7 Essay Writing Contests to Look Out For in 2023
  • 7-minute read
  • 28th December 2022

7 Essay Writing Contests to Look Out For in 2023

Essay contests are not only a great way to exercise your essay-writing skills but also an awesome way to win cash prizes, scholarships, and internship or program opportunities. They also look wonderful on college applications as awards and achievements.

In this article, you’ll learn about 7 essay writing contests to enter in 2023. Watch the video below, or keep reading to learn more.

1. Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest 

Deadline: Now–April 30, 3023

Who may enter:

This is an international contest for people of all ages (except for residents of Syria, Iran, North Korea, Crimea, Russia, and Belarus due to US government restrictions).

Contest description:

●  The contest is organized by Winning Writers, located in MA, USA.

●  They accept stories and essays on any theme, up to 6,000 words each. This contest defines a story as any short work of fiction and an essay as any short work of nonfiction.

●  Your stories and essays must be submitted in English.

●  You may submit published or unpublished work.

Entry fee: USD 22 per entry


●  Story: First Prize is USD 3,000.

●  Essay: First Prize is USD 3,000.

●  10 Honorable Mentions will receive USD 300 each (any category).

●  The top 12 entries will be published online.

Official website

Please visit the competition’s official website for more information on judges and submissions.

2. 2023 Calibre Essay Prize 

Deadline: Now–January 15, 2023, 11:59 pm

Who may enter: All ages and any nationality or residency are accepted.

Contest description:

●  This contest is hosted by the Australian Book Review.

●  Your essay must be between 2,000 and 5,000 words.

●  You may submit nonfiction essays of all kinds, e.g., personal, political, literary, or speculative.

●  You may enter multiple essays but will need to pay separate fees for each one.

●  Your essay must be unpublished.

Entry fee: AU 30 for non-members

Prize: AU 7,500

Official website:

For more information on this contest, please visit its official website.

3. John Locke Institute Essay Competition 

Deadline: June 30, 2023

Who may enter:

●  Students from any country.

●  Students aged 15 to 18 years by the competition deadline.

●  Students aged 14 years or younger by the competition deadline are eligible for the Junior prize.

Contest description:

●  The contest is organized by the John Locke Institute.

●  Your essay cannot exceed 2,000 words.

●  There are seven subjects or categories for essay submissions: Philosophy, Politics, Economics, History, Psychology, Theology, and Law.

Entry fee: Free to enter


●  The best overall essay winner receives an honorary John Locke Fellowship, which comes with a USD 10,000 scholarship to attend one or more summer schools or gap year courses.

●  There is also a prize for the best essay in each category. The prize for each winner of a subject category and the Junior category is a scholarship worth USD 2,000 toward the cost of a summer program.

●  All winning essays will be published on the Institute’s website.

Official website:

For more information about this competition and the John Locke Institute, please visit the official website. Also, be sure to check out our article on all you need to know about this contest.

4. The American Foreign Service Association 2023 Essay Competition 

Deadline: April 3, 2023

Who may enter:

●  Students in grades 9–12 in any of the 50 states, DC, the US territories, or if they are US citizens or lawful permanent residents attending high school overseas.

●  Students attending a public, private, or parochial school.

●  Home-schooled students.

Contest description:

●  Your essay should be 1,000–1,500 words.

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●  You will select a country or region in which the United States Foreign Service has been involved at any point since 1924 and describe how the Foreign Service was successful or unsuccessful in advancing American foreign policy goals – including promoting peace – in this country or region and propose ways in which it might continue to improve those goals in the coming years.

●  Your essay should follow MLA guidelines.

●  Your essay should use a variety of sources.

Entry fee: Free to enter


●  The first-place winner receives USD 2,500, a paid trip to the nation’s capital from anywhere in the U.S. for the winner and their parents, and an all-expense-paid educational voyage courtesy of Semester at Sea.

●  The runner-up receives USD 1,250 and full tuition to attend a summer session of the National Student Leadership Conference’s International Diplomacy program.

Official website:

Please visit the American Foreign Service website for more information.

5. The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) 2023 Essay Contest 

Deadline: Mid-February 2023–June 1, 2023

Who may enter: High school (including homeschooled), college, and graduate students worldwide.

Contest description:

●  The 2023 essay contest topic is marriages and proposals.

●  High school students may focus on Pride and Prejudice only or bring in other Austen works.

●  Undergraduate and graduate students should discuss at least two Austen novels of their choice.

●  Your essay must be in MLA format and 6 to 8 pages (not including your Works Cited page).

●  Your essay must be written in English.

Entry fee: Free to enter


●  First place wins a USD 1,000 scholarship.

●  Second place wins a USD 500 scholarship.

●  Third place wins a USD 250 scholarship.

●  Winners will also receive one year of membership in JASNA, publication of their essays on this website, and a set of Norton Critical Editions of Jane Austen’s novels.

Official website:

For more information and submission guidelines, please visit JASNA’s official website.

6. 2023 Writing Contest: Better Great Achievements by EngineerGirl

Deadline: February 1, 2023

Who may enter:

●  Students in Grades 3–12. If international or homeschooled, please select your grade level based on if you were attending a public school in the U.S.

Contest description:

●  This contest is organized by EngineerGirl.

●  Students should write a piece that shows how female or non-white engineers have contributed to or can enhance engineering’s great achievements.

●  You should choose one of the 20 Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century as a topic and explore the technologies developed in the last century and the new ones being developed today. Make sure to follow the specific guidelines for your grade level.

●  Essays should be 650–750 words based on your grade level.

●  Please visit the contest’s website to see specific requirements based on your grade.

Entry fee: Free to enter


Winners in each grade category will receive the prizes listed below:

●  First-place winners will be awarded USD 500.

●  Second-place entries will be awarded USD 250.

●  Third-place entries will be awarded USD 100.

Official website:

For more information and submission guidelines, please visit the official website.

7. World Historian Student Essay Competition

Deadline: May 1, 2023

Who may enter: Students enrolled in Grades K–12 in public, private, and parochial schools and home-study programs worldwide.

Contest description:

●  Your essay must address the following issue: In what way has the study of world history affected my understanding of the world in which I live?

●  Your essay should be 1,000 words.

Entry fee: Free to enter

Prizes: USD 500

Official website:

For more information and submission requirements, please visit the contest’s official website.


Essay contests are a great way to expand your writing skills, discuss a topic that is important to you, and earn prize money and opportunities that will be great for you in the long term. Check out our articles on writing thesis statements, essay organization, and argumentative writing strategies to ensure you take first place every time.

If you need help with your essays and would like to make sure that every comma is in place, we will proofread your first 500 words for free!

Comments (2)
Catherine abdala
15th February 2023 at 12:11
I really appreciate this
    23rd February 2023 at 11:17
    You're very welcome, Catherine!

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