IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and essay contest winner Kara John from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados (photo: IMF)
First Place: Kara John - read the essay
Second Place: Keenan Falconer - read the essay
Third Place: Wendell Ivey - read the essay
ABOUT THE CONTEST
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) invited students from Caribbean universities and colleges to participate in an essay contest on the topic “Inclusive and Resilient Growth in the Caribbean.” The deadline for submissions was October 30, 2017. Entries were sent by e-mail to: IMFCaribbeanEssay@imf.org.
The essay had to be written in English, by a student currently enrolled at any university or college in the English-speaking Caribbean and Haiti, and be a maximum of 500 words. The essay had to focus on the main challenges to Caribbean growth and how to strengthen resilience.
All essays submitted must respond to three questions:
(i) What, in your opinion, are the three main growth bottlenecks in the Caribbean?
(ii) In what ways could countries in the region strengthen their resilience against external and domestic shocks, taking into account climate change and sometimes fragile macroeconomic stability?
(iii) What can you and your generation do over the course of the next 10 years to improve economic prospects and resilience for the next generation?
Essays should be your original work. The submissions should be written in English, and should not exceed the 500 word limit. In addition, there should be a summary at the beginning, not exceeding 50 words, which will not count towards the 500 word limit. In reviewing entries, the evaluation committee will consider compliance with these requirements, the essay’s relevance to the topic, originality, coherence, structure, and eloquence.
Who Is Eligible?
Students aged 18 to 25 (inclusive), who are nationals from the following countries and territories: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. Students must be currently enrolled at any public or private university or college in those countries and territories, in a degree course, short course or extension courses.
Essay Submission Deadline
October 30, 2017 11:59 p.m. (EST)
Three finalists were announced in November 2017.
The first-place winner was invited to attend the 2017 High Level Caribbean Forum in Kingston, Jamaica (the IMF covered travel and living expenses for 3 days). The winner will also be given a short paid internship for two months at the IMF local office in Jamaica (additional details will be provided after the winner is announced).
The second- and third-place winners received an iPad and a Fitbit, respectively.
The essay contest is intended for young students in university or college. Is there an age limit?
The contest is open to young students, aged 18 to 25 (inclusive).
Can students that have already completed undergraduate programs participate?
Students entering the essay contest must be currently enrolled at a university or college in the Caribbean. Participants must provide their personal details (name, university/educational institution, department/program, age, city, country) at the time they send in their essay.
Can young postgraduate students that are pursuing programs other than master’s degrees, such as short courses and extension coursesparticipate?
Yes, young students who are enrolled in short courses or extension courses may participate in the essay contest.
Is it necessary to attach a certificate of academic attendance?
It is not necessary to submit a certificate of academic attendance; however, you must specify the university and academic program in which you are enrolled. Once a student is selected as a finalist, the evaluation committee will verify the student’s background with the student’s university or college.
I have studied at a Caribbean university, but I am not a Caribbean national. Can I participate?
If a young person is not currently enrolled at any university or college in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, he or she may not participate. A student who is not a national from one of the above listed countries and territories may not participate even though he or she is studying in one of those countries or territories.
How can I check to see whether my e-mail arrived? Is there a response time or acknowledgment of receipt?
The IMF will send an e-mail acknowledging receipt to anyone who submits an entry.
Is the correspondence e-mail address case-sensitive (IMFCaribbeanEssay@imf.org)?
The e-mail address is not case-sensitive.
Is there a participation fee to apply for the contest?
There is no participation fee required to participate in the contest.
How will the evaluation committee make its decision?
In reviewing entries, the evaluation committee will consider how well the essay answers the three framing questions, including but not limited to its relevance to the topic, originality, coherence, structure, and eloquence. The evaluation committee may disqualify an entry, for failure to comply with the essay guidelines. The evaluation committee’s decision is final and not subject to appeal. The prize is not transferable or substitutable. No cash payments will be made.
What will the IMF do with my essay?
By entering the competition, you agree that the IMF retains unlimited, non-exclusive right to reproduce your work without further permission. The winning essay and any other essay submitted may, subject to the discretion of the IMF, be published in an academic journal of the University of the West Indies. The IMF may publish the name of competition entrants on its website.
Some of these contests have age and regional restrictions, so be sure to check submission guidelines before submitting.
Many contests are annual, so if you miss your ideal contest this year, you can always enter next year. For a month-by-month list of free contests see: Writing Contests
Poetry Center at Smith College Prize. Restrictions: Open to sophomore or junior high school girls in New England. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 1, 2017.
