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Essays About Competition: Top 6 Examples and 10 Prompts

As you write about competition, discover our examples of essays about competition and writing prompts to unlock your competitive self.

We live in a highly competitive time, and one might easily say that competition makes the world go round. Indeed, doing your best to get ahead of others has perks, such as fame, money, promotion in the workplace, or esteem from your parents if you’re a student.

Beyond these immediate rewards, competition can help develop self-confidence, discipline, and tenacity, which help people survive and thrive. So unleash your competitive side by writing a thrilling essay about competition, and read our examples to inspire you.

6 Helpful Essay Examples

1. is lack of competition strangling the u.s. economy by david wessel, 2. why competition is good for kids (and how to keep it that way) by devan mcguinness, 3.  how great power competition has changed by shivshankar menon, 4. how life became an endless, terrible competition by daniel markovits, 5. how to create a successful partnership with your competition by norma watenpaugh , 6. the importance of positive coaching in competition by oscar ponteri, 10 exciting writing prompts on essays about competition, 1. how schools can encourage healthy competition, 2. how competition builds self-esteem, 3. importance of competition laws, 4. business competition in the digital age, 5. competition vs. cooperation, 6. dealing with sibling competition, 7. preparing for a competition, 8. competition in mother-daughter relationships, 9. love is not a competition, 10. competition in the animal kingdom.

“If we’re slow to take action to bolster competition — perhaps because incumbents successfully wield their power or because of a distaste for regulation of any sort — we risk diluting the dynamism of the economy and restricting the flow of innovations and new ideas, darkening the prospects for our children and grandchildren.”

The essay looks at the decline of competition in various US industries. In particular, it investigates factors — profits, investment, business dynamism, and prices — that can indicate the robustness of competition in a country. Falling competition is worrisome in economies as it enables incumbent firms to abuse their power and block new entrants, restricting consumers’ options for more affordable and better quality goods and services.

“Besides setting them up for wins and losses later in life—hey, they won’t always land that big promotion—competitive activities help them develop important skills they’ll use well into adulthood, like taking turns, developing empathy, and tenacity.”

Well-meaning parents might disapprove of competition to shield children from getting disheartened at losing. But child development experts say that competition has lifelong benefits for children, reinforcing the value of hard work, thinking positively, and being a good team player. However, parents should be careful in delineating healthy competition from unhealthy ones.

“Competition among great powers has extended to the sea lanes that carry the world’s energy and trade and is visible in the naval buildup by all the major powers that we see today—a buildup over the last ten years which is unmatched in scale in history.”

With the influence among global superpowers now spread more evenly, coupled with the fact that their interventions in conflict areas have only yielded prolonged battles, global superpowers are now more focused on their geopolitical reach. But some factors, such as their dependence on other superpowers for economic growth, also compel them to go beyond their horizons. 

“Outrage at nepotism and other disgraceful forms of elite advantage-taking implicitly valorizes meritocratic ideals. Yet meritocracy itself is the bigger problem, and it is crippling the American dream. Meritocracy has created a competition that, even when everyone plays by the rules, only the rich can win.

Instead of intensely engaging in competition, why not just stop competing? This essay laments how meritocracy destroyed people’s relationships at home, all for advancing in the workplace. While throwing competition out of the window seems like an ambitious proposal, the author offers a glint of hope using the case of a policy framework created during the Great Depression. 

“In my experience, working with your competition is not an intuitive thing for most people. It takes a strong value proposition to make the risks and effort worthwhile.”

When cooperating with your competition becomes a key to your goals, you resort to a strategy called “co-opetition,” short for cooperative competition. This essay fleshes out the situations where such alliances work and provides tips on making the most out of these relationships while avoiding risks.

“I have learned that competition holds incredible power… It’s all about how you utilize it. How our youth coaches frame competition will dictate the way we compete beyond athletics for our entire life.”

A high-school student shares his profound thoughts on the essence of positive coaching in the life of athletes even beyond the field. His beliefs stem from his experiences with a cold-hearted coach that turned around his love for sports. 

Essays About Competition: How schools can encourage healthy competition

To start, cite the numerous benefits of competition in developing well-rounded students. Make sure to back these up with research. Then, write about how you think schools can create an atmosphere conducive to healthy competition. Provide tips, for example, calling on teachers to encourage students to participate and motivate them to do their best instead of keeping their eyes on the trophy. You may also share how your school is promoting healthy competition.

Competition can drive you to improve and build the foundations for your self-esteem. For this essay, research the scientific links between healthy competition and self-confidence. Look also into how competition can promote a mindset that goes for growth and not just the gold medal. Some who lose may see themselves as a failure and give up rather than seeing their loss as an opportunity to learn and do better. 

Competition or antitrust laws aim to ensure robust market competition by banning anti-competitive acts and behaviors. First, briefly explain your country’s competition law and enumerate acts that are prohibited under this law. Then, to help readers understand more clearly, cite a recent case, for example, a merger and acquisition, where your antitrust office had to intervene to protect the interest of consumers. 

The borderless digital world has made the competition very cutthroat, with the demands for innovation at a neck-breaking pace. But one advantage is how it has somewhat leveled the playing field between big and small businesses. Enumerate the pros and cons of the digital age to business competition and cite what emerging trends businesses should watch out for.

Should we be more competitive or cooperative? Or should we stop pitting one against the other and begin balancing both? Provide a well-researched answer and write an argumentative essay where you take a position and, with research backing, explain why you take this position. To effectively execute this writing style and its techniques, see our ultimate guide on argumentative essays .

Competition among siblings goes as old as the story of Abel and Cain. It can disrupt family peace and become a vicious, toxic cycle that can last into their adult years if unresolved. What are the other negative impacts of sibling competition on the family and the well-being of siblings in the long term? Identify these and research what experts have to say on managing sibling rivalry. 

Preparing for a competition

How do you prepare your mind and body for a competition? If you regularly participate in competitions, this is the right topic prompt for you. So, share tips that have worked to your advantage and find science-backed recommendations on how one can be ready on competition day both psychologically and physically. For example, studies have shown that visualizing your performance as a success can increase motivation, confidence, and self-efficacy.

Describe the factors that trigger competition between mothers and daughters. You can cite aspects of the gender theory identity developed by psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud . Then, differentiate the nature of the competition and its different stages as the daughter grows. Finally, help mothers navigate this confusing period and deal with strength and enormous understanding.

This quote is best for couples who fight like cats and dogs. For this writing prompt, explain how seeing your partner as a competition can destroy a romantic relationship. Then, offer tips on how your readers can make amends with their partners, reconnect with them and see them as allies. After all, relationships need intensive teamwork.

Write an informational essay about competition in the animal kingdom. For example, you might have to differentiate interspecific competition from the intraspecific competition. You might also have to flesh out the differences between competition and predation. Then cite the factors that trigger competition and its effects on biodiversity.

Before publishing, make sure your essay is error-free by using the best grammar checkers, including the top-rated Grammarly.  Find out why Grammarly is highly recommended in this Grammarly review .

essay about the competition

Yna Lim is a communications specialist currently focused on policy advocacy. In her eight years of writing, she has been exposed to a variety of topics, including cryptocurrency, web hosting, agriculture, marketing, intellectual property, data privacy and international trade. A former journalist in one of the top business papers in the Philippines, Yna is currently pursuing her master's degree in economics and business.

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Essay Papers Writing Online

Engaging in competitive essay writing – how to excel in essay writing competitions.

Essay writing competitions

Essay writing competitions can be a great opportunity to showcase your writing skills and win accolades for your creativity and thoughtfulness. Whether you are a seasoned writer or just starting out, competition can be fierce, so it’s vital to have a winning strategy in place.

In this article, we will discuss top tips and strategies that can help you stand out from the competition and increase your chances of winning essay writing competitions.

From identifying the right competition to crafting a compelling thesis statement and polishing your final draft, there are several key steps you can take to improve your chances of emerging victorious. Let’s dive into these tips and strategies to help you succeed in essay writing competitions!

Prepare Your Essay

Prepare Your Essay

1. Understand the topic: Before you start writing your essay, make sure you completely understand the topic. Research and gather relevant information to build a strong foundation for your argument.

2. Develop a clear thesis statement: Your thesis statement should clearly convey the main point of your essay. It will serve as the guiding principle for the rest of your writing.

3. Create an outline: Organize your thoughts and arguments by creating an outline. This will help you structure your essay in a logical and coherent manner.

4. Write a compelling introduction: Start your essay with a compelling introduction that captures the reader’s attention and clearly presents your thesis statement.

5. Support your arguments with evidence: Back up your arguments with reliable evidence, examples, and research. This will strengthen your essay and make your points more convincing.

6. Craft a strong conclusion: End your essay with a strong conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces your thesis statement. Leave a lasting impression on the reader.

7. Edit and revise: Once you have completed your essay, take the time to edit and revise it. Check for spelling and grammatical errors, ensure your arguments flow smoothly, and make any necessary revisions to improve clarity and coherence.

Research Your Topic

One of the most important steps in preparing for an essay writing competition is to thoroughly research your topic. Ensure that you understand the key concepts, arguments, and perspectives related to the subject matter. Use credible sources such as academic journals, books, and reputable websites to gather information and support your arguments.

Understand the Competition Guidelines

One essential aspect of winning essay writing competitions is understanding the competition guidelines. Before you start writing your essay, carefully read and follow the rules and requirements provided by the competition organizers. Pay attention to the word count, topic restrictions, formatting guidelines, submission deadlines, and any other specific instructions.

By familiarizing yourself with the competition guidelines, you can ensure that your essay meets all the necessary criteria for consideration. Failure to adhere to the rules could result in disqualification, so it is crucial to read and understand the guidelines thoroughly before you begin your writing process.

Develop Your Writing Skills

Improving your writing skills is essential if you want to succeed in essay writing competitions. Here are some tips to help you develop your writing skills:

  • Read extensively: Reading a variety of books, articles, and essays can help you improve your writing style and vocabulary.
  • Practice writing regularly: The more you write, the better you will become. Set aside time each day to write and experiment with different writing techniques.
  • Seek feedback: Ask teachers, peers, or writing professionals to provide feedback on your writing. Constructive criticism can help you identify areas for improvement.
  • Study grammar and punctuation: Understanding the rules of grammar and punctuation is crucial for producing high-quality writing. Take the time to study these rules and apply them to your writing.
  • Learn from successful writers: Study the works of successful writers and analyze their writing techniques. Try to incorporate some of these techniques into your own writing.

Practice Regularly

One of the key ways to improve your essay writing skills and increase your chances of winning competitions is to practice regularly. Writing is a skill that improves with practice, so make time each day to write essays, articles, or even short stories. Set aside dedicated time to work on your writing, and challenge yourself to explore different topics and styles.

By practicing regularly, you’ll not only improve your writing technique but also build confidence in your abilities. This confidence will show in your competition entries and set you apart from other participants. Remember, practice makes perfect, so the more you write, the better you’ll become.

Seek Feedback and Editing

Getting feedback on your essay is crucial to improving it and making it stand out in competitions. Don’t be afraid to ask teachers, peers, or writing tutors to review your work and provide constructive criticism.

Consider joining a writing group or workshop where you can share your essay and receive feedback from other writers. This can help you identify weak points in your argument or areas where you can improve your writing style.

After receiving feedback, be open to making edits and revisions. Polish your essay by fixing grammar and punctuation errors, tightening up your arguments, and ensuring your ideas flow logically and cohesively.

Remember, the more eyes you have on your essay, the better it will become. Don’t hesitate to seek feedback and editing to make your essay the best it can be.

Hook Your Readers

One of the most important aspects of winning an essay writing competition is grabbing the reader’s attention right from the start. Your introduction should be compelling and draw the reader in, making them want to continue reading. Here are some effective ways to hook your readers:

  • Start with a powerful quote: Using a thought-provoking quote at the beginning can set the tone for your essay and intrigue your readers.
  • Pose a question: Asking a question can engage your readers and make them curious to find out the answer, encouraging them to keep reading.
  • Provide a shocking statistic: Sharing a surprising statistic can capture your readers’ interest and make them want to learn more about the topic.
  • Share a personal anecdote: Connecting with your readers on a personal level by sharing a relevant anecdote can make your essay more relatable and engaging.
  • Use descriptive imagery: Painting a vivid picture with descriptive language can transport your readers into the world you’re describing, making them more invested in your essay.

By hooking your readers from the beginning, you set the stage for a captivating essay that will leave a lasting impression on the judges of the competition.

State Your Thesis Clearly

One of the most important aspects of winning an essay writing competition is to state your thesis clearly in the introductory paragraph. Your thesis is the main argument or point you will be making in your essay, and it serves as the foundation for your entire piece. Make sure your thesis is specific, debatable, and concise. Avoid vague statements and ensure that your thesis directly addresses the prompt provided for the competition.

Tip: Your thesis should be strong and compelling, drawing the reader in and establishing the purpose of your essay from the start. It should be clear enough that your reader can easily understand what you will be arguing throughout the rest of your essay.

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essay about the competition


2024 global essay prize, registrations are now open all essayists must register  here  before friday 31 may, 2024.

