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Contests Open to Homeschoolers

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Be sure to check eligibility and rules for homeschool participation in each contest.

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Other Great Contests to Enter

English/Language Arts Contests

  • Jane Austen Society of North America Essay Contest
    JASNA conducts an annual student Essay Contest to foster the study and appreciation of Jane Austen's work. Several hundred students compete for scholarship awards each year.
    Grades: High School level and higher
    Deadline: Check website

  • Balticon Young Writers' Contest
    Sci-Fi and Fantasy writing contest for teens living in Maryland. In the contest year all contestants must reside in, or attend school in Maryland.
    Age: 14-18
    Deadline: March

  • Bethesda Literary Festival (DC, select VA and MD counties only)
    The annual Essay and Short Story contest, in partnership with Bethesda Magazine, will honor local writers! Adult top prize winners will receive $500 and be published in Bethesda Magazine's July/August issue. Young adult (ages 14-17) winners will receive $250 and also be published in Bethesda Magazine.
    Age: 14+
    Deadline: January

  • Celebrate Ameria Creative Writing Contest
    Students reflect on and write about the theme "Why I Am Glad America Is a Nation of Immigrants."
    Grades: 5th
    Deadline: Check website
    Note: Homeschool parents may be asked to show identification to document 5th grade status.

  • Cricket Magazine Contests
    Check the Cricket website for the latest literary and art contests that celebrate the current season.
    Grades: Elementary grades
    Deadline: Ongoing

  • Folger's Sonnet Contest
    Sonnets may be written on any subject and in any voice, but must follow Shakespearean sonnet form: 14 lines of iambic pentameter with an ABAB - CDCD - EFEF - GG rhyme scheme.
    Grade: 3-12
    Deadline: April

  • Gaithersburg Short Story Contest
    Students write a 1,000 word creative short story that uses one of three starting lines. Entrants must be in high school and live in Maryland, DC, or Virginia.
    Grade: 9th-12th
    Deadline: February

  • Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers
    The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers recognizes outstanding young poets and is open to high school sophomores and juniors throughout the world.
    Grades: 10th and 11th
    Deadline: November

  • Library of Congress Letters About Literature
    Students write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre-- fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author's work changed the student's way of thinking about the world or themselves. There are three competition levels based on grade. See rules for specific age and grade stipulations.
    Grade: 4th-12th
    Deadline: Dec-Jan depending on state

  • Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes Discovery Award
    Students use their creative talents to research primary sources and develop outstanding projects that feature Unsung Heroes who can serve as role models and inspire others to create change.
    Grades: 4th - 12th
    Deadline: February

  • National High School Essay Contest
    The contest engages high school students in learning and writing about issues of peace and conflict, encouraging appreciation for diplomacy's role in building partnerships that can advance peacebuilding and protect national security.
    Grades: 9th - 12th
    Deadline: March

  • ESU National Shakespeare Competition
    Students read, analyze, perform and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets in three qualifying stages.
    Grade: 9th-12th
    Deadline: Jan-Mar depending on city. Nationals in May.

  • National Youth Storytelling Showcase
    The National Youth Storytelling Showcase is a unique opportunity for kids of all ages to participate in storytelling at a local, regional, and national level.
    Grade: 2nd-12th
    Deadline: Usually February, depending on state

  • North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad
    Students solve linguistic puzzles, which emphasize the diversity and consistency of language and the use of logic skills. No prior linguistic knowledge or foreign language skills required.
    Grade: 9th-12th
    Deadline: January

  • Poetry Out Loud
    Poetry Out Loud encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life.
    Grades: 9th - 12th
    Deadline: March (preliminaries)

  • Ayn Rand Essay Contests
    Essay contest based on Ayn Rand's thought-provoking novels.
    Grades: 8th - 12th
    Deadline: May

  • Scholastic Art and Writing Awards
    More than 600 Art awards and 300 writing awards are presented annually on the national level. Winners may receive cash awards, scholarships, certificates, and publishing and exhibition opportunities.
    Grades: 7th - 12th
    Deadline: December
    NOTE: Requires a $5 individual submission fee unless a fee waiver is sent. See website for details.

  • Scripps Howard Spelling Bee
    National competition of spelling ability. Competitors must be enrolled in a school that is enrolled to send contestants to the National Spelling Bee. Local competition must be sponsored by a local newspaper.
    Grade: 1st-8th
    Deadline: Local and statewide Bees feed into the National Spelling Bee in the springtime

  • Society of Professional Journalists High School Essay Contest
    Each year, students write an essay on a topic, such as: "Why do we - as consumers of media - need to obtain news from multiple feeds and not just one or two outlets?"
    Grades: 9th - 12th
    Deadline: Feburary

  • WordMasters Challenge
    The WordMasters Challenge is a vocabulary competition based on completing analogies.
    Grades: 3rd - 8th
    Deadline: October

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April 07, 2020


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