International Essay Contest

The Institute for Youth in Policy International Essay Writing Contest is an opportunity for students to use their voice and writing ability in order to think critically about the state of politics in their country and declare the change they hope to see, all while competing for cash prizes and opportunities to get their writing published!

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You've been elected leader of your country. What would you say during your inaugural address to inspire the citizens of your country, including those of every race, religion, political party, and creed?

Generation of Changemakers

Create innovative solutions to real-world problems

Tell your story and your perspective

Research issues important to you

Get recognized for your writing

Win prizes for your outstanding work

Get published for your writing

Our Mission

We launched the Institute for Youth in Policy International Essay Contest as a way to engage and empower students to think critically about the issues that matter to them. By providing a platform for students to express their ideas and opinions, we aim to encourage the next generation of leaders to become more informed and civically engaged citizens. 

Additionally, the contest may serve as a way to spotlight valuable insights and ideas from young people around the world. By encouraging students to write about the issues that concern them, our competition may help a general audience to better understand the priorities and perspectives of students. 

Ultimately, the Institute for Youth in Policy International Essay Contest may be seen as an opportunity for the Institute to invest in the future by supporting and uplifting the voices of young people, and by fostering a sense of civic engagement and social responsibility in the next generation.






In Prizes

Prompt: Spring 2023

Countless countries around the world suffer from a plethora of issues – economic hardship, social turmoil, political polarization, pandemic recovery, unreliable leadership, corrupt governance, warfare and conflict, the list goes on. If you were elected the leader of your country, what would you do to address the issues your country faces in order to build a more prosperous society?


Singapore in the 21st Century: Addressing the Unique Challenges of my Homeland

Ethan Lee Yee Chien

My South African Manifesto

Ototleng Molelekedi
South Africa

Beyond the Paradox of Plenty: Battling Bangladesh’s Burdens

Saarah Hussain

Honorable Mentions

Malika Jigsa Tadesse, Ethiopia

Samantha Bora,

Aida Sall,
United States of America

Noor ul Ain Ahmed,

Will Fermaglitch,
United States of America

Virendra Pratap Singh Rathod, India


Prizes will be awarded to participants for the overall quality of their essays. Prizes for first, second and third place winner are as follows:

As the First Place winner of our international essay contest, you will be given the opportunity to publish your essay in the inaugural issue of YIP's magazine, The Democratic Toolkit, as well as on our website, giving you the chance to showcase your writing to a wide audience and make a real impact with your words. Additionally, the First Place winner will also receive a $250 prize and a special winner's certificate to recognize their incredible achievement.
The Second Place winner will also be afforded the opportunity to publish their essay on the Institute’s website in order to showcase their writing and ideas. In addition, they will receive a certificate of recognition as the Second Place winner to commemorate their achievement.
The Third Place winner will also be given the opportunity to publish their essay on our website and to receive a certificate recognizing their achievement.


  • Insight: Does the essay provide unique or interesting insights, analysis or perspectives on its subject matter?
  • Impact: Is the significance or impact of the issue(s) being discussed, idea(s) being brought up, or point-of-views being communicated sufficiently captured in the essay?
  • Clarity and organization: Is the essay easy to understand, with a clear and logical flow?
  • Style: Is the essay engaging and well-written, with appropriate yet compelling tone, language and syntax for the subject matter?

Who Can Participate?

  • Any student, in any country, who is enrolled in an accredited high school or college/university at the time of submitting their essay is eligible to participate in the Institute for Youth in Policy International Essay Contest and compete for the prizes.
  • Students taking academic gap years or semesters are also eligible.
  • No current employees of the Institute for Youth in Policy, however, will be permitted to enter the contest.

Submission Guidelines

  • Essays can take the form of anything from an analytical research paper to a personal narrative to allegorical fiction. This means essays can be written in any citation style or with no citations at all if it is not a research-heavy paper. 
  • Word Limit: 1250 words
  • All essays should be submitted as a .docx or a PDF document.
  • All essays should include your name as well as a title for your essay. Cover pages are acceptable but not necessary.
  • Essays should be written in an easily readable font size (11 or 12 pt.) with a professional font style (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.). 

Please use the button below to submit your essay. Submissions will close on December 11th, 2023!

Submit Essay