The John Locke Institute encourages young people to cultivate the characteristics that turn good students into great writers: independent thought, depth of knowledge, clear reasoning, critical analysis and persuasive style. Our Essay Competition invites students to explore a wide range of challenging and interesting questions beyond the confines of the school curriculum.

Entering an essay in our competition can build knowledge, and refine skills of argumentation. It also gives students the chance to have their work assessed by experts. All of our essay prizes are judged by a panel of senior academics drawn from leading universities including Oxford and Princeton, under the leadership of the Chairman of Examiners, former Cambridge philosopher, Dr Jamie Whyte.

The judges will choose their favourite essay from each of seven subject categories - Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Psychology, Theology and Law - and then select the winner of the Grand Prize for the best entry in any subject. There is also a separate prize awarded for the best essay in the junior category, for under 15s.

Q1. Do we have any good reasons to trust our moral intuition?

Q2. Do girls have a (moral) right to compete in sporting contests that exclude boys?

Q3. Should I be held responsible for what I believe?


Q1. Is there such a thing as too much democracy?

Q2. Is peace in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip possible?

Q3. When is compliance complicity?

Q1. What is the optimal global population?  

Q2. Accurate news reporting is a public good. Does it follow that news agencies should be funded from taxation?

Q3. Do successful business people benefit others when making their money, when spending it, both, or neither?


Q1. Why was sustained economic growth so rare before the later 18th century and why did this change?

Q2. Has music ever significantly changed the course of history?

Q3. Why do civilisations collapse? Is our civilisation in danger?

Q1. When, if ever, should a company be permitted to refuse to do business with a person because of that person’s public statements?

Q2. In the last five years British police have arrested several thousand people for things they posted on social media. Is the UK becoming a police state?

Q3. Your parents say that 11pm is your bedtime. But they don’t punish you if you don’t go to bed by 11pm. Is 11pm really your bedtime?


Q1. According to a study by researchers at four British universities, for each 15-point increase in IQ, the likelihood of getting married increases by around 35% for a man but decreases by around 58% for a woman. Why?

In the original version of this question we misstated a statistic. This was caused by reproducing an error that appeared in several media summaries of the study. We are grateful to one of our contestants, Xinyi Zhang, who helped us to see (with humility and courtesy) why we should take more care to check our sources. We corrected the text on 4 April. Happily, the correction does not in any way alter the thrust of the question.

Q2. There is an unprecedented epidemic of depression and anxiety among young people. Can we fix this? How?

Q3. What is the difference between a psychiatric illness and a character flaw?

Q1. “I am not religious, but I am spiritual.” What could the speaker mean by “spiritual”?

Q2. Is it reasonable to thank God for protection from some natural harm if He is responsible for causing the harm?

Q3. Does God reward those who believe in him? If so, why?

woman praising.png

JUNIOR prize

Q1. Does winning a free and fair election automatically confer a mandate for governing?

Q2. Has the anti-racism movement reduced racism?

Q3. Is there life after death?

Q4. How did it happen that governments came to own and run most high schools, while leaving food production to private enterprise? 

Q5. When will advancing technology make most of us unemployable? What should we do about this?

Q6. Should we trust fourteen-year-olds to make decisions about their own bodies? 


Please read the following carefully.

Entry to the John Locke Institute Essay Competition 2024 is open to students from any country.


Only candidates who registered before the registration deadline of Friday, 31 May 2024 may enter this year's competition. To register, click here .  

All entries must be submitted by 11.59 pm BST on  the submission deadline: Sunday, 30 June 2024 .  Candidates must be eighteen years old, or younger, on that date. (Candidates for the Junior Prize must be fourteen years old, or younger, on that date.)

Entry is free.

Each essay must address only one of the questions in your chosen subject category, and must not exceed 2000 words (not counting diagrams, tables of data, endnotes, bibliography or authorship declaration). 

The filename of your pdf must be in this format: FirstName-LastName-Category-QuestionNumber.pdf; so, for instance, Alexander Popham would submit his answer to question 2 in the Psychology category with the following file name:


Essays with filenames which are not in this format will be rejected.

The candidate's name should NOT appear within the document itself. 

Candidates should NOT add footnotes. They may, however, add endnotes and/or a Bibliography that is clearly titled as such.

Each candidate will be required to provide the email address of an academic referee who is familiar with the candidate's written academic work. This should be a school teacher, if possible, or another responsible adult who is not a relation of the candidate. The John Locke Institute will email referees to verify that the essays submitted are indeed the original work of the candidates.

Submissions may be made as soon as registration opens in April. We recommend that you submit your essay well in advance of th e deadline to avoid any last-minute complications.

Acceptance of your essay depends on your granting us permission to use your data for the purposes of receiving and processing your entry as well as communicating with you about the Awards Ceremony Dinner, the academic conference, and other events and programmes of the John Locke Institute and its associated entities.  

Late entries

If for any reason you miss the 30 June deadline you will have an opportunity to make a late entry, under two conditions:

a) A late entry fee of 20.00 USD must be paid by credit card within twenty-four hours of the original deadline; and

b) Your essay must be submitted  before 11.59 pm BST on Wednesday, 10 July 2024.

To pay for late entry, a registrant need only log into his or her account, select the relevant option and provide the requested payment information.

Our grading system is proprietary. Essayists may be asked to discuss their entry with a member of the John Locke Institute’s faculty. We use various means to identify plagiarism, contract cheating, the use of AI and other forms of fraud . Our determinations in all such matters are final.

Essays will be judged on knowledge and understanding of the relevant material, the competent use of evidence, quality of argumentation, originality, structure, writing style and persuasive force. The very best essays are likely to be those which would be capable of changing somebody's mind. Essays which ignore or fail to address the strongest objections and counter-arguments are unlikely to be successful .

Candidates are advised to answer the question as precisely and directly as possible.

The writers of the best essays will receive a commendation and be shortlisted for a prize. Writers of shortlisted essays will be notified by 11.59 pm BST on Wednesday, 31 July. They will also be invited to London for an invitation-only academic conference and awards dinner in September, where the prize-winners will be announced. Unlike the competition itself, the academic conference and awards dinner are not free. Please be aware that n obody is required to attend either the academic conference or the prize ceremony. You can win a prize without travelling to London.

All short-listed candidates, including prize-winners, will be able to download eCertificates that acknowledge their achievement. If you win First, Second or Third Prize, and you travel to London for the ceremony, you will receive a signed certificate. 

There is a prize for the best essay in each category. The prize for each winner of a subject category, and the winner of the Junior category, is a scholarship worth US$2000 towards the cost of attending any John Locke Institute programme, and the essays will be published on the Institute's website. Prize-giving ceremonies will take place in London, at which winners and runners-up will be able to meet some of the judges and other faculty members of the John Locke Institute. Family, friends, and teachers are also welcome.

The candidate who submits the best essay overall will be awarded an honorary John Locke Institute Junior Fellowship, which comes with a US$10,000 scholarship to attend one or more of our summer schools and/or visiting scholars programmes. 

The judges' decisions are final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

R egistration opens: 1 April, 2024.

Registration deadline: 31 May, 2024. (Registration is required by this date for subsequent submission.)

Submission deadline: 30 June, 2024.

Late entry deadline: 10 July, 2024. (Late entries are subject to a 20.00 USD charge, payable by 1 July.)

Notification of short-listed essayists: 31 July, 2024.

Academic conference: 20 - 22 September, 2024.

Awards dinner: 21 September, 2024.

Any queries regarding the essay competition should be sent to [email protected] . Please be aware that, due to the large volume of correspondence we receive, we cannot guarantee to answer every query. In particular, regrettably, we are unable to respond to questions whose answers can be found on our website.

If you would like to receive helpful tips  from our examiners about what makes for a winning essay or reminders of upcoming key dates for the 2024  essay competition, please provide your email here to be added to our contact list. .

Thanks for subscribing!


The John Locke Institute's Global Essay Prize is acknowledged as the world's most prestigious essay competition. 

We welcome tens of thousands of submissions from ambitious students in more than 150 countries, and our examiners - including distinguished philosophers, political scientists, economists, historians, psychologists, theologians, and legal scholars - read and carefully assess every entry. 

I encourage you to register for this competition, not only for the hope of winning a prize or commendation, and not only for the chance to join the very best contestants at our academic conference and gala ceremony in London, but equally for the opportunity to engage in the serious scholarly enterprise of researching, reflecting on, writing about, and editing an answer to one of the important and provocative questions in this year's Global Essay Prize. 

We believe that the skills you will acquire in the process will make you a better thinker and a more effective advocate for the ideas that matter most to you.

I hope to see you in September!

Best wishes,

Jamie Whyte, Ph.D. (C ANTAB ) 

Chairman of Examiners

Q. I missed the registration deadline. May I still register or submit an essay?

A. No. Only candidates who registered before 31 May will be able to submit an essay. 

Q. Are footnote s, endnotes, a bibliography or references counted towards the word limit?

A. No. Only the body of the essay is counted. 

Q. Are in-text citations counted towards the word limit? ​

A. If you are using an in-text based referencing format, such as APA, your in-text citations are included in the word limit.

Q. Is it necessary to include foo tnotes or endnotes in an essay? ​

A. You  may not  include footnotes, but you may include in-text citations or endnotes. You should give your sources of any factual claims you make, and you should ackn owledge any other authors on whom you rely.​

Q. I am interested in a question that seems ambiguous. How should I interpret it?

A. You may interpret a question as you deem appropriate, clarifying your interpretation if necessary. Having done so, you must answer the question as directly as possible.

Q. How strict are  the age eligibility criteria?

A. Only students whose nineteenth birthday falls after 30 June 2024 will be eligible for a prize or a commendation. In the case of the Junior category, only students whose fifteenth birthday falls after 30 June 2024 will be eligible for a prize or a commendation. 

Q. May I submit more than one essay?

A. Yes, you may submit as many essays as you please in any or all categories.

Q. If I am eligible to compete in the Junior category, may I also (or instead) compete in another category?

A. Yes, you may.

Q. May I team up with someone else to write an essay?  

A. No. Each submitted essay must be entirely the work of a single individual.

Q. May I use AI, such as ChatGPT or the like, in writing my essay?

A. All essays will be checked for the use of AI. If we find that any content is generated by AI, your essay will be disqualified. We will also ask you, upon submission of your essay, whether you used AI for  any  purpose related to the writing of your essay, and if so, you will be required to provide details. In that case, if, in our judgement, you have not provided full and accurate details of your use of AI, your essay will be disqualified. 

Since any use of AI (that does not result in disqualification) can only negatively affect our assessment of your work relative to that of work that is done without using AI, your safest course of action is simply not to use it at all. If, however, you choose to use it for any purpose, we reserve the right to make relevant judgements on a case-by-case basis and we will not enter into any correspondence. 

Q. May I have someone else edit, or otherwise help me with, my essay?

A. You may of course discuss your essay with others, and it is perfectly acceptable for them to offer general advice and point out errors or weaknesses in your writing or content, leaving you to address them.

However, no part of your essay may be written by anyone else. This means that you must edit your own work and that while a proofreader may point out errors, you as the essayist must be the one to correct them. 

Q. Do I have to attend the awards ceremony to win a prize? ​

A. Nobody is required to attend the prize ceremony. You can win a prize without travelling to London. But if we invite you to London it is because your essay was good enough - in the opinion of the First Round judges - to be at least a contender for First, Second or Third Prize. Normally the Second Round judges will agree that the short-listed essays are worth at least a commendation.

Q. Is there an entry fee?

A. No. There is no charge to enter our global essay competition unless you submit your essay after the normal deadline, in which case there is a fee of 20.00 USD .

Q. Can I receive a certificate for my participation in your essay competition if I wasn't shortlisted? 

A. No. Certificates are awarded only for shortlisted essays. Short-listed contestants who attend the award ceremony in London will receive a paper certificate. If you cannot travel to London, you will be able to download your eCertificate.

Q. Can I receive feedba ck on my essay? 

A. We would love to be able to give individual feedback on essays but, unfortunately, we receive too many entries to be able to comment on particular essays.

Q. The deadline for publishing the names of short-listed essayists has passed but I did not receive an email to tell me whether I was short-listed.

A. Log into your account and check "Shortlist Status" for (each of) your essay(s).

Q. Why isn't the awards ceremony in Oxford this year?

A. Last year, many shortlisted finalists who applied to join our invitation-only academic conference missed the opportunity because of capacity constraints at Oxford's largest venues. This year, the conference will be held in central London and the gala awards dinner will take place in an iconic London ballroom. 


Q. The system will not accept my essay. I have checked the filename and it has the correct format. What should I do?  

A. You have almost certainly added a space before or after one of your names in your profile. Edit it accordingly and try to submit again.

Q. The profile page shows my birth date to be wrong by a day, even after I edit it. What should I do?

A. Ignore it. The date that you typed has been correctly input to our database. ​ ​

Q. How can I be sure that my registration for the essay competition was successful? Will I receive a confirmation email?

A. You will not receive a confirmation email. Rather, you can at any time log in to the account that you created and see that your registration details are present and correct.