Donald Murray Prize for Creative Nonfiction. Genre: Original, unpublished works of creative nonfiction with a preference for essays on writing, teaching, and teaching writing, but will consider quality entries on any subject, including topics related to social justice, civic action, and inequality. Prize: $300 in the form of an AMEX gift card and publication in the Spring 2018 issue of Writing on the Edge. All entries will be considered for publication in the journal. Length: 8,000 words maximum (2500–4500 preferred) Deadline: December 1, 2017.
‘Geo-Lit’ Writing Contest. Genre: Short stories between 500 words and 1500 words set at a real location in New York City. Prize: First place $100, and a $50 prize will awarded by Literary Manhattan. Deadline: December 1, 2017.
Unified Caring Association Student Essay Contest. Restrictions: Open to US High School Juniors and Seniors. Genre: Essay on topic: If you were the President of the United States, what would you do to promote Peace and Unity? Word count: 500 - 550 words. Prize: 10 first prizes of $333 scholarship; 10 second place essays will each receive a $100 scholarship Deadline: December 1, 2017.
Quantum Shorts Competition. Genre: Short story, max 1,000 words, that draws on the strange ways of quantum particles and anticipate a new era of quantum technology. You must also include the phrase: "There are only two possibilities: yes or no." Prize: Up to US$1500 and digital subscriptions to Scientific American magazine. Deadline: December 1, 2017.
Tony Quagliano Poetry Fund, International Poetry Award. Restrictions: Open to poets who have a published body of work over a period of years. Poems must be in English. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 1, 2017.
The David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction is offered annually to the best book in American historical fiction that is both excellent fiction and excellent history. Prize: $1.000. Deadline: December 1, 2017.
Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Contest for Canadian Youth. Restrictions: Canadians, grades 7-12. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $400. Deadline: December 1, 2017.
Brunel University African Poetry Prize. Restrictions: Open to poets who were born in Africa, or who are nationals of an African country, or whose parents are African. Genre: 10 poems exactly. Prize: 3,000 pounds. Deadline: December 1, 2017.
The Schneider Family Book Award is sponsored by the American Library Association. The award honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Prize: Three annual awards each consisting of $5000 and a framed plaque, will be given annually in each of the following categories: birth through grade school (age 0-10), middle school (age 11-13) and teens (age 13-18). (Age groupings are approximations). Genre: May be fiction, biography, or other form of nonfiction. Deadline: December 1, 2017.
Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing. Restrictions: Open to published writers who are writing from the region. Genres: All. Prize: $1000. Deadline: December 1, 2017.
The Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poetry. Restrictions: Open to African poets who have not yet published a collection of poetry. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $1,000 and book publication through the University of Nebraska Press and Amalion Press in Senegal. Deadline: December 1, 2017.
The Pushcart Prize honors the best "poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot" published in small presses and literary magazines. Magazine and small press editors may nominate up to six works. Pushcart Press publishes yearly anthologies of the winning submissions. Prize: Publication. Deadline: December 1, 2017.
The Lyric College Poetry Contest. Restrictions: Open to undergraduates enrolled full time in an American or Canadian college or university. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 1, 2017.
Emerging Poets Fellowship at Poets House. Restrictions: Applicants to the Emerging Poets Fellowship at Poets House must reside in one of the five boroughs of New York City. Students who are or will be enrolled in any degree granting program during Spring 2018 are ineligible. Deadline: December 1, 2017. There is no application fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.
The W.Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction honors the best fiction set in a period when the United States was at war. It recognizes the service of American veterans and military personnel and encourages the writing and publishing of outstanding war-related fiction. Genre: Military fiction. Prize: $5000. Deadline: December 1, 2017.
Literature Matters. Restrictions: UK residents. Genre: "Awards will be given to individual writers or other literary creators, recognising their past achievements and providing them with financial support to undertake a proposed new piece of writing or literary project. Launched as part of the RSL’s new Literature Matters programme, priority will be given to proposals which (a) will help connect with audiences or topics outside the usual reach of literature, and/or (b) will help generate public discussion about why literature matters." Award: £20,000. Deadline: December 4, 2017.
Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award. Restrictions: Open to an LGBTQ writer who has shown exceptional talent and the potential for continued literary success and significance in the future. The nominee must have published at least one but no more than two books, written in the discipline of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Works must be in the English language. Prize: $1,500. Deadline: December 5, 2017.
Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) provides direct support to individual Bronx artists who create literary, media, visual, and performing works of art. Prize: 25 BRIO grants of $3,000 each are awarded to Bronx artists. BRIO award winners complete a one-time public service activity. Deadline: December 8, 2017.
