourage you to dig deeper into the writing process, try out new genres and share your work with a sea of eager readers.

International Junior Authors Poetry Contest

August 06, 2013 4:39:33 PM

The International Junior Authors Poetry Contest is open to aspiring young poets age 9 to 21 worldwide! The winner will be published online and receive a signed copy of The Junior Authors Guide to Writing and Getting Published. Second and third place poets will receive an honorable mention and Amazon gift card, while fourth through sixth place winners will receive an honorable mention. All finalists will recieve a certifcate of achievement!

The contest begins on August 30th, 2013 and ends on January 31st, 2014.

Writer's Quest with Edgar Rice Burroughs

February 23, 2012 3:42:21 PM

It has been 100 years since Edgar Rice Burroughs first introduced readers to his jungle hero and also to "John Carter" — a hero whose adventure hits the big screen this March in the new Disney film of the same name. Give your students the chance to learn more about Edgar Rice Burroughs and have a writing adventure of their own with the thought-provoking prompts in the Writer's Quest writing contest from AdLit.org and Reading Rockets.

The contest has ended. View archived winners here >

Ann Arlys Bowler Poetry Contest

December 31, 2010 2:06:01 PM

READ's annual student poetry contest. Open to grades 6–12. Six winners will receive $100 each and will be featured in a special electronic issue of READ.

Deadline: December 31, 2010.

Creative Communication Poetry Contest

November 11, 2010 2:38:28 PM

Creative Communication is a company who is devoted to the promotion of writing, teaching and appreciation of student writing. Winners of their poetry contest win cash and prizes, and other entries of high merit are accepted for publication in their anthology.

Three contests each year.

Scholastic's Kids Are Authors

November 11, 2010 1:42:02 PM

Kids Are Authors is an annual competition open to Grades K–8 and is designed to encourage students to use their reading, writing, and artistic skills to create their own books.

Under the guidance of a project coordinator, children work in teams of three or more students to write and illustrate their own book. The creative process of working in teams helps provide a natural environment to practice editing, teamwork, and the communication skills necessary for future success. All students involved get a sense of pride and accomplishment from submitting the team project.

Two Grand Prize winning books will be published in each of these categories: Fiction and Nonfiction. The winning books will be published by Scholastic and sold at Book Fairs throughout the country.

Deadline is March 15, 2011.

Weekly Reader Student Publishing Contest

November 11, 2010 11:56:05 AM

Students in grades 3-12 enter their best nonfiction writing and publications for a chance to win a SMART Interactive Whiteboard for your classroom, cash prizes, and a trip to Washington, DC. Teachers and students are encouraged to submit entries in three categories: Digital-Only Publication, Student Publication, and Individual Writing.

Entries must be student writing produced between Jan. 1, 2010, and Feb. 28, 2011. Entries must be submitted by March 18, 2011.

High School Communications Contest

November 11, 2010 11:49:33 AM

The only nationwide communications competition for high school students, The National Federation of Press Women invites students to compete in 17 categories: Editorial, Opinion, News Story, Feature Story, Sports Story, Column, Feature Photo, Sports Photo, Cartooning, Reviews, Graphics/Photo Illustration, Single-Page Layout, Double-Truck Layout, Environment, Video News Story, Video Feature Story and Video Sports Story. Each winner will receive a certificate, with first-place winners also receiving $100 cash.

Annual deadlines are in February and March

The John Lennon Songwriting Contest

November 10, 2010 10:34:17 AM

The John Lennon Songwriting Contest is open to amateur and professional songwriters who submit entries in any one of 12 categories (Rock, Country, Jazz, Pop, World, Rhythm & Blues, Hip Hop, Latin, Folk, Gospel/Inspirational, Electronic, and Children's). You don't need a professional recording. Entries will be judged on originality, melody, composition, and lyrics (when applicable). Instrumental compositions are encouraged.

Open year-round, featuring two sessions — with 72 Finalists, 24 Grand Prize Winners, 12 Lennon Award Winners and 1 Song of the Year.

Being An American Essay Contest

November 04, 2010 12:34:45 PM

Students write an essay answering the following question: What civic value do you believe is most essential to being an American? Trace the enduring importance of this value throughout the American story by discussing: a Founding document that reflects this value; a figure from American history who embodies this value; and examples of how you have and/or could put this value into practice.

Tens of thousands of dollars in prizes will be awarded to students AND teachers. First prize student winners in each of the nine contest regions will receive $5,000. Submitting teachers will receive matching prizes.

Entry deadline is December 1, 2010.

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

November 04, 2010 12:23:31 PM

This contest offer students in Grades 7-12 the opportunity to be recognized for their creative achievements in 30 categories, including Personal Essay, Short Story, Humor,Drawing, Painting, Photography, Film & Animation, Video Games, and Poetry. Judging criteria includes originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

Regional deadlines vary.

