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December 2014 - Writing Contest for Students
Writing Contests for High School Students and College StudentsMONTHLY 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:  Random Acts of Kindness

READ RULES...
ENTER YOUR ESSAY...

STEP 1 - Answer Teen Survey:
  Click the Survey Monkey logo to the right to answer our short poll.

STEP 2 - Submit Essay: 

For our December 2014 writing contest, we are making a call to action for everyone to commit a Random Act of Kindness and write about it.

What we want for the contest: In 500 words or less, using the blue "Submit Essay" button, write a personal reflection about your experiences of either performing a random act(s) of kindness, or describe your experience being on the receiving end of a random act of kindness from someone else.

Background:  December marks the start of a frenzied need to give gifts.  For this holiday season, we want you to dig deeper and find some kindness to give to others.  It doesn't have to be anything big...just a random act of kindness.  Then, we want you to write about the experience of either performing the random act of kindness or, if you'd prefer, share a story of when you were on the receiving end of a random act of kindness from someone else.

For instance...maybe you will choose to pay for someone’s food at a restaurant.  Maybe you will give others hugs (not in a creepy way) or offer compliments to someone that you don’t know that well. Possibly you will help out a neighbor in need by shoveling snow, or baking them cookies. Maybe you will help someone across the street or give a random person a flower.

How will you commit a random act of kindness this December?

Consider these thoughts when you write your essay (don’t answer all these questions, but use them as a launching point to mine your memories for ideas):
  • Have you ever performed a random act of kindness?  What did you do?  How did it make you feel?
  • Have you ever been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness?  What happened?  How did it make you feel?
  • Do you and your family (or friends) have traditions revolving around random acts of kindness?
  • Do you belong to an organization that regularly commits random acts of kindness?
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:  "Random Acts of Kindness: ______"

Include the phrase "Random Acts of Kindness" as the beginning of your essay title, but then make the rest of your story title unique.  

Examples...
  • Random Acts of Kindness: Tipping my Waitress $100
  • Random Acts of Kindness: Singing for Seniors
  • Random Acts of Kindness: The Angel and the Crumpets
  • Random Acts of Kindness:  The Car Miracle on Christmas Eve
Rules: 
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.



Deadline: 
Midnight December 31, 2014 Pacific Time US


Results: 
Finalists, Runners Up, and the Winner will be posted on our writing contest winners page and Teen Trend Report after January 26, 2014.


Random Acts of Kindness Lesson Plan: 

Stage of Life created a Lesson Plan to go along with this month’s contest.  To review more ideas on how to use Random Acts of Kindness in the classroom, explore our free lesson plan...





Writing Contest
Resource Links

Random Acts of Kindness - Writing Contest


STEP 1:  Take Survey

Take StageofLife.com teen survey

(click logo to take survey)




STEP 2:  Enter Essay

Submit essay to StageofLife.com writing contest

(click to submit your essay)

Essay winner receives gift card prizes from our sponsors and copy of the book, "Random Acts of Kindness" by Lisa Verge Higgins.  Details below...


Writing Contest Resources

Videos about Random Acts of Kindness:

  Random Acts of Kindness List



Practical ways to perform random acts of kindness and pass on a list to those you impact so that they, too, might pass on the kindness.


“A 1st Grader's Act of Kindness Just Restored Our Faith in Humanity”



If kids can show so much kindness to each other, why can’t the rest of us?

"High School Wrestler Shows his Competitor an Incredible Kindness"



This video shows how helping others who are less fortunate than ourselves can make a big impact.

“My 38 Random Acts of Kindness”



A Ted Talk by Botlhale Tshetlo describing her 38 Random Acts of Kindness.



Author Sponsor


For this month's writing contest, our Stage of Life partner writer is the Lisa Verge Higgins who is donating a signed copy of her book, "Random Acts of Kindness" to the winning student essay writer this month!   We'll mail the book along with the gift card prizes.