If you are unable to submit your essay to the John Locke Institute’s global essay competition, your problem is almost certainly one of the following.

If so, please proceed as indicated.

1) PROBLEM: I receive the ‘registrations are now closed’ message when I enter my email and verification code. SOLUTION. You did not register for the essay competition and create your account. If you think you did, you probably only provided us with your email to receive updates from us about the competition or otherwise. You may not enter the competition this year.

2) PROBLEM I do not receive a login code after I enter my email to enter my account. SOLUTION. Enter your email address again, checking that you do so correctly. If this fails, restart your browser using an incognito window; clear your cache, and try again. Wait for a few minutes for the code. If this still fails, restart your machine and try one more time. If this still fails, send an email to [email protected] with “No verification code – [your name]” in the subject line.


3) PROBLEM: The filename of my essay is in the correct format but it is rejected. SOLUTION: Use “Edit Profile” to check that you did not add a space before or after either of your names. If you did, delete it. Whether you did or did not, try again to submit your essay. If submission fails again, email [email protected] with “Filename format – [your name]” in the subject line.

4) PROBLEM: When trying to view my submitted essay, a .txt file is downloaded – not the .pdf file that I submitted. SOLUTION: Delete the essay. Logout of your account; log back in, and resubmit. If resubmission fails, email [email protected] with “File extension problem – [your name]” in the subject line.

5) PROBLEM: When I try to submit, the submission form just reloads without giving me an error message. SOLUTION. Log out of your account. Open a new browser; clear the cache; log back in, and resubmit. If resubmission fails, email [email protected] with “Submission form problem – [your name]” in the subject line.

6) PROBLEM: I receive an “Unexpected Error” when trying to submit. SOLUTION. Logout of your account; log back in, and resubmit. If this resubmission fails, email [email protected] with “Unexpected error – [your name]” in thesubject line. Your email must tell us e xactly where in the submission process you received this error.

7) PROBLEM: I have a problem with submitting and it is not addressed above on this list. SOLUTION: Restart your machine. Clear your browser’s cache. Try to submit again. If this fails, email [email protected] with “Unlisted problem – [your name]” in the subject line. Your email must tell us exactly the nature of your problem with relevant screen caps.


Do not email us before you have tried the specified solutions to your problem.

Do not email us more than once about a single problem. We will respond to your email within 72 hours. Only if you have not heard from us in that time may you contact us again to ask for an update.

If you email us regarding a problem, you must include relevant screen-shots and information on both your operating system and your browser. You must also declare that you have tried the solutions presented above and had a good connection to the internet when you did so.

If you have tried the relevant solution to your problem outlined above, have emailed us, and are still unable to submit before the 30 June deadline on account of any fault of the John Locke Institute or our systems, please do not worry: we will have a way to accept your essay in that case. However, if there is no fault on our side, we will not accept your essay if it is not submitted on time – whatever your reason: we will not make exceptions for IT issues for which we are not responsible.

We reserve the right to disqualify the entries of essayists who do not follow all provided instructions, including those concerning technical matters.

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6 Benefits of Essay Writing Competitions

30 Jan, 2024 | Blog Articles , Get the Edge

Essay competition

5. They don’t require any funding or background knowledge

Most essay competitions are free to enter, and a good essay can be written based on your own ideas and public resources. They can be completed at any time and place, and panels will often accept entries from around the world.

Most can be found online if you look around – a quick Google search usually turns up the most reputable ones. If you’re keen to develop in the STEM field, the Oxford Scientist’s Schools Competition might take your fancy (2). Was the Scholastica Law summer school program (3) right up your alley? Trinity College Cambridge has competitions in many areas, including Law (4).

These, and many other, opportunities are open to anyone, even if you don’t have prior experience.

6. Now is the best time to enter!

Essay competitions are usually based around deadlines. While this may seem scary and overwhelming, it’s the number one reason to start now. With tight time frames, you won’t be able to procrastinate.

Similarly, many are only open to certain year groups or age ranges – so it’s best to seize any opportunity when it arises. That shows proactivity, and gives you more knowledge and skills to build on later. You can apply these new skills to another competition, a job, summer course or your degree.

Read more about how to write the perfect essay

Next steps for passionate writers

  • Read some top tips on academic writing in English .
  • Oxford University have a list of essay and creative writing competitions for students covering a range of subjects
  • Keen to try out UK university life? Sign up to one of our Oxford Scholastica summer schools today!

References and Further Reading:





Looking to boost your university applications?

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By submitting your essay, you give the Berkeley Prize the nonexclusive, perpetual right to reproduce the essay or any part of the essay, in any and all media at the Berkeley Prize’s discretion.  A “nonexclusive” right means you are not restricted from publishing your paper elsewhere if you use the following attribution that must appear in that new placement: “First submitted to and/or published by the international Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence ( ) in competition year 20(--) (and if applicable) and winner of that year’s (First, Second, Third…) Essay prize.” Finally, you warrant the essay does not violate any intellectual property rights of others and indemnify the BERKELEY PRIZE against any costs, loss, or expense arising out of a violation of this warranty.

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You (and your teammate if you have one) will be asked to complete a short registration form which will not be seen by members of the Berkeley Prize Committee or Jury.


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essay about the competition

Essay Writing Contests: The Ultimate List of 2024

essay about the competition

Did you know that the very first recorded essay contest can be traced back to the early 16th century, initiated by none other than the renowned philosopher and essayist Michel de Montaigne? In 1580, Montaigne published his collection of essays titled 'Essais,' which not only marked a pivotal moment in the evolution of the essay as a literary form but also contained an implicit challenge to his readers. He encouraged them to engage with his ideas and respond by writing their own essays, essentially laying the groundwork for what we now recognize as essay contests.

Fast forward to the vibrant year of 2024, and this tradition of writing competitions has evolved into a global phenomenon, offering emerging writers from all walks of life a captivating platform to share their thoughts, emotions, and narratives with the world.

In this article, our essay writer will review essay writing contests, presenting you with an exclusive selection of the most promising opportunities for the year ahead. Each of these competitions not only provides a stage to demonstrate your writing prowess but also offers a unique avenue for personal growth, self-expression, and intellectual exploration, all while competing for impressive writing awards and well-deserved recognition.

Top Essay Writing Contests in 2024

If you enjoy expressing your thoughts and ideas through writing, you're in for a treat. Essay writing competitions in 2024 offer you a chance to do just that and win some great prizes in the process. We've put together a list of contests specially designed for students like you. These contests cover various interesting essay topics , giving you a unique opportunity to showcase your writing skills and potentially earn cash prizes or scholarships. So, let's jump right into these fantastic opportunities.

Top Essay Writing Contests in 2024

2024 International Literary Prize by Hammond House Publishing

The 2024 Writing Competition beckons writers with over £3000 in cash prizes, publication opportunities in anthologies, and a chance to participate in a televised Award Ceremony. Sponsored by the University Centre Grimsby, this annual contest, now in its eighth year, draws entries from approximately 30 countries worldwide. Entrants can vie for prizes across four categories, gaining exposure at the televised award ceremony and receiving expert feedback at the annual literary festival.

And if you're determined to learn how to overcome writer's block for this contest, we have a wealth of expert tips and strategies to guide you through the process!

Deadline: 30th September 2024

  • 1st Prize: £1000
  • 2nd Prize: £100
  • 3rd Prize: £50

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International Voices in Creative Nonfiction Competition by Vine Leaves Press

Vine Leaves Press welcomes writers worldwide, prioritizing voices from marginalized communities such as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and individuals with chronic illnesses or disabilities, among others. Submissions, which must be in English and previously unpublished, are accepted from February 1, 2024, until July 1, 2024. Manuscripts can be either narrative (50,000 – 80,000 words) or experimental (at least 100 pages), adhering to specific formatting guidelines, including anonymity to ensure impartial judging. Each submission requires a $25 entry fee via Submittable, and multiple entries are allowed. Entries will be judged based on originality, creativity, writing quality, and adherence to genre, with finalists announced in October 2024, shortlisted in January 2025, and winners in March 2025.

Deadline: July 01, 2024

  • The winner will receive a cash prize of $1000.
  • Publication of the winning manuscript will occur in 2026 by Vine Leaves Press.
  • Runners-up will also be considered for publication.

Solas Awards by Best Travel Writing

The Solas Awards, continuing a tradition since 1993, celebrate travel stories that inspire. They're looking for engaging tales that capture the essence of exploration, whether funny, enlightening, or adventurous. Winners may get published and join a community of fellow storytellers. Entries in essay, non-fiction, and travel genres are welcome with a $25 submission fee.

Deadline: September 21, 2024

  • $1,000 Gold
  • $750 Silver
  • $500 Bronze

Vocal Challenges by Creatd

Vocal, in partnership with Voices in Minor (ViM), announces a creator-led challenge in celebration of International Women's Day, open to all Vocal creators. Participants are invited to write a 600-800 word piece about a woman who has inspired them for International Women's Day in the Year of the Dragon 2024. Submissions must adhere to specific length criteria and can be of any genre or format. Vocal will review entries and create a shortlist, from which ViM will select two co-grand prize winners and ten runners-up.

Deadline: Mar 12, 2024

  • 2 Co-Grand Prizes: $200
  • 10 Runners-up: $20

Cambridge Re:think Essay Competition 2024

The Re:think Essay Competition welcomes students aged 14 to 18 worldwide to participate in crafting essays under 2000 words, following MLA 8 citation style, with submissions undergoing plagiarism and AI checks. Essay prompts cover diverse themes, such as the role of women in STEM , provided by distinguished professors from prestigious institutions like Harvard, Brown, UC Berkeley, Cambridge, Oxford, and MIT. To maintain anonymity during review, submissions should be in PDF format without personal details.

Deadline : 10th May, 2024

  • Gold: $150 cash, $500 CCIR scholarship, digital certificate, interview, Cambridge invite.
  • Silver: $100 cash, $300 CCIR scholarship, digital certificate, interview, Cambridge invite.
  • Bronze: $50 cash, $200 CCIR scholarship, digital certificate, interview, Cambridge invite.

The Hudson Prize by Black Lawrence Press

Each year, Black Lawrence Press presents The Hudson Prize, inviting submissions for an unpublished collection of poems or prose. This competition is open to writers at all stages of their careers, offering the winner book publication, a $1,000 cash prize, and ten copies of the published book. Entries are read blind by a panel of editors, requiring manuscripts to adhere to specific formatting guidelines, including pagination and font choice. Poetry manuscripts should be 45-95 pages, while prose manuscripts should range from 120-280 pages.

Deadline : March 31, 2024

  • Top prize $1,000

essay contest 2024

Irene Adler Prize by Lucas Ackroyd

Introducing The Irene Adler Prize essay writing contest, offering a $1,000 US scholarship to the winner, with up to two $250 awards for honorable mentions. Open to women pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. degrees in journalism, creative writing, or literature worldwide, regardless of age. Unlike previous years, this year's competition welcomes applicants from any country. The application period runs from January 30, 2024, to May 30, 2024, with no late submissions accepted. Each application requires a 500-word essay on one of five provided prompts and a completed entry form, both submitted via email.

Deadline : May 30, 2024

  • 2x honorable mentions: $250

100 Word Writing Contest by Tadpole Press

With a doubled first-place prize of $2,000 USD, participants are invited from all corners of the globe, regardless of age, gender, or nationality. Pen names are accepted, and winning entries will be published under those names. Previously published pieces are also welcome, with no restrictions. Any genre is accepted, with the theme centered around creativity. Each entry must be 100 words or less, including the title.

Deadline : April 30, 2024

  • 1st place: $2,000 USD.
  • 2nd place: Writing coaching package valued at $450 USD.
  • 3rd place: Developmental and diversity editing package valued at $250 USD.

African Diaspora Awards 2024 by Kinsman Avenue Publishing, Inc

The African Diaspora Award 2024 seeks original works from Afro-descendants, including short stories, flash fiction, essays, poetry, or visual art. Winners can earn up to $1000 USD and publication in Kinsman Quarterly and "Black Butterfly: Voices of the African Diaspora." Submissions reflecting cultural themes are due by June 30, 2024. Authors retain copyrights, and entrants must be 18 or older. No plagiarism is allowed, and Kinsman Quarterly employees cannot enter. Various genres are accepted with specific word count limits.

Deadline : June 30, 2024

  • Grand Prize: $1000 cash and publication in Kinsman Quarterly & anthology.
  • 1st Runner Up: $300 cash and publication 
  • 2nd Runner Up: $200 cash and publication 
  • 3rd Runner Up: $50 cash and publication
  • Top 6 Finalists: $25 Amazon gift card and publication 
  • 6 Honorary Mentions: Publication in Kinsman Quarterly & anthology.

Work-In-Progress (WIP) Contest by Unleash Press

The Unleash WIP Award 2024 offers $500, feedback, coaching, and a feature in Unleash Lit to help writers with their book projects in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. All writers can apply. So, if you're looking for resources like free Harvard online courses to hone your writing skills, consider entering this competition. Submissions of the first 25 pages and answers to questions are due by July 15, 2024. Multiple entries are okay, but follow the rules, especially keeping your submission anonymous. Unleash also welcomes previously self-published works.

