| ||April 2015 - Writing Contest for Students |
MONTHLY WRITING CONTESTS: StageofLife.com hosts monthly writing contests for high school students and college students (open to international students, too). Answer the real-world writing prompt below to share your thoughts and experiences as we change the world, one story at a time. View winners of past writing contests.
Writing Contest: Pet & Animal Stories
STEP 1 Answer Survey: Click the Survey Monkey logo to the right to answer our short poll.
STEP 2 Submit Essay:
April 2015 Writing Contest: In 500 words or less, using the blue "Submit Essay" button, write a personal essay about animals or a pet. NOTE: Make sure you submit the title of your essay per the directions below.
Background: Jon Katz said, “Animals have come to mean so much in our lives. We live in a fragmented and disconnected culture. Politics are ugly, religion is struggling, technology is stressful, and the economy is unfortunate. What’s the one thing we have in our lives that we can depend on? A dog or a cat loving us unconditionally every day, very faithfully.”
Immanuel Kant said, “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”
Animals play a huge role in our lives even if we don’t own a pet. From the dogs barking in our apartment buildings, to our mom’s cat that she seems to love more than her children, to our terrifying experiences being flipped off of a horse at camp, to animal activism, to encounters with animals in the wild.
For our April 2015 writing contest, we want your personal essays that focus on a pet or animal story.
Use the following ideas to help shape your true pet or animal story (don’t answer each of these prompts, but use them as a launching point to your original piece):
- Do you own a pet that has given you great joy or great grief?
- Have you ever had a traumatic incident involving an animal or pet?
- Do you believe in animal rights and animal activism?
- When you watch a movie or read a book where both people and animals die, are you more sad when the animal dies?
- Do you think people are obsessive about their pets?
So for this month, write a creative, personal essay (500 words or less) full of vivid details that involves animals or pets.
Click the blue "Submit Essay" button to the right to upload your story and enter the writing contest.
Title of Essay:
When you submit your essay, title it as: "Animals: ______"
Include the word "Animals" as the beginning of your essay title, but then make the rest of your story title unique. Examples:
- Animals: Bald eagles and the birth of miracles
- Animals: Calypso and the frozen hamster cage
- Animals: Easier to love than people
- Animals: SPCA and humane adoption
Three simple rules for the Stage of Life student writing contest.
1) This is a Non-Fiction essay contest.
2) Essays are 500 words or less.
3) Essay must be your original work.
Midnight April 30, 2015 Pacific Time US
Finalists, Runners Up, and the Winner will be posted on our writing contest winners page and Teen Trend Report after May 26, 2015.
NOTE: Winners will be contacted via a post on their uploaded StageofLife.com story once judging is complete (approx. 30 days after contest ending).
An email will be sent to the winner(s) to get the address for the prize package approx. 1-2 months afterwards.
STEP 1: Take Survey
(survey will be active by April 2nd)
STEP 2: Enter Essay
(click to submit your essay)
Please title your essay per instructions to the right
Writing Contest Resources
Thought Provoking Videos about Animals and Pets:
"Pet Heroes: Rosie and Cindy
This is a really lovely/touching video about how a deaf woman adopted a deaf dog and how their relationship has strengthened into mutual affection and understanding.
"The Amazing Mr. Gibbs
This is a story about how a girl's pet dog carries around her oxygen tank, thereby saving her from her lung condition every day. There is a video attached.
"Canine Connections : Mike Dowling at TEDxNapaValley"
TedTalk that focuses on military dogs. A little lengthy, but it has great reviews.
"Funny Animal Videos - Over 13 Minutes Of Hilarious And Cute Animal Moments"
An AFV compilation of funny animals. How could I resist?.
Education Prize Sponsors
Writing Contest Prize Package
The student (high school or college) who writes the 1st place essay will receive gift cards compliments of our education sponsors, Papa John's and IHOP
National press release exposure for your essay from StageofLife.com
Copy of book from participating authors: Garth Stein: The Art of Racing in the Rain or W. Bruce Cameron: A Dog's Purpose
Please thank our sponsors, Papa John's
, for supporting the writing and literacy efforts on StageofLife.com
Enter our Twitter Contest
|Contact Us about this Teen Writing Contest
Quote for Inspiration:
“Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to. – Alfred A. Montapert” - Aldred A. Montapert
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.