2 writing contests in 2021 young writers can’t miss

In a heartbeat, 2021 has entered its second month. Many major academic competitions have released their dates one after another for this year. Today, let’s look at three writing contests that are worth participating in for the first half of 2021.

1. New York Times Student Contest

Images that illustrate winning editorials, STEM essays and reviews from our 2019–20 contests

The New York Times (NYT), as the leading media organization in the United States and in the world, has a high reputation in the industry. Each year, NYT holds a series of creative contests and challenges for young people around the world. These contests have different starting time and submission deadlines.

Here is a list of NYT contests in 2021:

  • “Show Us Your Generation” Photo Contest
  • Personal Narrative Writing Contest
  • Review Contest
  • Vocabulary Video Contest
  • Editorial Contest (Fed.23 — Apr.13)
  • STEM Writing Contest (Jan.19- Mar.2)
  • Podcast Challenge (Apr.8 — May.18)

From art and editorials to personal narratives, stem writing to podcasts, NYT offers a variety of ways for young people to express themselves. This series of contests is suitable for every student between 11–19 years old. You can pick one or several contests to participate in based on your interests and availability. It’s a great opportunity to show your ideas and voice to the world, as well as to enhance your writing skills for more advanced academic competitions in the future.

It should be noted that each contest has different requirements but most of them are very short. For example, the Personal Story Writing Contest requires an essay that is no more than 600 words; the video for Vocabulary Video Contest needs to be less than 15 seconds; and the audio submission for the Podcast Challenge could not exceed 5 minutes. The award-winning works will be published on NYT’S official website, a highly impressive achievement for high school students.

2. Geek Partnership Society Writing Contest for Sci-fi and More

For those who have a strong passion for science fiction literature, the GPS writing competition is designed for you! Geek Partnership Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1998, aiming to create a community for science fiction and fantasy fans to communicate, share, learn and create together. Since 2006, the Geek Partnership Society has received student work from various states in the United States and countries such as China. Though the genre is relatively niche, it’s a good opportunity for sci-fi lovers to shine.

GPS accepts short stories, poems or manga in these genres: sci-fi, fantasy horror, supernatural or alternative history. Students need to choose the corresponding group to submit their works and can participate in up to three groups in the same year. Young writers under 16 can choose to attend junior groups. All submissions must include a cover page, participant information and contact information. The specific format can be found on the official website.

  • Who can participate: Open (No age limits), Youth (students under 13, or between 14–16)
  • Contest dates: 2021.01.01–2021.07.01
  • No fee
  • Official website



Some of these competitions are kicking off in full gear. If you are interested, now is the best time to start. Writing is something that requires inspiration and long-term commitment. The earlier you start, the more time you will have for adjusting and polishing your essay.

Thinktown has a group of professional, dedicated writing specialists and advisors who are ready to help you craft your unique stories. Contact us for a consultation!

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