Deadline : July 15, 2024

  • Top prize: $500
  • Additional prizes: Coaching, interview, and editorial support

Aurora Polaris Creative Nonfiction Award by Trio House Press

Open to all writers, the poetry manuscripts should be 48-70 pages, and the prose manuscripts should be up to 80,000 words. Submissions must be from U.S. residents and must be original works. AI-generated submissions and translations are not eligible. Manuscripts should be sent as a single Word doc. or docx. file with no identifying information, and a cover letter with bio and contact details should be uploaded separately.

Deadline: May 15, 2024

  • $1,000, publication, and 20 books

2024 International Literary Prize by Hammond House Publishing

Poetry & Spoken Word Competition 2024 by Write the World

Young writers aged 13 to 19.5 are invited to enter this upcoming competition, with submissions of 50 to 500 words. Inspired by Audrey Lorde's words and the power of poetry, participants are encouraged to craft original poems or spoken word pieces advocating for change and self-expression. Winners, including top prizes for written and recorded performances, will be announced on June 14. Malika Booker, a renowned British poet, serves as the guest judge. To enter, writers should sign up on Write the World, respond to the prompt, and submit their final entries before the deadline.

Deadline : May 27, 2024

  • Best entry: $100
  • Best Peer Review: $50

Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award

The Killer Nashville essay writing contests seek to uncover new talent and recognize outstanding works by established authors, aiming to introduce their works to a broader audience. With numerous fiction and non-fiction categories available, writers have the opportunity to showcase their talent across a wide range of genres. The top prize includes a $250 award, and entry requires a fee of $79. Genres eligible for entry encompass crime, essay, fantasy, fiction, humor, memoir, mystery, non-fiction, novel, poetry, science fiction, script writing, short story, and thriller.

Deadline : June 15, 2024

  • Top prize: $250

Journalism Competition 2024 by Write the World

In this upcoming competition, young writers aged 13 to 19.5 are invited to participate, with entries ranging from 400 to 1000 words. Participants are tasked with exploring and reporting on significant events within their own country, fostering a deeper understanding of local issues. Optional draft submissions for expert review are available until July 8, with feedback returned to writers by July 12. Winners will be announced on August 9. To enter, writers must sign up for a free account on Write the World, respond to the prompt, and submit their final entries before the deadline.

Deadline : July 22, 2024

National Essay Contest by U.S. Institute of Peace

This year, AFSA is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the United States Foreign Service. They've been involved in important events throughout history, like making decisions about war and peace, supporting human rights, and responding to disasters. Now, AFSA wants students to think about the future of diplomacy. They're asking students to imagine how diplomats can adapt to the changing world and its challenges. It's a chance for students to explore how diplomacy can continue to make a difference in the world.

Deadline : April 01, 2024

  • Top prize: $2,500
  • Additional prizes: Runner-up: $1,250

In 2023, the world of writing competitions offers a diverse tapestry of opportunities for writers across the globe. From exploring the depths of nature to delving into the mysteries of microfiction, these competitions beckon with enticing prizes and platforms for your creative voice. So, pick your favorite, sharpen your pen, and embark on a journey of literary excellence!

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Since 1883, we have delivered The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition, the world's oldest international schools' writing competition. Today, we work to expand its reach, providing life-changing opportunities for young people around the world.

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The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2024 is now closed for entries

Find out more about this year’s theme

'Our Common Wealth'.


140 years of The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition

The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition (QCEC) is the world’s oldest international writing competition for schools and has been proudly delivered by the Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883. 



An opportunity for young Commonwealth citizens to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences on key global issues and have their hard work and achievement celebrated internationally.

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Frequently Asked Questions for the Competition. Before contacting us please read these.



In 2023 we were delighted to receive a record-breaking 34,924 entries, with winners from India and Malaysia. Read their winning pieces as well as those from previous years.



Terms and Conditions for entrants to The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition. Please ensure you have thoroughly read them before submitting your entry.

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Best Essay Writing Contests in 2024

Showing 54 contests that match your search.

Annual Contest Submissions

So To Speak

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, LGBTQ, Non-fiction, and Poetry

So To Speak is seeking submissions for poetry, fiction, and non-fiction with an intersectional feminist lens! It is no secret that the literary canon and literary journals are largely comprised of heteronormative, patriarchal, cisgender, able-bodied white men. So to Speak seeks work by writers, poets, and artists who want to challenge and change the identity of the “canonical” writer.

Additional prizes:


💰 Entry fee: $4

📅 Deadline: March 15, 2024 (Expired)

Journalism Competition 2024

Write the World

Genres: Essay and Non-fiction

What are the most important issues taking place close to home? Perhaps a rare bird sighting near your town? Or a band of young people in your province fighting for access to higher education? This month, immerse yourself in a newsworthy event inside the borders of your own country, and invite us there through your written reporting.

Best entry: $100

Runner up: $50 | Best peer review: $50

📅 Deadline: July 22, 2024

Jane Austen Society of North America Essay Contest

Jane Austen Society of North America

Genres: Children's and Essay

JASNA conducts an annual student Essay Contest to foster the study and appreciation of Jane Austen's works in new generations of readers. Students world-wide are invited to compete for scholarship awards in three divisions: high school, college, and graduate school.

$1,000 scholarship

Two nights’ lodging for JASNA’s Annual General Meeting

📅 Deadline: June 02, 2022 (Expired)

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Sunspot Literary Journal

Genres: Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Script Writing, and Short Story

Sunspot Lit is looking for one work, including a novel or novella excerpt, that provides a flare of creative energy. Literary or genre accepted. Enter through Submittable or Duotrope. Learn more:

💰 Entry fee: $10

📅 Deadline: May 31, 2024

NOWW 26th International Writing Contest

Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop (NOWW)

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, and Short Story

Open to all writers in four categories: poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction, and critical writing.

2nd: $100 | 3rd: $50

💰 Entry fee: $7

📅 Deadline: February 29, 2024 (Expired)

Artificial Intelligence Competition

New Beginnings

Genres: Essay, Non-fiction, Science Fiction, Science Writing, and Short Story

There is no topic relating to technology that brings more discussion than artificial intelligence. Some people think it does wonders. Others see it as trouble. Let us know your opinion about AI in this competition. Include experiences you have had with AI. 300-word limit. Winners will be selected January 1, 2024. Open to anyone, anywhere.

💰 Entry fee: $5

📅 Deadline: December 15, 2023 (Expired)

Hispanic Culture Review Contest 2022-2023

Hispanic Culture Review

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Short Story, and Flash Fiction

As the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano once said, "the best that the world has is in the many worlds that the world contains." Therefore, this year we invite you to reflect on the following questions: How do you or your community celebrate these connections? How do you value those experiences with those people who leave a mark on your life? 1 work will be awarded in each category: 1) photography & visual arts, 2) poetry, and 3) narrative/essay/academic investigation.

$100 for photography, poetry, and essay winners

💰 Entry fee: $0

📅 Deadline: February 01, 2023 (Expired)

The Fountain Essay Contest

Fountain Magazine

“Home” holds a special place in our lives. Our earliest memories form inside its walls; we utter our first words and take our first steps there. Does everyone feel the same about home? Is it where you were born or where you earn your bread? Is home a physical place? In a world that moves faster than ever and is confined to small screens, how do perceptions about "home" change? Where is home for people who are forced to leave their homes? Where is your home?

📅 Deadline: June 30, 2024

High School Academic Research Competition

Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal

The High School Academic Research Competition is where talented students from around the world compete to publish high-quality research on any topic. SARC challenges students to sharpen their critical thinking skills, immerse themselves in the research process, and hone their writing skills for success.

Indigo Research Intensive Summer Program

📅 Deadline: April 17, 2024 (Expired)

The Letter Review Prize for Unpublished Books

The Letter Review

Genres: Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

Free to enter. Seeking 0-5000 word (poetry: 15 pgs) excerpts of unpublished books (Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction), including most self-published and indie-published works. 2-4 Winners (publication of extract is optional). We Shortlist 10-20 writers. Open to writers from anywhere in the world, with no theme or genre restrictions. Judged blind.

Optional Publication of Excerpt, Letter of Recommendation

📅 Deadline: May 01, 2024 (Expired)

International Voices in Creative Nonfiction Competition

Vine Leaves Press

Genres: Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction, and Novel

Small presses have potential for significant impact, and at Vine Leaves Press, we take this responsibility quite seriously. It is our responsibility to give marginalized groups the opportunity to establish literary legacies that feel rich and vast. Why? To sustain hope for the world to become a more loving, tolerable, and open space. It always begins with art. That is why we have launched this writing competition.

Book publication

💰 Entry fee: $25

📅 Deadline: July 01, 2024

Literary and Photographic Contest 2023-2024

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, and Poetry

As we move forward we carry our culture wherever we go. It keeps us alive. This is why we propose the theme to be “¡Hacia delante!”. A phrase that means to move forward. This year we ask that you think about the following questions: What keeps you moving forward? What do you carry with you going into the future? How do you celebrate your successes, your dreams, and your culture?

Publication in magazine

📅 Deadline: February 07, 2024 (Expired)

Brink Literary Journal Award for Hybrid Writing

Genres: Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, Science Writing, and Short Story

The Brink Literary Journal Award for Hybrid Writing will be administered to the winner of a literary contest designed to champion innovative hybrid and cross-genre work.

💰 Entry fee: $22

📅 Deadline: February 16, 2024 (Expired)

The Lascaux Prize in Creative Nonfiction

Lascuax Review

Creative nonfiction may include memoirs, chronicles, personal essays, humorous perspectives, literary journalism—anything the author has witnessed, experienced, or discovered. Pieces may be previously published or unpublished, and simultaneous submissions are accepted. Winner receives $1,000, a bronze medallion, and publication in The Lascaux Review.

💰 Entry fee: $15

📅 Deadline: September 30, 2024

Red Hen Press Women's Prose Prize

Red Hen Press

Genres: Fiction, Non-fiction, Short Story, Essay, Memoir, and Novel

Established in 2018, the Women’s Prose Prize is for previously unpublished, original work of prose. Novels, short story collections, memoirs, essay collections, and all other forms of prose writing are eligible for consideration. The awarded manuscript is selected through a biennial competition, held in even-numbered years, that is open to all writers who identify as women.

Publication by Red Hen Press

📅 Deadline: February 28, 2024 (Expired)

Military Anthology: Partnerships, the Untold Story

Armed Services Arts Partnership

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Non-fiction, Poetry, and Short Story

Partners are an integral aspect of military life, at home and afar, during deployment and after homecoming. Partnerships drive military action and extend beyond being a battle buddy, wingman, or crew member. Some are planned while others arise entirely unexpectedly. Spouses, family, old or new friends, community, faith leaders, and medical specialists all support the military community. Despite their importance, the stories of these partnerships often go untold. This anthology aims to correct that: We will highlight the nuances, surprises, joy, sorrow, heroism, tears, healing power, and ache of partnerships. We invite you to submit the story about partnerships from your journey, so we can help tell it.

$500 Editors' Choice award

$250 for each genre category (prose, poetry, visual art)

📅 Deadline: March 01, 2024 (Expired)

The Letter Review Prize for Books

Genres: Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Horror, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novella, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Science Writing, Short Story, Thriller, and Young Adult

The Letter Review Prize for Books is open to writers from anywhere in the world. Seeking most unpublished (we accept some self/indie published) novels, novellas, story collections, nonfiction, poetry etc. 20 entries are longlisted.

$1000 USD shared by 3 winners

📅 Deadline: April 30, 2024 (Expired)

Share Your Story Inc.

Genres: Essay and Memoir

Write about an event in your life. Everyone has a memoir. Not an autobiography. Too much concern about fact and convention. A memoir gives us the ability to write about our life with the option to create and fabricate and to make sense of a life, or part of that life.

📅 Deadline: August 13, 2024

Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest

Ayn Rand Institute

Genres: Essay

Atlas Shrugged is a mystery story, not about the murder of a man’s body, but about the murder—and rebirth—of man’s spirit. We seek exceptional essays of up to 1600 words that analyze its themes and ideas. High school to graduate students worldwide are invited to participate.

📅 Deadline: June 14, 2024

Goldilocks Zone

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Memoir, Non-fiction, Novel, Novella, Poetry, Script Writing, and Short Story

Sunspot Lit is looking for the perfect combination of craft and appeal in stories, CNF, novel or novella excerpts, artwork, graphic novels, poems, scripts/screenplays. Literary and genre accepted. Enter through Submittable or Duotrope.

Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award

Killer Nashville

Genres: Crime, Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Humor, Memoir, Mystery, Non-fiction, Novel, Poetry, Science Fiction, Script Writing, Short Story, and Thriller

The Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award is committed to discovering new writers, as well as superlative books by established authors and, upon discovery, sharing those writers and their works with new readers. There are a large number of both fiction and non-fiction categories you can enter.

💰 Entry fee: $79

📅 Deadline: June 15, 2024

Young Sports Journalist 2024

The Young Sports Journalist Competition, 2024, seeks well-argued articles from aspiring journalists aged 14-21. Winning entries will be published online and printed in the Summer Issue of Pitch. Critiqued by our panel of accomplished judges, winners will also receive a £50 cash prize and offered work experience here at PITCH HQ. The competition runs from 7 February 2024 to 5 April 2024. And winners will be announced in May.

