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Enter Writing Contest
Enter National Writing Contest2016 - 2017 Writing Contest

Annual writing contest begins Sept. 1, 2016.

Annual Writing Contest
2016-2017 Writing Contest Prompt: will release its bigger, new, annual writing contest on Sept. 1, 2016.  Please check back on 9/1/16 to view writing contest details, prompt, submission instructions, rules, and prize package.  Until that time, the essay submission form and "Submit a Story" feature on the website will not be active as the Stage of Life editors enjoy the summer break.

Annual Writing Contest:  Since 2010, has hosted a monthly writing contest.  Millions of people have visited the site and tens of thousands of people have submitted essays over the last six years. 

Due to the growing popularity of the Stage of Life writing contests and the volume of essays submitted, the Editorial team is changing from monthly writing contests to one annual contest.

Cost:  $0 (no entry fees).  There is never a fee to enter writing contests.

Prizes:  Two winning essay writers (one student and one adult) will receive prize packages from our literacy sponsors.  You can view examples of winning stories on our Writing Contest Winners page.

Check back on Sept. 1, 2016 for the launch of the new annual writing contest!  Book mark this page and visit again then.

Questions:  Contact Us


Writing Contest for College Students - ENTER BELOW

Weekly Essay Contest for College Students

How to Enter?

1)  Read the rules below

2)  Read the question prompt details

3)  Answer the poll below (if provided)

4)  Submit your essay to using the GREEN "Enter Contest" button


As you can see, our writing contests deal with "real-world" teen issues.  So much, in fact, that our monthly summaries on teen trends have been featured in the press on, Mint Education's Blog, ABC TV's "Mary Talks Money" program, etc.  

Writing Contest Prizes: 

Yes, we have prizes if you win the writing contest...but not that you're writing something important just to win, right?  Each month, one winner selected from the combined high school and college entries will get a prize package containing...


Rules for the Monthly College Writing Contest are as follows:

  • Essay must relate to the theme (see below).

  • Essay must be your original work.

  • Essay can be no longer than 500 words.

  • Essay must be non-fiction and follow the form of a diary, journal, blog, memoir, or essay.  That is to say...we want real stories about real life...from you.

  • Once entered, essay will become a part of Stage of Life's public facing content so no foul language or inappropriate material.  Those entries will be removed.

  • Registration to Stage of Life is required to enter the writing contest.  It's free and will allow a) Stage of Life to post your essay and b) you to join the writing community here on Stage of Life to enter future writing contests or simply share a story about your life.

  • Writing submission must come from a current college student.

  • Essays will be judged on a combination of factors including style, content, length, originality, use of argument, grammar, spelling, etc.

Contest Judges:

Eric Thiegs:  CEO and Founder of Stage of Life

Rebecca Thiegs:  Senior Editor, Stage of Life.  Rebecca has her master's in education from the University of Minnesota along with 12+ years teaching advanced English for high school students.  She's currently freelancing as a curriculum consultant for McDaniel College's Summer Academic Enrichment Program - an initiative through the DC Success Foundation.

Sarah Hamaker:  A freelance writer and editor with more than a dozen years of experience, Sarah Hamaker is the author of [email protected], a guide to unlocking women’s work-from-home potential. She has a master’s degree in Literature and Language from Marymount University. Sarah has judged teen short story contests as well as magazine awards. Visit her online at

Stage of Life Editorial Team:  Stage of Life's very own life stage editors (all 20+) weigh in each month with their vote for selecting the winner from a pool of 5-10 semi-finalists.

Enter the Student Writing Contest:

Please read below for details on the free monthly writing contest and click the green "Enter Contest" button to submit your essay.  Good luck!

Writing Contest Archive - Students

Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month. is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2016 Writing Contests

  • September - Annual Contest begins!
  • Summer - Editorial Break
  • April | May - Judging Now
  • February | March - Second Chances
  • January - Be the Change
Writing Contest for High School Students

2015 Writing Contests

2014 Writing Contests

 2013 Writing Contests

2012 Writing Contests

2011 Writing Contests

 2010 Writing Contests

Stage of Life Mission Statement


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Coupons for Life - 5% to 50% Off

As an educational writing initiative, is fortunate to have the support of hundreds of brands who support this writing community and our literacy mission.  Because of that, you can save 5% to 50% off with Stage of Life's free My Life Rewards® program. 

Get discounts at Applebee's, Papa John's, Lenovo, AAMCO, and many more...
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Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

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