Friends of American Writers. Restrictions: The author must be a resident (or previously have been a resident for approximately five years) of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin; or the locale of the book must be in a region identified above. The author must not have published more than three books under his/her own pen name. Genres: Books can be fiction or creative non-fiction and published in 2017. Self-published and e-Books are not eligible. Prize: $4000. Deadline: December 10, 2017.
Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest. Restrictions: Registered undergraduate full-time Juniors or Seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the Fall 2015 Semester. Genre: Essay Topic: Articulate with clarity an ethical issue that you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself. 3,000 to 4,000 words. Prize: First Prize $5,000, 2nd Prize $2,500, 3rd Prize $1,500, two Honorable Mentions $500 each. Deadline: December 11, 2017. Read details here.
White River Environmental Law Writing Competition is sponsored by the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law and Vermont Law School. Restrictions: Open to all students currently pursuing a degree (J.D. or LL.M) at an accredited law school in the United States. Submissions written as a class component, as a journal requirement, or otherwise for academic credit are acceptable. Genre: Original essays addressing any relevant topic in the fields of environmental law, natural resource law, energy law, environmental justice, land use law, animal law, and agricultural law. Prize: $1000 cash prize and an offer of publication with the Vermont Journal of Environmental Law. Deadline: December 11, 2017.
J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. Genre: Uncompleted work of nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern. Prize: $30,000 fellowship. Deadline: December 11, 2017.
Deborah Rogers Foundation Award. Restrictions: Applicants may not be under contract to any publisher for any work or title. Applications are only open to writers who have not previously published or self-published a full length book of their own prose writing (with the exception of a collection of poetry). Entrants must write in the English language and reside within the British Commonwealth and Eire. Genre: Excerpt: 20-30,000 words of a work in progress, fiction or non-fiction, which is not under option or contract. Prize: £10,000. Deadline: December 13, 2017.
Spark Award: Held by SCBWI , open to members of SCBWI who are self-published. Genres: Fiction and nonfiction. Prize: Envy. The SCBWI is our most prestigious national organization (US) for children's book and YA writers. Deadline: December 15, 2017.
Whiting Prize. Restrictions: Applicants must be not-for-profit literary magazines in the US, annual budgets of no more than $500,000, and have published at least annually for at least three years. Genre: This contest is for print and digital literary magazines. Prize: $30,000 - $60,000. Deadline: December 15, 2017.
Exiled Writers Ink Free Poetry Competition. Restrictions: Open to UK refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants. Genre: Poetry. Prize: First Prize £400 plus The Literary Consultancy’s free detailed report on the winner’s poetry collection; Second Prize £200 plus a free course at the prestigious Poetry; School; Third Prize £100. Deadline: December 15, 2017.
Barbara Kyle’s 4th Annual Manuscript Evaluation Contest. Genre: Manuscript. (Genre not specified) Prize: Grand Prize: evaluation of a full manuscript: Second Prize: evaluation of the first 50 pages of a manuscript: Third Prize: evaluation of the first 25 pages of a manuscript. Deadline: December 15, 2017.
Women Artists Datebook. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $70. Deadline: December 15, 2017.
Rider University Annual High School Writing Contest. Restrictions: Open to high school students. Genres: Essays, poetry, fiction. Prizes: 1st-$100, 2nd-$50, 3rd-$25. Deadline: December 15, 2017.
Arts & Letters Awards. Restrictions: Open to residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Genres: poetry, short fiction, nonfiction, dramatic script, art, music, and French language. Entries must be unpublished and completed during the previous 12 months. Prizes: C$1,000 and C$250. Deadline: December 15, 2017.
Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award. Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter. Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 22, 2017.
Lucille Medwick Memorial Award. Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter. Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Original poem in any form on a humanitarian theme. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.
Cecil Hemley Memorial Award. Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter. Genre: Poetry, unpublished and published. Lyric poem that addresses a philosophical or epistemological concern. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.
The Writer Magazine/Emily Dickinson Award. Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free. Genre: A poem inspired by Dickinson though not necessarily in her style. Prize: $250. Deadline: December 22, 2017.
George Bogin Memorial Award. Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free. Other must pay a $15 entry fee. Genre: Poetry that takes a stand against oppression. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.
Robert H. Winner Memorial Award. Restrictions: Only Poetry Society of America members may enter for free. There is a charge of $15 for non-members. Open to mid-career poets who have not had substantial recognition, and is over forty, and who have published no more than one book. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: December 22, 2017.
