| ||April 2014 Writing Contest |
MONTHLY WRITING CONTESTS: Welcome to the international writing contests on StageofLife.com. Answer our real-world writing prompt each month to share your thoughts and experiences as we make the world a better place, one story at a time. View winners of past writing contests.
Writing Contest Topic: "Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love?"
“When you're a teenager and you're in love, it's obvious to everyone but you and the person you're in love with." --John Scalzi
“I enjoy writing about people falling in love, probably because I think the first time you fall in love is the first time that you have to figure out how you're going to orient your life. What are you going to value? What's going to be most important to you? And I think that's really interesting to write about.” --John Green
“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” --Zora Neale Hurston
|ENTER YOUR ESSAY...
In 500 words or less, share your story of teenage love.
These stories can deal with your own breathless experiences of first love, first dates (the good, the bad and the ugly), first kisses (sloppy and pure), true love, heartbreak, your understanding of what romantic love is all about, or even your take on the ridiculousness of love in high school. You could focus your essay on prom hype or prom excitement, or society’s perception of teenagers in love. You could focus on the broad spectrum of what love in modern society is like in general or be very specific about your own experiences of first love. We are looking for your experiences, wisdom and opinions of what it’s like to be a teenager in love, so dive back into those memory bank and submit your story!
Click the blue "Submit Essay" button to the right.
Title of Essay: When you submit your essay, title it as: "Teenager in Love: ______"
Include the words "Teenager in Love" as part of your title (in the Story Title field), but then make the rest of your story title unique. Examples...
Writing Contest Details:
- Teenager in love: The art of passing notes in class
- Teenager in love: The first time he held my hand
- Teenager in love: I married my high school sweetheart
Write a personal essay of 500 words or less that develops your ideas and your personal story about the topic of teenagers in love.
Does true love exist in high school? What is it like to be a teenager in love?
For April, we want you to share your thoughts and experiences surrounding teenagers in love.
We want to hear your stories about the joys and the disappointments - from first dates to first loves. From long term commitments to parent disapproval. From fights to getting over broken hearts.
Consider these questions to spur ideas as you write your personal essay....
Don't answer each of these questions in your essay. Rather, what we want to see is a stylistic, personal essay that shares your personal experience or journey with first love.
- Have you ever been in love?
- What was your best or worst date?
- How do you feel about prom and the hype surrounding it?
- Do you think dating is different or similar now to 10 years ago? 20 years ago? Why?
- What do you think makes a lasting relationship?
- Does true love exist?
- What is society’s perception of teenagers in love?
- How did you and your first boy/girlfriend meet?
- Are your children now dating? What trends do you see about modern teen love?
We look forward to reading your story for this month's writing contest.
Rules: Two simple rules for the Stage of Life writing contest.
1) This is a Non-Fiction essay contest.
2) Essays are 500 words or less.
Deadline: Midnight April 30, 2014 Pacific Time US
Results: Finalists, Runners Up, and the Winner will be posted on our writing contest winners page after May 20th, 2014.
1) Helen Fisher - “The Brain in Love”
about Teens in Love
2) Hannah Brencher - “Love Letters to Strangers”
- From TED: “Why do we crave love so much, even to the point that we would die for it? To learn more about our very real, very physical need for romantic love, Helen Fisher and her research team took MRIs of people in love — and people who had just been dumped.”
- From TED: “Hannah Brencher's mother always wrote her letters. So when she felt herself bottom into depression after college, she did what felt natural — she wrote love letters and left them for strangers to find. The act has become a global initiative, The World Needs More Love Letters, which rushes handwritten letters to those in need of a boost.”
Videos about Teens and Love
Asking a Girl to Prom
A high school student asks a girl to prom in front of his class. His name is Jason Pitts.
Teens' reactions to Jason's prom question...
What's Your Relationship Reality?
A series of important questions about relationships with answers from honest teenagers
Education Prize Sponsors
Writing Contest Prize Package
Winners will be contacted via a post on their story once judging is complete (approx. 30 days after contest ending). An email will be sent to the winner to get the address for the prize package approx. 1-2 months afterwards.
