Writing Contest Guide


Getting Started!

Step 1: Choose a format. (Will this be an essay? A short story?)

Step 2: Write the prompts for each level.*

Step 3: Define the requirements. (Length? Will there be a checklist?  When is the deadline for submission?)


After Submissions Have Been Received


  • Choose impartial judges (2–3).

  • Consider having students submit a separate form with their work so that their name does not appear on the composition.


  • Contact IEW with the number of participants and the winners' names. (IEW will provide a small gift for each participant as well as a gift and certificate signed by Mr. Pudewa to each winner.)

  • Consider choosing First, Second, and Third Place winners for each age level.


We look forward to helping you offer a writing contest for your students! If you need additional information, have questions, or would like to get started, please contact us at the emails below.


Hybrid schools: Email hybridschools@IEW.com

Co-ops: Email co-op@IEW.com

Schools: Email schools@IEW.com


*Ideas for Prompts

The following prompts are from previous IEW writing contests. Feel free to use these or create your own!

Level A (grades 3–5) 1–3 paragraphs

  • What is one of your favorite books and why?

  • Firefighters, police, doctors, and teachers are helpers in communities everywhere, but are they the only people who can help others? How could you help people in your community?

  • It is often said that it is “more blessed to give than to receive.” Have you had an experience in your life where you received great satisfaction from giving your time or talents to someone and experiencing a blessing or joy? Describe that experience, and tell a bit about what you learned from it.


Level B (grades 6–8) 4–5 paragraphs

  • What does it mean to you to show compassion to others?

  • President Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." What work do you hope to do when you grow up, and what makes it worth doing?

  • Ben Carson said:

Perhaps it would be useful to highlight the fact that the average American lives to be about eighty years of age. The first twenty to twenty-five years are spent either preparing oneself through education or not preparing. If you prepare appropriately, you have fifty-five to sixty years to reap the benefits. If you fail to prepare, you have fifty-five to sixty years to suffer the consequences.

     What are you doing as a young person now that is preparing you for the rest of your life?


Level C (grades 9–12) 5 paragraphs

  • In 2017, numerous natural disasters pummeled populations in Houston, the Caribbean, India, and elsewhere around the globe. What could you do to help people that are hurting because of natural disasters? Feel free to talk about local problems or problems in other parts of the world.

  • It is predicted that in the future, war, terrorism, and civil unrest will exceed natural disasters in driving the need for emergency aid. More than 135 million people worldwide may need humanitarian aid. How would you contribute to the battle to either meet needs or eliminate threats? What could you do to generate community involvement in solving these problems? Your solutions may be global or local in scale. They may address only part of a problem or may have a much broader scope.

  • President John Quincy Adams observed, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader." In what ways do you strive to be a leader by serving and inspiring others?

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