Check out the our participating author’s website: http://www.lisavergehiggins.com



Education Prize Sponsors


Education essay sponsor - Papa John's   Education writing sponsor - IHOP

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 “Prune” - a cookbook by the New York Times Bestselling author of “Blood, Bones & Butter” - Gabrielle Hamilton
  • Bragging rights

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. 1-2 months afterwards.


Please thank our sponsors, Papa John's and IHOP, for supporting the writing and literacy efforts on StageofLife.com
    Changing the World, One Story at a Time

     Twitter writing contest by StageofLife.com
    Enter our Twitter Contest
    Photo Contests on StageofLife.com
    Enter our Photo Contest
     Enter Twitter Contest  Enter Photo Contest
    Contact StageofLife.com for National Writing ContestContact Us about this Teen Writing Contest 
    ATTENTION TEACHERS:
    Language Arts Teacher Resources

    Quotes for inspiration:

    “When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
    - The 14th Dalai Lama (1935)

    "That best portion of a man's life are his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love."
    -William Wordsworth



    EXTRA INFORMATION AND RULES FOR THE WRITING CONTEST...

    Writing Contest Rules on StageofLife.comBe 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). 

    Quick Rules:
    • 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).

    StageofLife.com Prize Packages for Winning EssayPrize 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.

    International Writing Contests on StageofLife.comFree 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

    Contest Deadline:  

    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.

    Winning writing contest essays on StageofLIfe.comWinning Essays: 

    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. 

    "Realness?"  Yes...realness. 

    Blogging contests on StageofLife.comThe 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. 

    Post Comments: 

    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.

    Judging:

    If you have questions about the rules or judging criteria for our writing contests, you can visit our Rules & Judging Criteria page.

    College student writing contest on Stage of LifeLast 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.

    About:

    Read more about StageofLife.com and our mission

    Good luck!  Scroll back up and click on the "Submit Essay" button to upload your essay.
    Nov. 2014 - Writing Contest for High School and College Students
    Writing Contests for High School Students and College StudentsMONTHLY 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:  Food for Thought

    “Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale."

    - Elsa Schiaparelli

    "Most of us have fond memories of food from our childhood. Whether it was our mom's homemade lasagna or a memorable chocolate birthday cake, food has a way of transporting us back to the past."

    - Homaro Cantu

    READ RULES...
    ENTER YOUR ESSAY...

    STEP 1 - Answer Teen Survey:
      Click the Survey Monkey logo to the right to answer our short poll.

    STEP 2 - Submit Essay: 

    In 500 words or less, using the blue "Submit Essay" button, write a personal narrative about your food traditions or a food memory.

    Background:  November begins the fall harvest, when families gather to celebrate nature’s food bounty, to express thanks and gratitude, and to practice time honored food traditions.  For our November writing contest, we want your food stories.

    Maybe your food story revolves around the holidays and how your family bakes together or cooks together.  Maybe when you think about food memories you are transported into your grandmother’s kitchen with fresh bread baking in the oven. Possibly when you think of food, your ideas lean towards your favorite take out spot or restaurant or maybe even an ice cream truck that always visited your neighborhood. Maybe when you think of food you conjure up images of the best meal you ever ate either in your own home or out to eat.  

    What’s your food memory story?

    Consider these thoughts when you write your essay (Don’t answer all these questions, but use them as a launching point to mine your memories for ideas):
    • When you think of the holidays, does food factor into your thoughts? How? Why?
    • Do you love to cook or are you addicted to The Food Network or cooking shows?
    • Do you and your family have traditions revolving around food that aren’t holiday related?
    • What is the best meal you ever ate?  Where was it?
    • Do you have a favorite restaurant that either you or you and your family frequent?
    • Are there food “claim to fames” based on where you live (ex: Chicago Deep Dish, Philly Cheesesteak)
    • Do you think food brings people together?

    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:  "Food for Thought: ______"

    Include the phrase "Food for Thought" as the beginning of your essay title, but then make the rest of your story title unique.   Examples...
    • Food for Thought: Dinner Charms and Food Critics
    • Food for Thought: Making Spaetzle with my Oma
    • Food for Thought: Feeding the Homeless on Thanksgiving
    • Food for Thought:  Thursdays, Applebee's and my Dad!
    Rules: 
    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.



