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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
Jan 4, 2017Profiles in Courage Essay Contest

Grades 9-12

Jan 8, 2017The Writing Conference Poetry, Essay, and Short Story Contests

Grades 1-12

​Jan 31, 2017The Sons of the Republic of Texas Essay Contest​​Graduating Seniors


DeadlineContest NameNotes
​February 1, 2017​EngineerGirl Essay Contest​Grades 3-12
February 19, 2017​NCTE Achievement Awards in Writing​

Grade​ 11

February 2017?

The Atlantic & College Board Writing Prize​16- to 19-year-old high school students​
​​February 2017?Ray Bradbury C​reative Contest​​All ages
​February 27, 2017​​Sewanee Young Writers Conference​​10-12


DeadlineContest NameNotes
March 10, 2017The Apprentice Writer literary magazine sponsored by Susquehanna University​Grades 9-12​
March 2017?PSRW Essay Contest​ through City of Houston​Grade 12
March​ 24, 2017Listen to a Life Essay Contest

Age 8-18

​March 31, 2017Young Spurs Writing Contest​​​Journalism focused high school students
​​March 29, 2017​Anthem​ Essay Contest sponsored by the Ayn Rand Institute​​​Grades 8-10
March 31, 2017?Gulen Youth In​s​titute Essay ContestGrades 9-12


DeadlineContest NameNotes
​April 26, 2017The Fountainhead Essay Contest sponsored by the Ayn Rand Institute​​Grades 11-12
April 28, 2017Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest sponsored by the Ayn Rand InstituteGrade 12
April 2017?Norman Mailer Student and Teacher Writing Awards​​Grades 9-12​​



DeadlineContest NameNotes
May 2017?Jane Austen S​​ociety of North America Essay Contest​​​Grades 9-12​​
May 2017?Generation Texas (GenTX) Decision Day 2016 ChallengeGrades 9-12


DeadlineContest NameNotes
​​​June 1, 2017The Norman​ E. Alexander Jewish Student Wri​​​ting Contest

Jewish teens grades 9-12


DeadlineContest NameNotes
July 1, 2017Texas Book Festival 16th Annual Youth Fi​​​ction Writing ContestGrades 7-12 (3 divisions)
July 1, 2017​NCTE Program to Recognize Excellence in Student Literary Magazines​​


DeadlineContest NameNotes
October 31, 2017Patriot's Pen - VFW Patriotic Essay Writing Contest​Grades 6-8


DeadlineContest NameNotes
November 1, 201​6Patriot's Pen Essay Contest sponsored by Veterans for Foreign Wars

Grades 6-8

November 1, 2016Voice of Democracy Speech Contest sponsored by Veterans for Foreign Wars

Grades 9-12
Recorded speech

​November 1, 2016Bennington College Young Writers Awards​Grades 10-12
November 15, 2016?Generation No Kid​ HungryPhoto Essay Contest​ by We are Teachers​​Grades 7-12
Nove​mber 2016First Freedom Student Essay and Video Competition sponsored by First Freedom Center

Grades 9-12


DeadlineContest NameNotes
December 01, 2016?River of Words Poetry Contest

Age 5-19 
(not yet graduated)

December 15, 2016Scholastic Art and Writing Contest

Grades 7-12

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

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