Publication in magazine and online

📅 Deadline: April 05, 2024 (Expired)

Climate Change Writing Competition

Genres: Essay, Memoir, and Non-fiction

This month, dear writers, ahead of COP27, help us raise the voices of young people in this urgent fight. In a piece of personal narrative, tell the world’s leaders gathering in how climate change impacts you. How has this crisis changed your environment, your community, your sense of the future? Storytelling, after all, plays a critical role in helping us grasp the emergency through which we are all living, igniting empathy in readers and listeners—itself a precursor to action.

Runner-up: $50

📅 Deadline: October 18, 2022 (Expired)

Anthology Travel Writing Competition 2024

Anthology Magazine

Genres: Essay, Non-fiction, and Travel

The Anthology Travel Writing Competition is open to original and previously unpublished travel articles in the English language by writers of any nationality, living anywhere in the world. We are looking for an engaging article that will capture the reader’s attention, conveying a strong sense of the destination and the local culture. Max 1000 words.

💰 Entry fee: $16

📅 Deadline: November 30, 2024

Askew's Word on the Lake Writing Contest

Shuswap Association of Writers

Genres: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Essay, Memoir, and Short Story

Whether you’re an established or emerging writer, the Askew’s Word on the Lake Writing Contest has a place for you. Part of the Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival in Salmon Arm, BC, the contest is open to submissions in short fiction (up to 2,000 words), nonfiction (up to 2,000 words), and poetry (up to three one-page poems).

💰 Entry fee: $11

📅 Deadline: January 31, 2024 (Expired)

Environmental Writing 2024

The writer and activist Bill McKibben describes Environmental Writing as "the collision between people and the rest of the world." This month, peer closely at that intersection: How do humans interact with their environment? Given your inheritance of this earth, the world needs your voices now more than ever.

📅 Deadline: April 22, 2024 (Expired)

Creative Nonfiction Prize

Indiana Review

Genres: Essay, Fiction, and Non-fiction

Send us one creative nonfiction piece, up to 5000 words, for a chance at $1000 + publication. This year's contest will be judged by Lars Horn.

💰 Entry fee: $20

📅 Deadline: March 31, 2024 (Expired)

The Letter Review Prize for Nonfiction

Genres: Essay, Memoir, Non-fiction, Crime, Humor, and Science Writing

2-4 Winners are published. We Shortlist 10-20 writers. Seeking Nonfiction 0-5000 words. Judges’ feedback available. Open to writers from anywhere in the world, with no theme or genre restrictions. Judged blind. All entries considered for publication + submission to Pushcart.

Publication by The Letter Review

💰 Entry fee: $2

Bacopa Literary Review Annual Writing Contest

Writers Alliance of Gainesville

Genres: Essay, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, and Short Story

Bacopa Literary Review’s 2024 contest is open from March 4 through April 4, with $200 Prize and $100 Honorable Mention in each of six categories: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Flash Fiction, Free Verse Poetry, Formal Poetry, and Visual Poetry.

📅 Deadline: May 02, 2024 (Expired)

International Essay Competition 2023/24

Avernus Education

Welcome to our prestigious International Essay Competition. At Avernus Education, we are thrilled to provide a platform for young minds to showcase their prowess in Medicine, Engineering, Law, Economics, Psychology, History and Politics. These varied subject categories underscore the importance of interdisciplinary study, a crucial foundation for future leaders in our increasingly interconnected world. Winners receive an exclusive Avernus Education Scholarship worth over £5000 - granting them free entrance to our exclusive summer camp at Oxford University! Outstanding Runners Up receive 5 hours worth of Credits for Avernus Education courses, conferences and tutoring services.

100% Scholarship Award to our Oxford University Summer Programme (worth £5995)

Partial scholarship

📅 Deadline: February 19, 2024 (Expired)

Tusculum Review Nonfiction Chapbook Prize

The Tusculum Review

A prize of $1,000, publication of the essay in The Tusculum Review’s 20th Anniversary Issue (2024), and creation of a limited edition stand-alone chapbook with original art is awarded. Editors of The Tusculum Review and contest judge Mary Cappello will determine the winner of the 2024 prize.

Narratively 2023 Memoir Prize


Genres: Essay, Humor, Memoir, and Non-fiction

Narratively is currently accepting submissions for their 2023 Memoir Prize. They are looking for revealing and emotional first-person nonfiction narratives from unique and overlooked points of view. The guest judge is New York Times bestselling memoirist Stephanie Land.

$1,000 and publication

📅 Deadline: November 30, 2023 (Expired)

A Very Short Story Contest

Gotham Writers Workshop

Genres: Essay, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Humor, Memoir, and Non-fiction

Write a great short story in ten words or fewer. Submit it to our contest. Entry is free. Winner of the bet gets a free Gotham class.

Free writing class from Gotham Writers Workshop.

Annual Student Essay Contest

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

For this year’s Essay Contest, we are asking students to think about why the story of the Oklahoma City bombing is important today.

📅 Deadline: March 04, 2024 (Expired)

The Hudson Prize

Black Lawrence Press

Each year Black Lawrence Press will award The Hudson Prize for an unpublished collection of poems or prose. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers.

💰 Entry fee: $28

Discover the finest writing contests of 2024 for fiction and non-fiction authors — including short story competitions, essay writing competitions, poetry contests, and many more. Updated weekly, these contests are vetted by Reedsy to weed out the scammers and time-wasters. If you’re looking to stick to free writing contests, simply use our filters as you browse.

Why you should submit to writing contests

Submitting to poetry competitions and free writing contests in 2024 is absolutely worth your while as an aspiring author: just as your qualifications matter when you apply for a new job, a writing portfolio that boasts published works and award-winning pieces is a great way to give your writing career a boost. And not to mention the bonus of cash prizes!

That being said, we understand that taking part in writing contests can be tough for emerging writers. First, there’s the same affliction all writers face: lack of time or inspiration. Entering writing contests is a time commitment, and many people decide to forego this endeavor in order to work on their larger projects instead — like a full-length book. Second, for many writers, the chance of rejection is enough to steer them clear of writing contests. 

But we’re here to tell you that two of the great benefits of entering writing contests happen to be the same as those two reasons to avoid them.

When it comes to the time commitment: yes, you will need to expend time and effort in order to submit a quality piece of writing to competitions. That being said, having a hard deadline to meet is a great motivator for developing a solid writing routine.

Think of entering contests as a training session to become a writer who will need to meet deadlines in order to have a successful career. If there’s a contest you have your eye on, and the deadline is in one month, sit down and realistically plan how many words you’ll need to write per day in order to meet that due date — and don’t forget to also factor in the time you’ll need to edit your story!

For tips on setting up a realistic writing plan, check out this free, ten-day course: How to Build a Rock-Solid Writing Routine.

In regards to the fear of rejection, the truth is that any writer aspiring to become a published author needs to develop relatively thick skin. If one of your goals is to have a book traditionally published, you will absolutely need to learn how to deal with rejection, as traditional book deals are notoriously hard to score. If you’re an indie author, you will need to adopt the hardy determination required to slowly build up a readership.

The good news is that there’s a fairly simple trick for learning to deal with rejection: use it as a chance to explore how you might be able to improve your writing.

In an ideal world, each rejection from a publisher or contest would come with a detailed letter, offering construction feedback and pointing out specific tips for improvement. And while this is sometimes the case, it’s the exception and not the rule.

Still, you can use the writing contests you don’t win as a chance to provide yourself with this feedback. Take a look at the winning and shortlisted stories and highlight their strong suits: do they have fully realized characters, a knack for showing instead of telling, a well-developed but subtly conveyed theme, a particularly satisfying denouement?

The idea isn’t to replicate what makes those stories tick in your own writing. But most examples of excellent writing share a number of basic craft principles. Try and see if there are ways for you to translate those stories’ strong points into your own unique writing.

Finally, there are the more obvious benefits of entering writing contests: prize and publication. Not to mention the potential to build up your readership, connect with editors, and gain exposure.

Resources to help you win writing competitions in 2024

Every writing contest has its own set of submission rules. Whether those rules are dense or sparing, ensure that you follow them to a T. Disregarding the guidelines will not sway the judges’ opinion in your favor — and might disqualify you from the contest altogether. 

Aside from ensuring you follow the rules, here are a few resources that will help you perfect your submissions.

Free online courses

On Writing:

How to Craft a Killer Short Story

The Non-Sexy Business of Writing Non-Fiction

How to Write a Novel

Understanding Point of View

Developing Characters That Your Readers Will Love

Writing Dialogue That Develops Plot and Character

Stop Procrastinating! Build a Solid Writing Routine

On Editing:

Story Editing for Authors

How to Self-Edit Like a Pro

Novel Revision: Practical Tips for Rewrites

How to Write a Short Story in 7 Steps

Reedsy's guide to novel writing

Literary Devices and Terms — 35+ Definitions With Examples

10 Essential Fiction Writing Tips to Improve Your Craft

How to Write Dialogue: 8 Simple Rules and Exercises

8 Character Development Exercises to Help You Nail Your Character

Bonus resources

200+ Short Story Ideas

600+ Writing Prompts to Inspire You

100+ Creative Writing Exercises for Fiction Authors

Story Title Generator

Pen Name Generator

Character Name Generator

After you submit to a writing competition in 2024

It’s exciting to send a piece of writing off to a contest. However, once the initial excitement wears off, you may be left waiting for a while. Some writing contests will contact all entrants after the judging period — whether or not they’ve won. Other writing competitions will only contact the winners. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind after you submit:

Many writing competitions don’t have time to respond to each entrant with feedback on their story. However, it never hurts to ask! Feel free to politely reach out requesting feedback — but wait until after the selection period is over.

If you’ve submitted the same work to more than one writing competition or literary magazine, remember to withdraw your submission if it ends up winning elsewhere.

After you send a submission, don’t follow it up with a rewritten or revised version. Instead, ensure that your first version is thoroughly proofread and edited. If not, wait until the next edition of the contest or submit the revised version to other writing contests.

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How to Win an Essay Contest

Last Updated: February 28, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Daniel Santos . Daniel Santos is a College Admissions & Career Coach and Prepory's co-founder and CEO. Prepory is a leading college admissions consulting firm that has guided over 9,000 students from 35 countries through the US college admissions process. Prepory is a member of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling and a trusted admissions counseling partner to several competitive high schools across Florida. Prior to founding Prepory, Daniel worked at various leading law firms and the United States House of Representatives. Daniel has been featured as a college admissions and career coaching expert across several major publications, including the Wall Street Journal, FORTUNE, and The Harvard Crimson. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 170,053 times.

If you're hoping to write an essay that will win a contest, there are several ways to make your writing stand out. Before you start writing, make sure you read the essay guidelines so that you're following all of the rules. Come up with a topic that fits the contest's theme and craft a detailed, descriptive, and interesting essay. By making your essay original and error-free, you'll be much more likely to win the contest.

Crafting and Editing the Essay

Step 1 Read the essay contest rules before starting.

  • If you don’t follow one or more of the rules when writing and submitting your essay, your essay may be disqualified, so make sure to read over the rules several times if necessary.
  • It’s a good idea to print out the guidelines so that you can refer to them as you’re writing.

Step 2 Brainstorm essay ideas to pick a topic that works with the theme.

  • It’s super important to stick with the theme when you’re writing and not get off-topic.
  • For example, if the contest asks you to write about a person who has influenced you, make a list of the people that have had a big impact on your life and choose the person who you can write lots of descriptive examples about.

Step 3 Write a draft of your essay to get out all of your ideas.

  • It’s okay if you have several different drafts of one essay.
  • Make an outline of your essay before you start to help you organize your thoughts.

Step 4 Revise the essay to create a final draft.

  • Ask a friend or family member to read over your essay to see if it’s interesting and makes sense.
  • It may help you to put the essay aside for a day or two after you’ve written it so that you can revise it again with a fresh perspective.

Step 5 Proofread the essay carefully to check for any mistakes.

  • It may help to ask another person to read over the essay to see if they spot any mistakes.

Step 6 Submit your essay before the deadline.

  • Check to see when the submission deadline is in the contest’s guidelines and rules.
  • It may help you to put the essay deadline on your calendar so that you don’t forget when it is.
  • If you're sending the essay by mail, make sure you send it far enough in advance that it will reach the judges in time.

Making Your Essay Stand Out

Step 1 Choose an interesting essay beginning to grab the reader’s attention.

  • An example of an attention-grabbing introduction might be, “I held my breath for 82 seconds before I was yanked out of the water,” or “Sarah walked slowly up to the door, her body drenched in nervous sweat, before firmly knocking.”

Step 2 Come up with a creative title.

  • The title should give the reader a glimpse of what your essay is about while leaving them intrigued.
  • For example, if you’re writing an essay about a lemon picker, you might title the essay, "Living with Sour Fingers."

Step 3 Bring your essay to life by using lots of descriptive words.