Please thank our sponsors, Applebee's and SpaWeek.com for supporting the blogging contests, writing programs and literacy initiatives on StageofLife.com
Enter our Twitter Contest
Enter our Photo Contest
|Contact Us about this Writing Contest
EXTRA INFORMATION AND RULES FOR THE WRITING CONTEST...
Be Real. Be Yourself: The strongest submissions for this essay contest will use a personal tone and point-of-view writing style that shares your thoughts on the topic. If you want to make your essay even stronger, we recommend doing a little research and adding quotes or a statistic (or two).
- Essays should be 500 words or less.
- You are welcome to blog on StageofLife.com as much as you want, but only ONE essay submission per user for the writing contest is allowed.
- Please be creative with your title, then type or cut and paste your full essay from a program like NotePad or TextEdit (don't use any formatting - just text, please) into the Story Details field (which will appear after you click the Submit Essay button above.
- Adjust the spacing of your essay within the essay submit form.
- Title your essay using the instructions above so our Editors can find it in the story feeds in your life stage homepage on the website. Example: Here's where the high school student submissions get posted - High School
- StageofLife.com is a non-partisan literacy initiative. We judge the writing contest submissions not on the political or religious stance of our writers, but rather on how creative, original, passionate, and well written the essays are. See below for more details on our judging policy.
- Read these tips for good essay writing to be considered a writing contest finalist
- You will need to login to StageofLife.com to submit your writing contest entry. If you don't have a StageofLife.com login, please register for StageofLife.com (it's free).
Prize Package: The winning writer will receive...
- A highlight as the Winning Essay on StageofLife.com
- Prize from the writing contest sponsor mentioned above.
- A mention and link to your essay in Stage of Life's national monthly press release - here's a link to one of our press releases for reference.
- NOTE: Winners will be contacted via a post on their story once judging is complete (approx. 30 days after contest ending). An email will be sent to the winner to get the address for the prize package approx. 2-3 months afterwards.
Free Essay Contest:
This is a free writing contest. StageofLife.com does not require a submission fee. ONE ESSAY ENTRY PER PERSON FOR THE WRITING CONTEST. However, you are welcome to blog about your life or other topics outside of this writing contest at any time on StageofLife.com
Last day of the month at midnight Pacific Standard Time (US). StageofLife.com time stamps all essays in Greenwich Mean Time (England) as we are an international writing initiative. International submissions are welcome.
Of the submitted essays to StageofLife.com for a given writing contest prompt, one student winner and one adult winner will be selected. The winner and semi-finalists will be announced after the 20th of the following month. Winner and semi-finalists will be contacted by a StageofLife.com staffer via the email used to register for the website.
As we state in our Writing Contest Rules and Judging Criteria, student writers selected as our national essay finalists and winner(s) will demonstrate strong writing skills, a unique point-of-view, personal tone, originality, and realness in their essay.
The reason that journalists and organizations ranging from TIME.com to Mint Education have featured our essays (especially our teen posts) in the national media is because our bloggers all write from the heart. Real people sharing real stories about their lives. Combine this with our position as one of the only international, non-partisan, literacy platforms in the world and you'll find Stage of Life an open environment to share your ideas.
We'd like to encourage all participants and readers to make comments on these writing contest essays. Please just remember to keep all comments/posts/discussions civil and in good taste in each of the essay-blog threads, especially since some of our writing prompts are sensitive in nature. Nasty comments, personal attacks, or other such comments are not allowed and will be removed should they come to our attention.
If you have questions about the rules or judging criteria for our writing contests, you can visit our Rules & Judging Criteria page.
Last Words - Share Your Story:
Our hope is that your writing contest submission will positively impact others and help with our mission of making the world a better place, one story at a time. Your essay may inspire others or even better, give you an opportunity to share a story that's simply important to you.
After you've submitted your essay, feel free to share the link to your essay on Facebook or Twitter. Our essays are judged by real Editors, not popularity, but we do like to spread the word about our national, grassroots writing contest. Also, please share this writing contest with Language Arts, English and History teachers, or on your blog or website.
If you know a teacher who would like a Stage of Life writing contest poster for his or her classroom, have them contact us.
Read more about StageofLife.com and our mission
Good luck! Scroll back up and click on the "Submit Essay" button to upload your essay.