Breaking Barriers Essay Contest

January 12, 2010 10:02:18 AM

April 15 of every year marks the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball in 1947. The Breaking Barriers Essay Contest is a chance for students in grades 4–8 to share their personal stories and show how they use Jackie Robinson’s values to face their own barriers.

Deadline: March 1, 2010.

Kids Are Authors

October 16, 2009 2:34:22 PM

Kids Are Authors is an annual competition open to Grades K–8 and is designed to encourage students to use their reading, writing, and artistic skills to create their own books. Under the guidance of a project coordinator, students work in teams of three or more to write and illustrate their own book. The creative process of working in teams helps provide a natural environment to practice editing, teamwork, and the communication skills necessary for future success. Two Grand Prize winning books will be published in each of these categories: Fiction and Nonfiction. The winning books will be published by Scholastic and sold at book fairs throughout the country.

Deadline: March 15, 2010.

Drexel University 10-Page Screenplay or Stage Play Contest

October 07, 2009 3:52:29 PM

Write short script, for either a movie or a play, any subject, any tone. No more than ten pages. Yes, it has to be typed. No, the cover doesn't count as a page. Try to make it conform to standard play or screenplay format. Make it interesting. Make it fun. Open to high school juniors and seniors. Winners receive scholarship funds for Drexel University.

Deadline: December 1, 2009.

The Exquisite Prompt Writing Challenge

October 07, 2009 3:45:25 PM

The AdLit.org Exquisite Prompt challenge gives K-12 students a chance each month (October 2009 through June 2010) to flex their writing muscles with writing prompts — and win fabulous prizes! The prompts are inspired by 18 top authors and illustrators, including Jon Scieszka, Shannon Hale, Nikki Grimes, and M.T. Anderson.

Rolling monthly deadlines.

American Foreign Service Association National H.S. Essay Contest

October 07, 2009 2:35:53 PM

A major objective of this contest is to help young Americans better understand how the men and women of the Foreign Service serve and defend our critical national interests around the globe.

In 1,000-1,250 words, discuss the following topic:

You are the U.S. Ambassador to one of the nations listed below. Explain what you would do, using the resources available to you as Ambassador as well as to the Foreign Service employees at your post, to improve the relations between the U.S. and your country of choice, and how the major foreign policy differences between the nations might best be handled in our national interest.

The nations on which you may choose to focus are: China, Russia, Pakistan,Turkey, Zimbabwe and Mexico.

Deadline is April 15, 2011.

John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest

October 07, 2009 2:34:28 PM

Students are asked to write an original and creative essay of less than 1,000 words that demonstrates an understanding of political courage as described by John F. Kennedy in Profiles in Courage. Students should use a variety of sources such as newspaper articles, books, and/or personal interviews to address the following topic:

Describe and analyze the decisions, actions, and risks of an elected public official in the United States since 1956 who has courageously addressed a political issue at the local, state, national, or international level.

Deadline: January 8, 2011.

Holocaust Remembrance Project Essay Contest

October 07, 2009 2:30:36 PM

The Holocaust Remembrance Project is a national essay contest for high school students designed to encourage and promote the study of the Holocaust. The project offers scholarships to the top winners, but was established primarily as a living memorial to the millions of innocent victims of the Holocaust. First-place winning students, teachers, and Holocaust survivors participate in an all-expense paid trip to a leading Holocaust Museum.

Entry deadline is April 15, 2011

Rider University 30th Annual High School Writing Contest

October 07, 2009 2:26:49 PM

The contest includes three categories: Essay, Fiction, and Poetry. Winners will receive cash prizes and be considered for publication in the school's literary magazine.

Deadline: December 18, 2009.

2010 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

October 07, 2009 2:21:01 PM

U.S. and Canadian students in Grades 7-12 may submit work in a range of categories. Entries are judges using three main criteria: originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal vision or voice. Prizes include publication and scholarships to attend summer art and writing camps.

Regional deadlines vary.

Letters About Literature

October 02, 2009 2:11:33 PM

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to enter Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest. To enter Letters About Literature (LAL), readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre — fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, contemporary or classic — explaining how that author's work changed the student's way of thinking about the world or themselves.

Deadline: December 12, 2009.

Teen Ink Contests

September 28, 2009 2:07:49 PM

Teen Ink is a national teen magazine, book, and website featuring teen writing, information, art, photos, poetry, teen issues, and more. Everything is written by teenage authors! Teen Ink sponsors 11 different contests to give young authors and artists a chance to shine.

No deadlines; entries accepted throughout the year.

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

September 28, 2009 2:05:42 PM

The Ayn Rand Institute is sponsoring an essay contest for high school seniors and college students. Entrants must choose from among three topics and write an essay demonstrating a clear grasp of the philosophic meaning of Atlas Shrugged. Deadline: September 17, 2009.

>> Printed from: http://www.adlit.org/fun/?catid=861&theme=print

© 2018. All rights reserved. AdLit.org is an educational initiative of WETA, the flagship public television station in the nation's capital. AdLit.org is funded by the Ann B. and Thomas L. Friedman Family Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York. The statements and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the authors.