3 Writing Contests for High Schoolers Interested in Government and Politics

Back when I was in high school 800 years ago, I knew very little about American government and politics. Sure, I excelled in AP Gov and watched The Colbert Report religiously, but I can’t say I engaged very deeply with our political system or spent a lot of time reflecting on its inner workings.

Much has happened since that time, including the election, presidential term, and failed re-election of Donald Trump, the reignition of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the ongoing government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though it’s difficult to say which events in particular have resonated the most with American teenagers, it’s impossible to deny the fact that high schoolers are now more politically engaged and vocal about public issues than they were a decade ago. In my opinion, increased civic engagement can only be a good thing, and I commend all young people who are doing the work and thinking critically about the systems so many of us take for granted.

To those students interested in government and politics, I suggest 3 writing contests that are prepared to reward you handsomely for your answers to some of our democracy’s biggest questions.

Disclaimer: In many cases, the writing prompt has been abbreviated and/or condensed for length. For full prompt details and requirements, visit each contest’s website at the links provided.

1. United States Institute of Peace National High School Essay Contest