    Deadline: 
    Midnight November 30th, 2014 Pacific Time US


    Results: 
    Finalists, Runners Up, and the Winner will be posted on our writing contest winners page and Teen Trend Report after December 26, 2014.


    Writing Contest
    Resource Links

    November 2014 Teen Writing Contest


    STEP 1:  Take Survey

    Take StageofLife.com teen survey

    (click logo to take survey)




    STEP 2:  Enter Essay

    Submit essay to StageofLife.com writing contest

    Essay winner receives gift card prizes from our sponsors and copy of the cookbook, "Prune"
    (details below)



    Writing Contest Resources

    Videos about Food Memories:

      The Hundred-Foot Journey - "Food Is Memories"



    A short clip from the movie “The Hundred Food Journey” with the quotation “Food is memories”


    Food Memories



    Inspired meal memories from food All-Stars

    Author Sponsor


    For this month's writing contest, our Stage of Life partner writer is the bestselling author of “Blood, Bones & Butter” - Gabrielle Hamilton.  Ms. Hamilton is kindly donating a copy of her cookbook, "Prune" to the winning student essay writer this month! 
    We'll mail the book along with the gift card prizes.

    Author prize donation - StageofLife.com writing contest

    Check out the interview with Gabrielle Hamilton about her books and food memories.




    Education Prize Sponsors


    Education essay sponsor - Papa John's   Education writing sponsor - IHOP

    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 “Prune” - a cookbook by the New York Times Bestselling author of “Blood, Bones & Butter” - Gabrielle Hamilton
    • Bragging rights


    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. 1-2 months afterwards.


    Please thank our sponsors, Papa John's and IHOP, for supporting the writing and literacy efforts on StageofLife.com
      Changing the World, One Story at a Time

       Twitter writing contest by StageofLife.com
      Enter our Twitter Contest
      Photo Contests on StageofLife.com
      Enter our Photo Contest
       Enter Twitter Contest  Enter Photo Contest
      Contact StageofLife.com for National Writing ContestContact Us about this Teen Writing Contest 
      ATTENTION TEACHERS:
      Language Arts Teacher Resources




      EXTRA INFORMATION AND RULES FOR THE WRITING CONTEST...

      Writing Contest Rules on StageofLife.comBe 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). 

      Quick Rules:
      • 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).

      StageofLife.com Prize Packages for Winning EssayPrize 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.

      International Writing Contests on StageofLife.comFree 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

      Contest Deadline:  

      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.

      Winning writing contest essays on StageofLIfe.comWinning Essays: 

      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. 

      "Realness?"  Yes...realness. 

      Blogging contests on StageofLife.comThe 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. 

      Post Comments: 

      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.

      Judging:

      If you have questions about the rules or judging criteria for our writing contests, you can visit our Rules & Judging Criteria page.

      College student writing contest on Stage of LifeLast 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.

      About:

      Read more about StageofLife.com and our mission

      Good luck!  Scroll back up and click on the "Submit Essay" button to upload your essay.

      Next

      Writing Contest Archive - Students

      Past Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports

      StageofLife.com Student Writing Contests

      Below you will find all of our past writing contests and teen trend reports from the last four years. Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month.  StageofLife.com is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with teachers, teens, and college students as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

      2014 Writing Contests

       Stage of Life Mission Statement

       2013 Writing Contests

      2012 Writing Contests

      2011 Writing Contests

       2010 Writing Contests

      Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog

      StageofLife.com is an education-based, grassroots, non-partisan, free blogging community with a mission support digital literacy by making the world a better place, one story, essay, and blog at a time.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes literacy resources, free lesson plans, writing prompts for Language Arts teachers, monthly writing contests for high school students (and older generations), student blogging initiatives, blog directories, and financial literacy tools - including Life Rewards® - our 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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