The Deadline has been extended to midnight on July 5th!


Six years ago, The Nation launched an annual Student Writing Contest to identify, support and reward some of the many smart, progressive student journalists writing, reporting and blogging today.

This year, we’re looking for original, thoughtful, provocative student voices to answer this question in 800 words:

What do you think is the most serious issue facing your generation?

The contest is open to all matriculating high school students and undergraduates at US schools, colleges and universities, including those receiving high school or college degrees in the year 2011. (Those being home-schooled and studying at US schools abroad are eligible.) High school and college essays are judged in two different tiers respectively. We’re also considering adding a non-US category next year.

Entries are being accepted through June 30th. Both high school and college winners are published in The Nation and receive $1,000 and lifetime Nation subscriptions. Finalists are published at and receive $250 plus free subscriptions.

Our first winner, Sarah Stillman, a Yale undergraduate and founding editor of Manifesta, a student feminist journal, set a high bar in 2006 with "Project Corpus Callosum," her meditation on student apathy and action. In 2008, we added a high school category and began naming two winners annually along with ten finalists.

Last year we asked students to tell us how their education had been compromised by budget cuts and tuition hikes. In a true sign of the times, we received a startling 1,000 submissions from forty-three states coast to coast.

Read last year’s winners, and please help spread the word!