Like the environment? Like to write? Here are 10 environmental writing contests for students!

Posted November 10, 2020 by Jessica Fahrenholtz

As the education system pushes to add science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, to the curriculum, we must remember the importance the arts play in a child’s development and success into adulthood.


According to the business resource Inc., 73% of employers in today’s workforce want to hire someone with strong written and communication skills.


With writing skills being a top priority, the question then becomes, how do we encourage students to foster a love of the arts alongside increasing their skills in STEM?


A great way to encourage both the arts and STEM education while also building a strong work ethic and life skills is participating in one of these 10 environmental writing contests.

Nicodemus Wilderness Project Apprentice Ecologist Awards

This program has received many awards for its economic impact, and the skills it teaches its participants are noteworthy too. Students who participate in the Apprentice Ecologist Initiative will get the chance to improve the environmental or social well-being of their own community. Its design is unique because it allows students to assert their leadership skills in an area that means the most to them – whether that’s their local wildlife, education, or community activism.


Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

In this competition, teens in 7th – 12th grade can apply in 29 different art and writing categories. Student submissions are scored on their originality, technical skills, and their personal vision or voice. This gives participants the freedom to think outside the box and truly artistically express themselves.


Tunza Eco Generation Environmental Essay Competition

This competition is all about encouraging young people to think about the natural world’s importance. Students will complete an original work of writing that conveys their perspective on mother nature and how they believe we can improve our care for the planet.


Young Reporters for the Environmental International Competition

This competition is unique in that it allows students to think about the environment on a global scale. Participants submit their most inspiring entries surrounding the theme of littering less. Winners of each national competition will then get to compete against one another in the international finals. These winners will gain global recognition for their creative thinking and environmental problem-solving—what a great way to start a student’s resume off right.


Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature

This competition inspires students to get creative and develop an original literary masterpiece. Whether they are into mysteries, thrillers, or dramas, students can write a story that interests the reader and promotes environmental and animal protection.


The Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing

Participants in this writing competition must write a book that inspires its readers to explore the great outdoors and respect the world we live in. For students who dream of writing their own books one day, this is a great place to learn the process and understand the work that goes into writing an inspiring piece of literature.


Gingko Prize for Eco poetry

This international competition helps demonstrate the power poetry can have in inspiring a better world. Participants will create an original poem that highlights the natural world and raises awareness of various environmental issues.


PEN Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction

If your student is into fiction, this is a great competition for them to participate in. This organization believes in inspiring students to consider writing fiction as a career by demonstrating to them the power their fictional stories can have on social justice and their own community’s culture and politics. This competition is an excellent balance of inspiring students to find a love of writing and making a difference on issues that are impacting their communities.


Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Student Contest

This platform is designed to teach students about the issues plaguing our oceans through art and creative communication. Participants will also get the opportunity to explore how what happens to our oceans impacts the rest of the world and what action we can take to make a difference.


River of Words Contest

This competition is a beautiful blend of science and art for students to explore. Students are free to create an original poem or work of art that demonstrates a respect for the environment and teaches about a specific region.


Whether your student is interested in the oceans, making an environmental impact, or advocating for social justice issues in their community, competing in one of these writing competitions will inspire them to action.


These competitions will reinforce the STEM learning happening in the classroom and teach students the importance of the arts and creative communications to impact the world around them. Combining STEM skills and the ever-important writing skills is a great way to help students get ready for college and successful careers.

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