  • Instead of saying, “The wheelbarrow fell down the hill,” you could say, “The rusty wheels of the wheelbarrow skidded over smooth rocks and sharp blades of grass until it skidded to a stop at the edge of the water.”

Step 4 Be original in your writing to make your essay stand out.

  • Read over your essay and look for sentences or ideas that would likely not be found in another person's essay.
  • If you're having trouble figuring out if you have an original element, have someone else read over your essay and tell you which parts stand out.

Step 5 Format your essay so that it looks neat and professional.

  • Review the essay guidelines to see if there’s a special way they’d like the essay formatted.

Expert Q&A

Daniel Santos

  • If you don't win, take a look at the winning entries if possible and see what they did that you didn't. Try to learn from this and incorporate it into your next essay. Thanks Helpful 18 Not Helpful 2
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help if you have a hard time! As long as your work is original, getting feedback from others is a great way to make your writing stronger. Thanks Helpful 12 Not Helpful 2
  • If you have difficulty understanding the topic or the guidelines, try to get in touch with the judges. Thanks Helpful 12 Not Helpful 2

essay about the competition

  • Failure to follow the format requirements may disqualify your essay. Thanks Helpful 44 Not Helpful 8
  • Be aware of the deadline to ensure you get your essay submitted in time. Thanks Helpful 18 Not Helpful 3

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Expert Interview

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Thanks for reading our article! If you'd like to learn more about essay contests, check out our in-depth interview with Daniel Santos .

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Essay Competition: Win a 100% Scholarship With Immerse Education

Take part in the Immerse Education Essay Competition for your chance to win a full or partial scholarship to our university and career preparation programmes

12th September 2024: Submission Deadline

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Competition Open

full scholarships Awarded each year

entries each year

Share Your Success

Scholarship Award Certificate PDFs For Winners

What is the Essay Competition?

The Immerse Education Essay Competition provides the opportunity for students aged 13-18 to submit essay responses to a question of their choice relating to a subject of interest. There are over twenty questions to choose from which can be found in our full Essay Competition Guide. 10 winners will receive a 100% scholarship to study with us at a world-leading university of their choosing. Outstanding runners-up also receive partial scholarships.

23rd February 2024

Competition opens

12th September 2024

Competition closes

17th October 2024

Results announced

January, July & August 2025

Programme dates

Who Can Apply?

  • The Immerse Education Essay Competition is open to students worldwide of all nationalities. You must be aged between 13-18 during your chosen programme.

10 winners will receive a 100% scholarship. Take a look at previous essay competition winners.

Runners Up will be awarded partial scholarships of up to 50% to study their chosen subject with Immerse. The number of runners-up will be determined by the number of entries received and the quality of the work submitted. The next category of entrants who are not runner-ups receive partial scholarships worth up to 20%.

Our Guest Judges

essay about the competition

Éabha Lynn is this year's Editorial Scholar at The BMJ, looking after all the content BMJ Student produces. She runs a blog and podcast at BMJ student, and has extensive writing, editorial and curative experience in the world of medicine.

essay about the competition

Arnold Longboy

Arnold Longboy has worked amongst the top business schools in the world, and is currently the Executive Director of the Recruitment & Admissions Team at London Business School.

essay about the competition

Susmita Bhattacharya

Susmita won the Winchester Writer’s Festival Memoir Prize in 2016 and her novel, The Normal State of Mind was longlisted for the Words to Screen Prize at the Mumbai Association of Moving Images (MAMI) festival in India.

essay about the competition

Amelia Suda-Gosch

Female Future Leaders Judge, Co-CEO of Female Founders

essay about the competition

Tom Ireland

Tom Ireland is an editor at The Biologist, an award-winning magazine of the Royal Society of Biology. He is a regular contributor to the monthly magazine BBC Science Focus and has also written for The Guardian, New Scientist, and BBC News.

Programmes Our Scholarship Can be Redeemed Against

Reviews and winners, what do our alumni say.

Chidera O. profile

I loved the little conversations we had when a question about the topic turned into explanations of the ethical, personal and economic issues that surround medicine. Overall, I found my lessons very beneficial. I know so much more about medicine and its different subsets, but also about what a career in medicine really looks like.

Immerse alumni, and scholarship winner

Noor M. 100% Scholarship Winner

I could see that the essay competition was an incredible opportunity for international students to win a scholarship purely based on merit. More importantly, after doing some more research, I realised that the process for choosing winners was incredibly fair, that everyone would get an equal chance regardless of their socio-economic background, race, nationality, gender, etc.

100% Scholarship Winner

Atlas D. in a boat taking a selfie

I enrolled because I wanted to expand my knowledge of physics and meet other people with the same interests as myself. Both of which I was successful in doing! My favourite aspect of the programme was the small class sizes – this helped both the tutor and students with learning and understanding the subject.

Adriadna M holding flowers in front of a house

Immerse was very fun as well as useful. You were able to experience what it would be like if you studied here for university. The most beneficial part of the course was being able to see what International Relations is like, and it helped me decide what I want to study in the future.

Kornelia K. profile

My school invited everyone to participate, and the further I read about Immerse Education, the more motivated I was to enter the competition. Not only did I have the chance to study a subject I love, I would also be able to expand on my essay skills since writing has always been a passion of mine.

a girl student smiling at camera

I really wanted to go to medicine summer school this year, and so I literally was searching for summer school opportunities and Immerse is one that came up. Through this, I found out about the essay competition and I decided to submit an answer. Immerse was very helpful whilst I was writing my essay, especially with things like the referencing guide.

I’m 16, so I’ve never written an academic essay before, so it was really important that I actually knew what I was doing in the first place and it definitely helped me with that. The programme so far has been very enriching. It’s helped me understand more about medicine and made me realise that this is what I want to do in life. Meeting new friends, tutors, and the mentors, they’re all amazing. My favourite things on the programme have been the evening activities, like murder mystery night. I am so happy to be able to have seen people that are like minded, and competitive as well. I really think that the tutors and the mentors have all been very supportive of me.

Academic Insights, Medicine

Hear From a Previous Scholarship Winner

The Immerse Education Essay Competition is open to entries from young people aged 13-18 interested in all subjects, from Architecture to Medicine, Creative Writing to Film Studies. However, students aged 18 should only submit an essay if they will still be 18 when the programmes the scholarships are valid for begin.

To confirm, if participants are successful, they should be aged between 13 and 18 at the start of their programme.

This current round of the essay competition is valid for 2025 Immerse Education programmes.

Immerse provides a full essay-writing guide which is sent to your email address once you register your interest in the competition. This guide includes a full list of essay questions, our essay specification, top tips for writing an academic essay, referencing guidance, our terms and conditions and guidance on plagiarism! Registering interest also ensures that you’re on track to submitting your essay on time, through a series of helpful reminder prompts. To support further you can register for our  webinars , which offer top tips and guidance with essay writing from our experts. You are also welcome to explore our  creative writing resources .

Funded scholarship to study abroad:  Our essay competition offers students like you the chance to win a full or partial scholarship to one of our Online Programmes or residential programmes in locations such as Oxford, Cambridge, Sydney, London and more.

Ongoing support from Immerse while you write:  Full support from our team as you write your essay, with free guides and top tips to help you along the way. Sign up to receive our full Essay competition Guide and free tips and tricks as you write. You can also follow us on Instagram and Tik Tok to get more useful essay writing tips.

Demonstrate what you know:  The competition is a chance for you to demonstrate your content knowledge by answering advanced university-style questions.

Build your skills and knowledge:  The opportunity to apply and advance your essay writing skills. You will likely learn something new in the process!

Develop your self-discipline:  A chance to strengthen your self-discipline as you commit to a challenging project and complete it from start to finish.

If you win a scholarship via the Essay Competition 2024/2025 you can use it toward any residential course in any of our locations. Use your scholarship to enrol on one of our renowned online programmes* or enriching in-person/residential summer school programmes in cultural melting pots such as Cambridge, Oxford, London or Sydney and more. * Essay competition schorlaships cannot be redeemed against online Intensive programmes.

No, there is no entry fee and you do not need to have already enrolled onto any of our programmes to take part in the essay competition.

The deadline for all essay entries for the last round of the competition is 4th January 2024. The next deadline will most likely be on 12th September 2024.

Register to receive free Essay Competition guidance

The Immerse Education Essay Competition provides the opportunity for students aged 13-18 to submit essay responses to a pre-set question relating to their chosen subject. Register interest to receive your guide with the comprehensive list of questions including:

  • – Essay Specifications
  • – Top Tips for Writing an Academic Essay
  • – Referencing Guidance
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essay about the competition

Berggruen Prize Essay Competition

The Berggruen Prize Essay Competition seeks to stimulate new thinking and innovative concepts while embracing cross-cultural perspectives across fields, disciplines, and geographies. By posing fundamental philosophical questions of significance for both contemporary life and for the future, the competition will serve as a complement to the Berggruen Prize for Philosophy & Culture, which recognizes major lifetime achievements in advancing ideas that have shaped the world.

The inspiration for the competition originates from the role essays have played in the past, including the essay contest held by the Académie de Dijon. In 1750, Jean-Jacques Rousseau's essay Discourse on the Arts and Sciences , also known as The First Discourse , won and notably marked the onset of his prominence as a profoundly influential thinker. Similarly, our competition aspires to create a platform for groundbreaking ideas and intellectual innovation.

essay about the competition

The annual Berggruen Prize Essay Competition will accept submissions in two languages: Chinese and English. Each language category will have a prize of $25,000 USD and intends to recognize one winner, though there may be multiple winners in any given year.

The Berggruen Institute will host an award ceremony and convene the authors of the winning essays in dialogue with established scholars and thinkers at one of our global centers. We plan to publish the winning essays in our award-winning English-language magazine Noema and Chinese-language magazine Cuiling , giving readers insight into perspectives of both East and West.

We are inviting essays that follow in the tradition of renowned thinkers such as Rousseau, Michel de Montaigne, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Submissions should present novel ideas and be clearly argued in compelling ways for intellectually serious readers. We are not seeking peer-reviewed academic work. Below is a selection of exemplary essays that epitomize the genre and style we look for. While some of these pieces are authored by already distinguished thinkers, we have chosen them primarily for their exceptional embodiment of genre and style.

  • Chomsky, N. (1967). The responsibility of intellectuals. The New York Review of Books .
  • Frankfurt, H. G. (1971). Freedom of the will and the concept of a person. Journal of Philosophy , 68(1), 5-20.
  • Fukuyama, F. (1989). The end of history? The National Interest , 16, 3–18.
  • Huntington, S. P. (1993). The clash of civilizations? Foreign Affairs , 72(3), 22-49.
  • Nagel, T. (1974). What is it like to be a bat? The Philosophical Review , 83(4), 435-450.
  • Sontag, S. (1966). Against interpretation. In Against Interpretation and Other Essays (pp. 3-14). Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
  • Walker, S. (2023). AI is life. Noema Magazine .
  • Zadeh, J. (2021). The tyranny of time. Noema Magazine .

Eligibility Criteria

Submission requirements, code of conduct, terms & conditions.

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Advisory Panel

  • Lucas Angioni
  • Arjun Appadurai
  • Julian Baggini
  • Tongdong Bai
  • Rajeev Bhargava
  • Annabel Brett
  • Craig Calhoun
  • Dipesh Chakrabarty
  • Lesong Cheng
  • Weiwen Duan
  • Robyn Eckersley
  • Sam Fleischacker
  • Christia Fotini
  • Gan Chunsong
  • Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
  • Asher Jiang
  • Michèle Lamont
  • Meira Levinson
  • Chenyang Li
  • Qiaoying Lu
  • Jianhua Mei
  • Pankaj Mishra
  • Viren Murthy
  • Thierry Ngosso
  • Mathias Risse
  • Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem
  • Vladimir Safatle
  • Allison Simmons
  • Smita Sirker
  • Xiangchen Sun
  • Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir
  • Samantha Vice
  • Robin R. Wang
  • Dingxin Zhao
  • Zhao Tingyang


YES Essay Contest

The winners of the 2022 Young Economists' Society Essay Contest.

Winner : Hin Tak Ben Law - Eton College, United Kingdom

Special mention : Nori Law - King George V School, Hong Kong

Special mention : Eva Solway - Kellett School, Hong Kong

Essay title : Inflation in the United Kingdom rose to its highest level in almost 30 years in January 2022. Discuss the economic effects of such high rates of inflation.

Feedback from the judges:

Essays were well written with insightful analysis of the effects of high inflation in the UK. In most essays a range of reliable sources were used to support this analysis. In the best essays there was clear and nuanced evaluation of the effects of high inflation. To improve, some answers would benefit from:

Focusing on the question - the effects of inflation not why inflation is occurring.

Expanding a point fully before moving on to the next point.

Using reliable sources to support all points.

Evaluating points rather than focusing on only the positives and negatives.

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Winners of UL essay competition prove they have the ‘write’ stuff

A photo of two female students wearing green hoodies, posing with a brochure against the backdrop of a lit projector screen

The themes of emigration and the role of young people in building a sustainable future in Ireland were eloquently debated in a series of award-winning essays at University of Limerick this week.

