World Citizen Essay Contest for Students

World Affairs Council
Deadline: 3/19/2023, midnight

Each spring, the World Affairs Council hosts the WCEC for third through twelfth graders. The goal of the contest is to promote discussion among students, teachers, families, and community members about the ways that individuals can affect positive change in the global community. The contest lends the opportunity for students to engage in conversations about critical world issues with their peers, teachers, and families and allows them to gain confidence in expressing their thoughts in writing by submitting their work to a panel of community judges from both the business and education communities. Many teachers use the WCEC as a way to engage their students in real life global issues. Check out this year’s prompt below. 

2023 World Citizen Essay Contest Prompt:

You work for an innovative organization that focuses on solving global issues. As part of your next project, you have been asked to develop a creative strategy and/or solution to address a global issue you are passionate about. In 1000 words or less, describe WHAT global issue you would like to address and WHYWHERE you would work on it and WHY (local or global context), and HOW you would take action through an innovative strategy. HOW do you think this potential solution will positively impact people’s lives?

For ideas, you may consider looking at the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Adopted by UN member states in 2015, the SGDs “provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.”

2023 Essay Contest Logistics: 

  • This competition is open to all Washington State students in the 3rd-12th grades.
  • Essays must be 1000 words or less.
  • Official 2023 Judging Rubric.
  • Official 2023 World Citizen Essay Contest Resource Guide; Additional guidelines inside!
  • Official 2023 World Citizen Essay Contest Flyer.
  • Essays are due by midnight on Sunday, March 19th, 2023.
  • Click the blue “Register Here” button above to submit your essay today!
  • Once your essay is submitted, we will we follow up with you on next steps and a timeline for judging and winner selection.
  • There will be 9 winners total (3 Elementary School; 3 Middle School; and 3 High School).
  • For questions or concerns, please contact

Want to know about the World Citizen Essay Contest?  Learn about the history of the contest and our past essay contests & winning submissions. 

Click to see our 2022 World Citizen Essay Contest winners.