22nd Annual Student Essay Contest

Nearly 1,200 students participated in this year’s contest from 47 U.S. states and territories and 25 different countries. Winning entries were selected by a panel of 24 judges for their unique voice, thoughtful analysis of the question, and consideration for the relevance of the topic in the past and present. Winners came from eight states and as far away as Sri Lanka.

These inspirational writers give us hope for the future! Congratulations to the winners – you can read their essays, linked below.


GRADES 5 & 6

1st Madhuvan Kanike 5th Plano, TX
2nd Irindu Dissanayake 5th Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
3rd Vivian Smith 6th Lebanon, IN

GRADES 7 & 8

1st Kerolous Youssef 8th Bayonne, NJ
2nd Myron Foster 8th Grand Prairie, TX
3rd Jiacong Sun 7th San Jose, CA
Honorable Mention Brayden Hefti 7th Valliant, OK

GRADES 9 & 10

1st Gabriela Nowicka 10th Summit, NJ
2nd Riya Kalluvila 10th Hubertus, WI
3rd Michelle Lee 10th New York City, NY
Honorable Mention Claire Liu 10th Clarksburg, MD

GRADES 11 & 12

1st Christopher LaPrairie 12th Vinita, OK
2nd William Xi 12th New Orleans, LA
3rd Sophia Chertog 12th Marlboro, NJ
Honorable Mention Ty Biser 11th York, Pennsylvania
Honorable Mention Ivan Cervantes 12th Baldwin Park, CA
Honorable Mention Siddiq Mohaideen 12th Weatogue, CT

2023 Prompts & Rules

Made possible through the generous support of Stella Nova.

Best Writing Contests of 2022, recommended by Reedsy

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