essay contest

As we watch the spread of COVID-19 across the world, our routines, schedules and ways of life have been put on a hard pause. Here in Oklahoma, people are working from home, and students are learning from home.

To both the parents trying out home education for the first time and the students trapped at home for days on end: our hearts go out to you.

However, we also have an idea to help students improve their writing while school is out and maybe win a prize along the way: an essay contest!

How it works

This essay contest features prizes made possible by our contest sponsor, OG&E.

Entry is open to students in Oklahoma between the ages of 11 and 18 who have not yet graduated from high school. To participate, students must write an original 300 to 500-word essay responding to one of the following prompts (see below).

Essays must be submitted by email to by 11:59 p.m. Thursday, April 30. Please use “essay contest” as the email’s subject line.

One entry is allowed per student. The contestant’s name, age, school and hometown must be included. If your household has more than one student enter, please send a separate email for each entry.

Entries will be judged in two age divisions: ages 11 to 14 and ages 15 to 18. Our editors will provide each student who enters with feedback and guidance about writing.

Questions worth considering

Your essay should explore one of the following questions:

  • How has the pandemic changed the way you think about social interaction/going to school?
  • What is something positive that has or could come out of this experience? (For you or your family or the whole community?)
  • What have you learned about yourself during the quarantine?

Creative entries are encouraged. The goal of this essay contest is to offer students a project to work on, a way to improve their writing skills and a chance to think about their relationship with current events.

Winners and awards

The top three essays from each age division will be announced in early May and published on NonDoc. The first-place winner of each age division will receive a $100 gift certificate to a locally owned restaurant of their choice. Second and third places will receive $50 and $25 gift certificates, respectively.

We appreciate OG&E’s support for this contest, and we look forward to reading the submissions.