Senior cycle students from secondary schools around the country impressed with their submissions to the UL Regional Writing Centre’s National Secondary School Essay-writing Competition, with three students claiming prizes at a dedicated on-campus award ceremony.

Now in its thirteenth year, the competition gives Transition and 5 th -year students the opportunity to write persuasively on social issues that are relevant to them, in preparation for the argumentative writing they will perform later at third level.

This year’s entrants were asked to write an essay of response to Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik’s statement that “Ireland feels like no country for young people”. Deputy Bacik’s comment followed the revelation by the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) that seven in 10 young people are “considering emigration for a better quality of life than in Ireland”. Entrants were asked to take a decisive stance on the statement, with the resulting submissions exploring themes such as the cost of living and the housing crisis.

The winning submission came from Annabel Bogue, who wrote about the role of young people in building a sustainable future in her essay ‘Empowering Ireland’s Future’.

Prizes were also presented to Sophie Maher for her essay ‘Driven Away’, and Ornait O’ Donoghue for her essay ‘Ireland Feels Like No Country for Young People’.

"The winners of this year’s competition, as in past years, have produced the most unique and compelling cases for their positions on the topic presented and, by participating in this exercise, have taken the first step in reflecting and re-evaluating who they are in the face of the opposing or differing positions of others; the first step in a life-long re-evaluation, through communication with others, of who they are and who they want to be known to be. We don’t always have to justify ourselves to others, but doing so helps us to justify who we are to ourselves and to be more knowledgeable about the basis for that justification,” said Lawrence Cleary, Director of the Regional Writing Centre.

The Regional Writing Centre at UL offers a free and friendly place for students at the University to come and address any aspect of their writing. This annual competition extends that reach out to the community, highlighting the Centre’s commitment to a life-long learning approach to writing in all contexts, whether academic, professional or personal.

For further information, visit the Regional Writing Centre at UL website .

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Bookings Open for Online Summer Courses

OxBright logo

Watch our Explainer Video

How Our Essay Competition Works

Submit your entry.

Research and write your essay and then submit it, along with your references, via our short form below.

Entries close at 9pm UK time on 15th April 2024 !

Awards Ceremony

All shortlisted entrants and their parents and teachers will be invited to attend our Awards Ceremony in May 2024, where the winners will be announced.

Over £100,000 Worth of Academic Prizes

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Free Conference place

The first thousand students who are successfully shortlisted will be awarded a free place at one of our OxBright Conferences (worth £95) in the autumn. Alternatively, you can put this credit towards an Online Course or Online Internship .

All shortlisted entrants and their parents and teachers will be invited to attend our online Awards Ceremony in May 2024, where the winners will be announced.

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Matilda Winner, History, 2023

I’m both thrilled and flabbergasted at the outcome of the competition.

Winning this competition undoubtedly made me feel much more confident in researching and writing in my field from now on, opening a lot of new doors for me!

essay about the competition

Regina Winner, Psychology, 2023

I’m very happy and grateful to win such a meaningful competition. I truly learned a lot.

My advice to anyone considering entering is to try to think deeper and further about your chosen topic.

essay about the competition

Alex Winner, Philosophy, 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

Entering the essay competition, how will entering the oxbright essay competition help me in the future, why do you run an essay competition.

OxBright is about giving students the edge to help them to succeed, find their purpose and make a difference in the world.

We think it’s the greatest time to be alive, but we’re aware that young people face challenges their predecessors didn’t. We’re passionate about encouraging students to be optimistic about the future by being active thinkers interested in collaborating to create a better future for the long-term. You can read more about this in our Worldview .

Our essay competition combines these two elements – encouraging students to think actively about the future, and giving them tools to help them to succeed.

Who can enter?

Anyone can enter – the only eligibility criteria is that you must be aged between 15-18. You don’t need to have previously joined an OxBright programme in order to take part.

Kindly be aware that to be eligible to take up any of the free places offered as prizes, such as our online courses/internships, winning students must be between the ages of 15 and 18 at the commencement of the programme.

Can I write more than one essay?

Sorry, we only accept one essay per student in each Essay Competition. This is due to the volume of essays we receive.

Can I enter jointly with a friend?

No, we can only accept entries from individuals, and it’s important to make sure that your work is entirely your own.

Is there a fee to enter the OxBright Essay Competition?

No, the essay competition is completely free to enter.

When is the entry deadline?

The deadline has been extended, and is now the 15th April 2024, at 9pm.

Are you connected to any university?

No, OxBright is an independent education organisation which is not connected to any university.

Where can I see the results of the Essay Competition 2023?

You can see the results of our previous Essay Competition, including the winning essay in full, here .

Writing Your Essay

What are the subject categories i can enter for, how long should my essay be.

There are three parts to the essay:

  • Essay title: the title of your essay can be up to 100 characters long, including spaces
  • Essay: your essay can have up to 3,800 characters , including spaces (this is about 500 words). This includes everything you write, like the main text and in-text citations. In-text citations are little notes you put in your essay to show where your information came from. For example, if you quote something from a book by John Smith, you would add (Smith, 2010, p. 50) right after the quote. These citations are part of your word count, so make sure to include them
  • References: as for references, there’s no word limit – you can include as many as you need! These are important for showing where your information came from. Please use the Harvard Referencing Style for your references (you can find how to do this in the guidelines provided here ). This won’t count towards your essay character limit, so please list all the sources you used

What are the evaluation criteria?

We’ll be assessing essays on the following criteria:

  • Fluency of written English
  • Relevance to the question
  • Creativity and originality of ideas
  • Use of evidence or examples
  • Relevance to the OxBright Worldview

Should I use references?

Please make sure to include references to your sources, using the Harvard Referencing Style (guidelines here ).

What makes a good essay?

Make sure to read our criteria carefully (you can find it in the FAQ above).

We want essays that are thoroughly researched, packed with examples and solid evidence. What really catches our attention are essays with unique analysis. So, we’re not just interested in essays that simply describe things – we want your thoughts, analysis, and fresh ideas.

Don’t forget, it’s crucial to use and mention trustworthy sources for the evidence you provide.

Do you accept personal or descriptive essays?

We’re looking for clear, concise and compelling answers to the question above, written and formatted in an academic style. Please don’t submit personal essays or creative writing samples.

What Happens Next?

When will i hear the results.

We’ll be in touch within two weeks of your entry to let you know whether or not you’ve been shortlisted (all entrants who meet our core standards of relevance and coherence will be shortlisted).

All shortlisted entrants and their parents and teachers will be invited to our Awards Ceremony in May 2024, when the winners in each subject category will be announced.

How are essays assessed?

You can read about the criteria we use to assess your essay in the FAQ above (“What are the evaluation criteria?”).

Essays are assessed using our proprietary system which combines a mixture of technology and personal assessment. Essays which are deemed to be plagiarised or be written by AI will be rejected and our decision on this is final.

There are two stages to our assessment process:

Shorlisting Our first stage assessment reviews whether the essay is relevant and coherent. If so, your essay will be shortlisted, you will be offered a free place at an OxBright Conference and you will be invited to the Awards Ceremony.

Awards Shortlised essays are then given further assessment by our panel. This includes a review of the References. In the application form, we ask for a the name of a teacher who is familiar with your academic work. If your essay is nominated for an Award, we will ask this teacher to confirm that the essay was genuinely written by you.

What are the prizes?

Please click here for more information about the prizes and awards.

Why is the overall prize a place at Oxford Scholastica in 2025, not 2024?

Will i receive feedback.

Unfortunately, due to the volume of entries received, we are unable to provide feedback on essays.

Does everyone who enters get a free place at a Conference?

The first thousand students to who make a valid submission and are shortlisted will be invited to attend an OxBright Conference of their choice, free of charge (worth £95). Conference subjects include Business, Medicine, Law and Psychology. It is optional to attend a Conference.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to choose to apply the £95 credit toward another programme with us.

Does everyone receive a certificate?

Only students who win one of the awards receive a certificate. Certificates are issued in online format.

Do you publish the names of the award winners?

Yes, award winners will be published on our website after the Awards Ceremony.

How can I pass on some feedback about the essay competition?

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essay about the competition

Pune, May 26 (PTI) The Congress’s youth wing in Pune organised an essay writing competition on Sunday at the spot of the car crash involving a 17-year-old in which two persons were killed in the city.

The competition was held at the accident site in the Kalyani Nagar area, where two IT professionals died after their motorcycle was hit by a speeding Porche allegedly driven by a minor in the early hours of May 19.

The police claim that the teenager was drunk at the time of the accident.

The teenager was initially granted bail by the Juvenile Justice Board, which also asked him to write an essay on road accidents, but following outrage over the lenient treatment and a review application by the police, he was sent to an observation home till June 5.

Around 100 people, mostly youngsters, participated in the essay competition and were given the topics “My favourite car”, “If my father was a builder”, and “Ill effects of alcohol” to write on.

Congress MLA Ravindra Dhangekar of the Kasbha assembly constituency also participated in the competition.

Talking to reporters, Dhangekar said, “I condemn the incident in which two youngsters lost their lives. The police should take stringent action against pubs and restaurants that operate beyond permitted time to avert such accidents.” Police personnel were deployed in large numbers for the event.

The police have arrested the teenager’s father, realtor Vishal Agarwal, and his grandfather, Surendra Agarwal, in connection with the accident.

His father was booked under the Juvenile Justice Act for “exposing a child to danger” by handing over the car to him while knowing that he had no driving license.

The teen’s grandfather, Surendra Agarwal, was arrested for the ‘illegal confinement’ of the driver. PTI COR ARU

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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essay about the competition

Three students win Uganda Martyrs essay writing competition


Doreen Nayebare from Mary Hill High School, Simon Batesaki Ssentamu from Sacred Heart Seminary Mubende and Jacinta Nyakato from Immaculate Girls SSS Nyakibale have won the Uganda martyrs essay writing competition that was organized by Uganda Martyrs University (UMU) Nkozi.

The three will be honored at the National Martyrs Day celebrations in Namugongo on June 3, 2024.

Prof. Patrick Kyamanywa, vice chancellor of UMU says the winners stood out of the many when they showcased talent, confidence, courage and appreciation of the Uganda martyrs.

Meanwhile, the essay writing competition started last year (2023) and it attracts students from various secondary schools spread across 19 dioceses in Uganda and each diocese selects five schools to participate.

This year, the competition kicked off in April under the theme; The Relationship between the Uganda Martyrs, Culture, Spirituality, and Development. Sixty-seven students submitted their essays showcasing their knowledge and understanding of the correlation between culture and spirituality in the modern world.

Of the 67 entries, 33 were shortlisted and these included 22 girls and 11 boys who appeared before a panel of a 10-member review committee to defend their essays.

At the end of it all, three winners; Nayebare, Ssentamu and Nyakato were announced as winners of 2024. ; ;

Fr. Peter Celestine Safari, chairperson of the organizing committee says there was an increase in entries compared to 2023 when the competition was launched in Jinja Diocese. They received 23 essays from six schools and of these 12 advanced to the final round of assessment at UMU in Nkozi, Mpigi district. Isaac Mondecee and Ceasar Masinde both from Jinja College plus Joshua Balondemu from St. Gonzaga SSS, Budini emerged winners.

“When we receive those essays, we evaluate them rigorously and come up with a shortlist from which we select the winners,” Fr. Safari says. The competition is exclusive to high school students from diverse backgrounds and dioceses.

The essay writing competition aims to deepen the understanding and appreciation of the Uganda Martyrs' legacy, especially among the younger generation, according to Prof. Kyamanywa.

He says, the martyrs were committed to telling the truth, a virtue that has been eroded in our society today. This in turn explains the rampant corruption, sex immorality, robberies and other crimes.

“It is time for us to reflect on our values and emulate the martyrs who willingly died for the truth,” he says.

Kyamanywa implored the students to be ambassadors and change agents in their communities.

Elsewhere, as the competition continues to grow, Proscovia Nabatte head of public relations and marketing at UMU envisions greater participation and impact throughout the country.

The university plans to compile all approved essays in order to amplify the voices of young writers all while celebrating the martyrs.

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Three northern region students top 2023 national essay competition

By Rosemary Wayo

Tamale, May 24, GNA – Three Senior High School (SHS) students in the Northern Region have taken the top spots in the 2023 national essay writing competition organised by the Bible Society of Ghana (BSG).

The first position was secured by Gladys Turomwine Dakura, an alumnus of the Tamale Girls SHS, who participated in the competition last year while in school.

The second and third positions were taken by Benedict Angsema from St. Charles Minor Seminary SHS and Benedicta Bayor from Ghana SHS respectively.

The first-place winner received a brand-new laptop for personal use and a printer for her school while the second and third place winners received a Samsung tablet and a Bible each.

The prizes were presented to them in Tamale at the launch of this year’s essay writing competition.

The top three winners excelled out of many applicants to the competition across SHSs in the country.

They were required to write a 1,000-word essay incorporating biblical references, of which they distinguished themselves in their submissions.

essay about the competition

The BSG introduced the essay writing competition in 2016 with the objective to engage the youth with scripture towards enriching biblical literacy amongst them.

