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Katy Independent School District

Writing Contests

  • Writing Contests

Student Writing Contests and Publishing Opportunities

Please be aware many deadlines are early in the month! Most contests run annually, so once a deadline has passed, students can consider entering the following year.

Contests By Month:


DeadlineContest NameNotes
January 17
Profiles in Courage Essay Contest

Grades 9-12

On hiatus
The Writing Conference Poetry, Essay, and Short Story Contests

Grades 1-12

January 31The Sons of the Republic of Texas Essay Contest Graduating Seniors


DeadlineContest NameNotes
February 1 EngineerGirl Essay Contest Grades 3-12
February TBA
​​We the Students Essay Contest Grades 8-12
February 14
NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing

Grade  11


DeadlineContest NameNotes
​March 1
VFW 9182 Auxiliary Scholarship
Grade 12
March 15The Apprentice Writer literary magazine sponsored by Susquehanna University Grades 9-12
Mid-March PSRW Essay Contest  through City of Houston Grade 12
​March 22
Katy Bar Association/State Bar of Texas Law Day Competition and Scholarship Program
​Grades 9-12
March 27
Listen to a Life Essay Contest

Age 8-18

Late March Young Spurs Writing Contest Journalism-focused high school students


DeadlineContest NameNotes
April TBA
Princeton University Ten Minute Play Contest Grade 11
April TBA Fort Bend Arts Festival K-2, 3-5 & 6-8
April 26The Fountainhead Essay Contest sponsored by the Ayn Rand Institute Grades 11-12
​April 30
Anthem  Essay Contest sponsored by the Ayn Rand Institute
Grades 8-10
April TBANorman Mailer Student and Teacher Writing Awards Grades 9-12



DeadlineContest NameNotes
PBS KIDS Writers Contest
Grades K-3
May TBAJane Austen Society of North America Essay Contest​​​ Grades 9-12
​May 28
The Fountainhead  Essay Contest sponsored by the Ayn Rand Institute
​Grades 11-12
​May TBA
​The Norman E. Alexander Jewish Student Writing Contest
Jewish teens grades 9-12


DeadlineContest NameNotes
July 31 Financial Futures Scholarship
Grade 12+ Majoring in business, accounting, finance, mathematics, management, and others related to the personal finance industry


DeadlineContest NameNotes
September 19
Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest sponsored by the Ayn Rand InstituteGrades 12+
​September 30 Future Web Developers Annual Scholarship
​Current or future college student


DeadlineContest NameNotes


DeadlineContest NameNotes
November 1 Bennington College Young Writers Awards Grades 10-12
​November 15
​Patriot's Pen - VFW Patriotic Essay Writing Contest 
Grades 6-8
​November 15
Voice of Democracy Speech Contest sponsored by Veterans for Foreign Wars 
Grades 9-12 
Recorded speech
November 29
Leonard L. Milberg ’53 High School Poetry Prize
Grade 11


DeadlineContest NameNotes
December 1
River of Words Poetry Contest

Age 5-19 
(not yet graduated)

December 2
Scholastic Art and Writing Contest

Grades 7-12

December 31’s Wealth Wise Scholarship
Grade 12+

Other Resources

Online Literary Magazines and Journals that Publish Student Writing

Other Resources

  • Contests to Avoid: a list of sites that offer contests in order to sell books (vanity press)
  • National Day on Writing sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) : Oct 20, 2014, join the nation in celebrating a national day of writing together
  • Merlyn's Pen magazine (1985-2001) is no longer in print, but you can read nearly its entire collection of stories, poems, and essays at in the New Library of Young Adult Writing. The New Library serves some 2,000 teachers, students, textbook editors, and assessment developers each week as they seek out top models of student writing

If you have suggestions for other contests, problems with broken links, or are/know of a KISD student who has won a writing contest, please contact:
Jonathan Frishman
Katy ISD Writing Contest Coordinator

TEA District"A"  Rating
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