Notebook and Pen

NJCTE High School Writing Contest 2021

The New Jersey Council of Teachers of English
invites New Jersey students in Grades 9-12 to participate in this year's Writing Contest

"Narrative Time Capsule -2021"

Submission Deadline: December 30, 2021 at 12:01 am
All categories of writing must respond to the theme "Narrative Time Capsule, 2021"
Personal Essays
5-page maximum, double-spaced
Short Stories
5-page maximum, double-spaced
Any style, does not have to be in narrative form but must respond to prompt, 50-lines maximum)
Writing Prompt
Write a poem, personal essay or short story that creates a time capsule for 2021. 

Beginning at the end of 2019, the world was rocked by the coronavirus. A pandemic brought new practices, procedures, and values to our lives. How did you, your family, school, or community deal with the pandemic? 

Future generations may ask what life was really like learning from home, wearing a mask, and social distancing. Time capsules are a unique way of collecting evidence. Time capsules are an opportunity to find or express what is important at a designated time and place in life. Through your short story or personal essay submission, create a narrative time capsule account that lets the reader experience the changes you felt during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
How to Enter: 
1. Only New Jersey high school students (public or private) are eligible to enter. 

2. Use the links below to share your work. 
Tips to Avoid Disqualification
1. Students may submit a maximum of one entry in each category (i.e. one poem, one short story and one essay).
2. Teachers may submit up to ten entries for their students in each genre. Surplus entries will be disqualified in order of submission date. 

3. The file submitted must be anonymous. Essays, short stories and poems with a student’s name, school or class typed on them will be disqualified.
1st Place Gold Winners in poetry, short story and personal essay=medal and $150.00 prize money
2nd Place Silver Winners in poetry, short story and personal essay = medal and $ 75.00 prize money
3rd Place Bronze Winners in poetry, short story and personal essay = medal and $ 50.00  prize money
Gold medalists are eligible for the Governor’s Awards in Arts Education (GAAE). 
School & District Winners
Honorable Mention: Top scoring students from schools with qualifying entries from at least 10 different students sponsored by at least three different teachers 

Certificates of Merit: Top scoring students from schools which submit qualifying entries from at least three different students 
Winners will be notified during March 2022 .
Questions? Email