Commonwealth Club of California Book Awards. Restrictions: Open to residents of California. Genre: Book of poetry, fiction or nonfiction. Prize: Medal. Deadline: December 22, 2017.
Black Caucus of the American Library Association. BCALA presents four awards to an African American writer published in the United States during the previous year: one for adult fiction, one for nonfiction, one for a first novelist and one for poetry. These awards acknowledge outstanding achievement in the presentation of the cultural, historical and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora. Prize: Four $500.00 awards. Deadline: December 29, 2017.
Posen Society of Fellows Awards. Genre: Jewish-themed dissertation. Prize: $40,000 fellowship. Deadline: December 30, 2017.
Ouen Press Short Story Competition. Genre: Short story on theme of "Taste." Prize: £300 top prize. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
Best Translated Book Awards for Fiction. Genre: All original translations published between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 are eligible. Reprints and retranslation are ineligible. Prize: $5,000.00. Two awards of $5,000: one apiece for the author and translator of the winning book in fiction. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
Best Translated Book Awards for Poetry. Genre: All original translations published between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 are eligible. Reprints and retranslation are ineligible. Prize: $5,000.00. Two awards of $5,000: one apiece for the author and translator of the winning book in fiction. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognizes outstanding works that contribute to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Awards are given for both fiction and nonfiction. Prize: $10,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017. The winners are announced in the spring.
Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, Griffin Poetry Prize. Restrictions: One prize goes to a living Canadian poet or translator, the other to a living poet or translator from any country, which may include Canada. Genre: Poetry. Books must have been published in English during the calendar year preceding the year of the award. Prize: C$200,000, is awarded annually in two categories – International and Canadian. Each prize is worth C$65,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
Kansas Book Award. Restrictions: Author must establish a connection to Kansas by birth, education, employment, residence or other significant claim. Genre: Book of literary nonfiction. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest. Genre: Speculative fiction prose, up to 17,000 words. Prize: $1,000 with $5,000 grand prize. Deadline: December 31, 2017. Read details HERE.
Blue Mountain Arts Poetry Card Contest. Genre: Poem. Prize: $300. Deadline: December 31, 2017. Read details HERE.
Best Translated Book Awards for Fiction and Poetry. Genre: Published translated poetry book or novel. Prize: $5,000: one apiece for the author and translator of the winning book. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
Society of Classical Poets, Poetry Competition. Genre: Poetry. Three to five poems, each of which does not exceed 50 lines. The poems must be within the four themes used by the Society. Prize: First Prize: $500. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
Viva la Novella. Restrictions: Open to Australian and New Zealand writers. Genre: Novella. Prize: $1,000 and publication in Seizure. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
USNI Naval History Essay Contest. Genre: Essay. Prize: First Prize: $6,000. Second Prize:$3,000. Third Prize: $2,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
Arnold Adoff Poetry Awards. Genre: Poetry books for children and young adults. Novels in verse, memoirs in verse, collections of original poetry, and edited collections are all acceptable formats for the awards. Prize: $500. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
Goldstein, Lawrence, and Clayton Prizes in Poetry and Short Fiction. Sponsored by Michigan Quarterly Review. Genres: Poetry, short fiction. Prizes are given to the best poetry and fiction submitted to the MQR throughout the year. Follow their usual submission guidelines. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Literary Nonfiction. Restrictions: Author must establish a connection to Kansas by birth, education, employment, residence or other significant claim. Genre: Nonfiction book with a publication date of 2015, 2016 or 2017. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
Neil Postman Award for Metaphor. Sponsored by Rattle. Genre: Poetry. All published submissions during the year are considered for the prize. Follow their regular submission guidelines. Prize: $1,000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust Article Prize Competition. Genre: Nonfiction of 7,000-10,000 words about the Holocaust. Prize: $1,000 top prize. Deadline: December 31, 2017. Questions/submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Caribbean Writers Prizes. Genre: Short fiction, nonfiction, poetry, books. Prize: $400 - $500. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
Lex:lead Essay Competition. Genre: Essay on topic: How can banking regulatory law reduce poverty and support economic development? Prize: $500. Deadline: December 31, 2017. You must register by November 30.
Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Early American History. Genre: Essay on early American history (up to 1825), not previously published, with preference being given to New England subjects. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition. Restrictions: Open to students attending allopathic or osteopathic schools of medicine in the United States and Canada. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $300. Deadline: December 31, 2017.
Viva La Novella. Restrictions: Open to Australian and New Zealand writers. Genre: Novella. Prize: $1000. Deadline: December 31, 2017.