Writing Contests


Ancient customer-feedback technology lasts millennia   …   Ever left an angry customer complaint? This 3750-year-old cuneiform tablet suggests you’re part of a very long tradition.

The clay message was sent from someone called Nanni to an Ea-nasir in ancient Mesopotamia, protesting about the low quality of copper ingots offered during a trade with Nanni’s messenger. Nanni demands that his money be returned post-haste.

“What do you take me for, that you treat somebody like me with such contempt?” writes a suitably enraged Nanni, according to Leo Oppenheim’s translation in Letters from Mesopotamia.


Writing Contests

Writer Beware:   Alerts about Schemes, Scams, & Pitfalls

AFCEA Intelligence Essay Contest   

Antigonish Review 

Arc Poetry Magazine Contests & Awards

Atlantic Council of Canada

Ayn Rand Institute Essay Contests

Barbara Mandingo Kelly Peace Poetry Award 

Bastiat Prize for Journalism

Bellingham Review Contests

Canadian Authors Association Contests

Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Canadian Study of Parliament Group

CBC Literary Awards

Center for Strategic & International Studies

Commonwealth Writers

Creative Writing Contests

Current Competitions (SWWV)

Dupont Challenge Science Essay

Dalton Camp Award Essay Competiton

Engineers Without Borders Youth Contests 

Eisaku Sato Essay Contest

Fiddlehead Poem and Story Contests 

Fraser Institute Education Programs           

Global Peter Drucker Challenge   

Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition     

Governor General’s Literary Awards   

Great Canadian Literary Hunt   

Great Questions Essay Competition   

Griffith Observer Annual Boeing Writing Contest

Germans from Russia Heritage Society   

Griffin Poetry Prize     

Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award   

Humanist Essay Contest  

Immersion in the Science Worlds through the Arts

International Affairs Forum 

International Finance Corporation & Financial Times Essay Competition   

Irmgard Coninx Stiftung Essay Competition                 

Japan Foreign Trade Council Essay Competition   

Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize     

Legal Writing Contest Database (NYLS) Life Lessons Scholarship Program

Malahat Review Awards & Prizes     

New Millenium Awards   

New Zealand Poetry Society Haiku Competitions  

Norman Mailer High School and College Writing Awards

PARSEC Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Story Contest

PEN American Center Literary Awards     

Physicians for Social Responsibility (Chapter Essay Contests)

Prairie Fire Contests   

Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society

Poets & Writers:  Grants & Awards Database  

PRISM International

Queer Foundation High School Seniors English Essay Contest    

Royal Commonwealth Society Youth Essay Competition

SEVEN Fund Essay Competitions        

Short Grain Contest   

Shakespeare Fellowship Essay Contest

Society for the History of Discoveries   

Society of Professional Journalists

Strokestown International Poetry Competition  

Teachers Against Prejudice Essay Contest 

Writing Contests for K – 12 Students

Writers’ Union of Canada Contests   

Writers’ Trust of Canada Contests   

Young Environmental Writers Contest (SAGE Magazine)

Young Naturalist Awards (AMNH)

Writer Beware:   Alerts about Schemes, Scams, & Pitfalls



Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.

Sir Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)

(Let us first agree that Sir Bacon’s statement applies equally to women.)


The only way to improve writing skills is to write more.  Helpful writing exercises include:  keeping a personal journal, writing letters to family and friends, and writing letters of opinions for publication.  Writing poems, essays, family history, and short fiction can also be very helpful for focusing your attention on writing.

Resources for improving writing skills are posted on EduNorth, under:   Plain Language, Punctuation, Spelling, and Writing Resources.