Contests often help motivate young writers, especially in the summer when there are no school deadlines.  This prestigious one sponsored by The Nation will get your high school student thinking!

Here is the information from the website:

Nation Student Writing Contest, 2011

We are looking for original, thoughtful, provocative student voices to answer this question: What do you think is the most serious issue facing your generation?

Essays should not exceed 800 words and should be original, unpublished work that demonstrates fresh, clear thinking and superior quality of expression and craftsmanship. We’ll select five finalists and two winners—one from college, one from high school. Each winner will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize and a Nation subscription. The winning essays will be published and/or excerpted in the magazine and featured at The five finalists will be awarded $200 each plus subscriptions, and their entries will be published online. Entries will be accepted from May 15th through June 30th, 2011. A winner will be announced by September 24, 2011.


The contest is open to all matriculating high school students and undergraduates at American schools, colleges and universities, including those receiving high school or college degrees in the year 2011. Submissions must be original, unpublished work. Each entrant is limited to one submission. Entries will be accepted through June 30, 2011. Submissions can be e-mailed to [email protected]. Please include the essay in the body of the e-mail. All e-mailed submissions will be acknowledged. Each entry must include author’s name, address, phone number, e-mail address and short biography and school affiliation—and say “student essay” in the subject line. Please email [email protected] for questions. Anyone having participated in The Nation internship program as well as previous winners are ineligible.

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