Narrative High School Writing Contest


Our Ninth Annual High School Contest is now closed.
We’re in the process of reading submissions and will be announcing the winners and finalists in mid-April 2024.


Welcome to the High School Writing Contest—an invitation to be discovered and to have your voice shared with the world!

This year we invited students to use the prompt MY NOTE TO THE WORLD as a springboard to craft a letter (essay) or story of no more than 600 words, or a poem of 10 to 50 lines, to depict a theme or problem and propose some kind of solution. We invited students to imagine they were onstage and the world was listening: what challenge did they feel compelled to address creatively and in their own unique voice?


Our sincere thanks to all the students who sent in their stories, letters, and poems and to all the teachers who submitted on their students’ behalf!


Submissions to our contest have covered the globe: indeed, we have heard from young writers across the US and in forty-one countries, from Canada to Malaysia, Serbia to Israel, South Korea to South Africa, and Pakistan to Palestine—an amazing outpouring of new writing.


Congratulations to all the students and teachers who participated in contests from years past. Your work and passion continues to inspire and amaze us.


Here’s a short video featuring recent contest winners, along with former guest judge Jericho Brown and Narrative editor Carol Edgarian, as they share their thoughts on inspiration and writing.


Winning pieces in the Narrative High School Writing Contest:


The Eighth Annual High School Contest: True or False?

The Seventh Annual High School Contest: Blind Spots

The Sixth Annual High School Contest: Escape

The Fifth Annual High School Contest: The Choice

The Fourth Annual High School Contest: The Mistake

The Third Annual High School Contest: When Everything Changed

The Second Annual High School Contest: Dear America

The First Annual High School Contest: Where I’m Going


Are you a student or teacher looking for other resources? Check out our curated reading lists and video tutorials about the craft of writing, featuring bestselling author and Narrative cofounder/editor Carol Edgarian.



Welcome | For Teachers | For Students
Narrative High School Writing Contest | Explore Our Library by Theme
Best Advice, Letters & Interviews | Writers & Mentors Videos
Video Tutorials with Carol Edgarian | Recommended Reading
Writing Prompts