Rules & How to Enter

  1. Essays must be written in English. Essays should NOT include the name of the author.
  2. There are three categories of authors, depending on their age* on 31 October (the “Closing Day”):
    1. Authors aged 15-17 on Closing Day (“Category A”);
    2. Authors aged 18-21 on Closing Day (“Category B”).
    3. Authors aged 22-24 on Closing Day (“Category C”).
      * Note: we use the United Nations definition of Youth as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 years.
  3. Essays must be original and written in English entirely by the named author .
  4. Emails should be sent via email addressed to
  5. Emails must arrive on or before 23:59 GMT on Closing Day. We advise you to allow at least 24 hours for email delivery.
  6. Emails must include the following:
    1. The name of the author;
    2. The country of residence of the author;
    3. The age of the author on Closing Day;
    4. The essay title;
    5. The text of the essay either in the body of the email or (preferably) as an attachment. If sent as an attachment it must be in either docx or txt format.
    6. If the author is a student, the email should include the place of study.
  7. The maximum number of words allowed is as follows. Note you should not include your name or other personal details in the essay. This is to ensure the judging process can be as fair and neutral as possible.
    Please note that different word processors may produce different counts for the text within references. We use the count given by the Google documents word processor.

    1. Essays from authors in Category A must be no longer than 500 words including the title and references;
    2. Essays from authors in Category B and C must be no longer than 1000 words including the title and references.
  8. Essays can include references to articles from other authors but the references will be included in the word count.
  9. By submitting their essay, all authors agree to the publication of their name, age, country, place of study and the text of their essay online and in print.
  10. Essays may not include images. However they may include references to images available on the Internet.
  11. We check all entries for plagiarism using  one of the publicly available websites, and we advise authors to do the same before submitting their essays.


All authors will receive a certificate of participation. See here for samples. In addition, the top 3 essays in each category will be awarded the following prizes:

  • A monetary reward either in the form of a gift token or via money transfer to a bank or a Western Union office;
  • Having their essay published online and possibly in print.

Judging Criteria

The judges will assess essays based on the following criteria:

  • Passion
  • Originality
  • Clarity
  • Knowledge and understanding

Click here for some suggested topics for essays