Reverend Charles Anaara, Northern Regional Manager, BSG, mentioned that it was the first time northern schools emerged winners in the competition since its inception.

He said it was also the first time a female won the overall title highlighting the need for all students to participate in the competition irrespective of gender and religious background.

Gladys Turomwine Dakura, the overall winner, speaking after receiving the award, gave thanks to God for her victory and expressed gratitude to her teachers for their nurturing support.

She further extended appreciation to the BSG for the recognition and encouraged other students to take such opportunities to shine.

Madam Christine Agana, Head of Tamale Guidance and Counseling Unit at the Tamale Girls SHS, on behalf of the Headmistress, congratulated all winners, particularly Gladys, who is the school’s alumnus.

She said Gladys’ academic abilities were undoubtable and indicated that she was a good student, who demonstrated excellence and resilience.

She urged students to utilise mobile phones for exceptional academic benefits.

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Amazon's India growth story: How the e-commerce giant is trying to overcome stiff competition with new expansion strategies

  • Byline: Krishna Gopalan
  • Producer: Arnav Das Sharma
Photos: Selvaprakash Lakshmanan

The e-commerce giant has seen steady growth since its entry into India in 2013, but the offline piece remains a challenge. After losing out on the Future retail acquisition, how does it plan to keep the growth engines revving?

essay about the competition

In mid-November last   year, Manish Tiwary, Amazon India’s Country Manager, made a presentation to the parent company’s external board at its Seattle headquarters. Tiwary spoke not just about the opportunities in India but also about innovations on the customer and seller fronts and the vast talent pool. The board, which includes eminent names such as India-born Indra Nooyi, a former Chair and CEO of PepsiCo, looked pleased.

“There was palpable excitement,” Tiwary tells BT at Amazon India’s headquarters in Bengaluru. Turned out in a pair of jeans topped with a collared T-shirt and a blazer, he recalls how the discussion veered around, among other things, the work on Generative AI taking place out of India. “After Seattle, the largest talent pool for Amazon is in India,” he says. 

Amazon has grown rapidly since launching its e-commerce business in India in 2013, although it was not the first player to enter the market. Six or seven players occupied the space, including Flipkart, its main rival today, which had a six-year head start.

essay about the competition

MANISH TIWARY Country Manager Amazon India

From revenues of Rs 112 crore in FY13, Amazon closed FY23 with Rs 22,198 crore but with a loss of Rs 4,854 crore, which is not unusual given how it invests in its operations. A recent report by financial services and research firm JM Financial estimates Amazon India’s gross merchandise value (GMV)was around $18 billion in FY23, compared with Flipkart’s $20 billion (excluding Myntra, its fashion e-commerce business). Last June, Amazon committed to investing $15 billion in India over the next seven years, bringing its total investment across its businesses to $26 billion.

Tiwary is clear that the e-commerce tale in India is still being written, and companies like Amazon “have barely scratched the surface”. Penetration levels for e-commerce are at 1-2%, he reckons. ONDC or One Network for Digital Commerce, a not-for-profit company created by the government, pegs e-retail penetration to be only 4.3%, well below China’s 25% or the UK’s 23%.

essay about the competition

“ Amazon had set processes and globalscale experience... It became easier for them to scale up quickly with the right local talent and a level of localisation ” NEIL SHAH Research Vice President and Partner Counterpoint Research 

Competition does exist, most notably from Flipkart (launched in 2007 but acquired by Walmart in 2018) and others, including Reliance’s JioMart. But the headroom for growth is unlimited. Amazon would have been even more pleased had it bagged Kishore Biyani’s Future Retail, a big player in offline retail, but it was outsmarted by Reliance. Its acquisition has been locked in courtroom battles for years, and the prospects of a speedy resolution appear to be bleak ( see box ). 

Bespoke everything

Amazon attributes its growth here to its India-specific approach, among other things. Tiwary, who joined Amazon in mid-2016 after over two decades at Hindustan Unilever Ltd, points out that organised trade was small. “If you asked a seller for a catalogue, all you got was a stunned look!”

He keeps talking about the opportunities here and why Amazon is well-positioned for a specific reason. “Our DNA is around digital, and that applies to everything we do,” says Tiwari.

The Covid-19 pandemic fast-tracked digital adoption across businesses, and Amazon was no exception. A presence across categories helped as people turned to online purchases. Take the pharmacy business, where a brick-and-mortar store typically keeps 4,000-5,000 medicines. Around half of this relates to chronic ailments. “When we launched, we were clear about having 20,000 [kinds of] medicines,” he says. The focus was on the consumer, ease of availability, and the thrust on chronic diseases.

essay about the competition

“Amazon India’s entire portfolio has 12-13 crore [120-130 million] products, which creates the stickiness,” Tiwary says. Amazon sells almost everything, from plumbing fittings to patent leather shoes, from books (Amazon Inc. began as an online retailer of books) to Bombay Duck (dried fish).

Tiwary, who heads the entity known as Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd, says the small seller will be Amazon’s backbone even 50 years down the line. “Our approach has been to build infrastructure in advance,” he says. Last January, Amazon launched Amazon Air in India with two Boeing 737-800 aircraft operated by Quikjet Cargo Airlines, making it the first e-commerce company in India with an air cargo network. Other initiatives include cash on delivery and fine-tuning the Amazon app to make it lighter when India was still on 2G and 3G. The e-commerce giant’s other businesses in India are Amazon Internet, Amazon Wholesale, Amazon Data, Amazon Pay, and Amazon Retail.

“Innovation is a big part of our business. Offering our service in seven languages was an obvious thing to do to make the customer comfortable,” he explains. Two years ago, it bought GlowRoad, an Indian social commerce start-up, in an all-cash deal, as “we don’t have social commerce anywhere else, and it was done in line with the emerging trend”.

essay about the competition

“ Amazon has taken a more long-term approach here (in India) with a lot of emphasis on localisation initiatives. They needed a large market like India since China was difficult for political and localisation reasons ” Jaspreet Bindra Founder Tech Whisperer UK

Neil Shah, Research Vice President and Partner at Counterpoint Research, a global tech industry research firm, points out that Amazon came into India late but with a strong brand and reputation. “They also had set processes and global-scale experience running billions of dollars of e-commerce operations. It became easier for them to scale up quickly with the right local talent and a level of localisation that aligned well with the Indian consumers,” he says.

Jaspreet Bindra, Founder of consulting firm Tech Whisperer UK, says that Amazon did not treat the Indian business as an extension of the US. “Amazon has taken a more long-term approach here with a lot of emphasis on localisation initiatives. They needed a large market like India since China was difficult for political and localisation reasons,” he says.

essay about the competition

MUKESH AMBANI Chairman & Managing Director Reliance Industries

He cites Amazon’s tech prowess, especially in machine learning and deep learning. “It put them ahead regarding PIN code optimisation, setting up logistics, routing algorithms, and selling fresh groceries,” Bindra says.   

Amazon has joined the quick commerce story through Amazon Fresh, using its tech and infrastructure to offer products at specified time slots. With Swiggy’s Instamart, Zomato’s Blinkit and Zepto in the market, it is becoming extremely competitive.

Technology the growth driver

Amazon and Flipkart dominate the e-commerce landscape. While Amazon’s growth has been organic, Flipkart has been much more aggressive. According to Shah, Flipkart has been a local success story that is more mainstream and localised. “It has made diverse bets and gone through some key changes since Amazon’s entry, helping it to keep ahead. Acquisitions such as eBay (its India operations), Myntra, Jabong, PhonePe, and Cleartrip, among others, have helped Flipkart get an edge in the fashion and payments space,” he says. Bindra points out that Flipkart was “massively funded” in its initial days and had a head start over Amazon India. “They built categories like mobiles, fashion and home appliances very well,” he says.

essay about the competition

The firm used its tech prowess to customise its India business. Kishore Thota, Director (Shopping Experience), India & Emerging Markets, Amazon, who moved from Seattle in the initial phase, says India became the most visited Amazon location at one point.

Amazon first figured out the ecosystem, with over 25 languages and a heterogeneous customer base. “Everything was built specifically for India from the seller’s or the customer’s side. Some of those learnings are moving to other markets,” Thota says. Take the case of the emerging shopper who is new to e-commerce. “For that person, the trust factor is still being built, and the frequency of shopping is a little low,” Thota says. This emerging shopper can be found worldwide, and Amazon is taking its India lessons places.

For instance, there are customers in advanced markets, such as the US, who prefer paying in cash, and customers in Mexico and Brazil who opt for credit. “India then becomes a base market for the emerging shopper worldwide. The priority is to solve for India and eventually look for similar scenarios elsewhere,” Thota says.

essay about the competition

KISHORE BIYANI Founder & Group CEO Future Group

From order to delivery

Amazon’s ‘fulfilment’ centres are the engines of its success. Taking us on a walk through BLR8, one such fulfilment centre, Abhinav Singh, VP (Operations), says that a product shows up on the website the moment it is stocked. Just BLR8 sprawls across 400,000 sq. ft and 2.3 million cubic ft. Why 400,000 sq. ft? “We hit upon this as the ideal number. Larger buildings could reduce supply chain costs, but you will also have a higher degree of automation,” he says. “The priority is to get it right on pricing, selection and convenience.”

Plus, there is a new way Indians are shopping: live commerce. India is witnessing more live commerce on video, where customers can come into contact with an influencer or use AI tools. A buyer can virtually place a television using augmented reality or AR to see what it might look like in a living room. Costs are saved here since a shopper typically orders three curtains, for instance, and then buys one after trying them out. “We are a native technology company, and the question we always ask ourselves relates to how we can automate something,” says Thota.

essay about the competition

The Indian market means unpredictability and disruption. JioMart, with its deep pockets, can never be underestimated, and many other B2C businesses make for formidable competition.

Then, there is the not-so-small-matter of the ONDC, billed as the world’s first inclusive large-scale e-commerce system. Tiwary thinks it is still in the early days. “It is largely a hyperlocal model of grocery and food delivery. We are also working closely with them on transport and some technology.”

Shah believes that UPI will eventually have to embrace and integrate ONDC, driving the democratisation of e-commerce for vendors and consumers.

Going forward

While the marketplace is the biggest revenue generator ( see graphic ), an area like advertising can’t be ignored. Tiwary recalls how, a decade ago, launching a national brand was a very expensive affair. “Today, advertising on Amazon has become a very effective medium that helps our sellers establish their brands,” he says. The likes of Bathla Ladders started on Amazon, as did many start-ups. In 2017, he had a couple walking in to say they had an idea and needed help to push it. “That was Mamaearth,” Tiwary says. He cited boAt, which became the fastest-growing wearable electronics brand on the back of e-commerce.

essay about the competition

ABHINAV SINGH VP (Operations) Amazon India

The seller base is varied and includes a 90-year-old lady in Chandigarh or just another aspiring unicorn taking its baby steps. “From where India’s per capita income is today placed ($2,400), it can take off [and] along with that, consumption as well. That is the magic about India,” Thota says.

Harish Iyer, EVP (Media & Investments) at Interactive Avenues, India’s largest digital agency, says that the trust that Amazon has built as a reliable e-commerce platform is a significant advantage for D2C brands. “Leveraging Amazon’s reputation plus its customer base and robust algorithms can catapult these brands to new heights of visibility and consumer trust. The ‘fulfilment’ backend helps simplify logistics for these brands, allowing them more time to enhance product quality and marketing strategies,” Iyer says.

essay about the competition

MAHENDRA NERURKAR VP (India & Emerging Markets Payments) Amazon Pay

A key feature of Amazon’s strategy is its wide range: customers should be able to shop, make payments, buy flight tickets and gold—get pretty much everything.Then there is Amazon Pay, which Amazon India launched in February 2019 to capitalise on the market opportunity offered by UPI. Amazon Pay users do not have to enter their bank or debit card details. 

Mahendra Nerurkar, Vice President for India & Emerging Markets Payments at Amazon Pay, explains why being open to newer payment processing methods in a market like India is important. “Limited credit card penetration showed how large cash was, and with UPI, there is more engagement on Amazon today. It is a universal phenomenon in Singapore, Australia and Mexico and has greatly simplified user experience.”

essay about the competition

KISHORE THOTA Director (Shopping Experience) India & Emerging Markets Amazon

A big hitch in credit cards was the redemption of points. Amazon’s co-branded card with ICICI Bank addresses that and makes it easy for the customer.

A pertinent question is when will Amazon start to become profitable. Tiwary speaks of a clear road map. “We are a large company, and this is a commercial enterprise. We are very happy with the progress and the trajectory, with the primary objective continuing to be customer experience,” he explains. 

essay about the competition

Amazon has been here for over a decade, and Indianisation is visible. With its tech expertise and scale, there is a good chance that growth will continue. But with Amazon losing the Future Retail piece, Tiwary will need all the other growth engines to fire. It helps that Amazon has a long-term approach and vision for India. That patience will make success possible in the vastly complicated Indian terrain. That is what Amazon is banking on.

UI Developer : Pankaj Negi Creative Producer : Raj Verma Videos : Mohsin Shaikh Photos : Selvaprakash Lakshmanan


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