Competition Closed... but you're still welcome to read through the published writing and blog posts!
Research has linked excessive social media use—in particular the phenomenon of the 'Selfie' (the taking and posting of one's photo online) to narcissism and other personality disorders. It has also been linked to low self-esteem and has been seen as a cry for attention and approval. However, this research is contested by Selfie supporters, who maintain the Selfie is just another kind of self-portrait that is actually empowering and a healthy form of self-expression.
Write a 750-1,000 word op-ed about the phenomenon of the Selfie. You could write the piece for or against, or show both sides of the argument.
- We’re interested in hearing your ideas: It’s always tempting to check out the research and opinions that are already out there before crafting your own response. But really, we want to know what you think. Before you even consider what other people think, carefully read the topic and jot down any ideas that come into your head. Try to think of examples to back up your point of view. What do you think and why? Can you identify the people or experiences that have influenced you in forming this opinion? Your friends? Your family? The media or the culture in which you live? Give yourself some time to think and reflect on the issue.
- Back up your ideas: Once you have an idea of what you want to say, take a look at the existing research on the topic. Can you use this research to strengthen your argument? Or perhaps your ideas will change or evolve as you collect additional information? Try including a quote or paraphrasing an idea, and don’t forget to acknowledge your sources.
- Captivate your reader: An opinion piece should be a riveting read. Make sure your writing is thoughtful, reflective and clearly structured. Think about starting the piece with a story or anecdote that hooks your reader in. Allow time for feedback so you can thoroughly edit and redraft your work. Make sure your argument is compelling and watertight from beginning to end.
- Take a stand: Op-eds are your chance to weigh in on a social, political, or cultural issue. As you share your opinion, keep in mind that your goal is to persuade your audience to listen up! Oftentimes, the most compelling op-eds are both personal and universal. Try sharing an experience from your life that illustrates your opinion, while also explaining (or showing through examples) how this topic impacts people on a broader scale. Most essentially, an op-ed asserts an opinion, takes a stand, makes an argument! Check out the sample outline under “Resources” for more tips on how to write a stellar op-ed.
We are thrilled to have Ben Shattuck
join us this month to read over the shortlist. Ben is a writer and also a painter! He is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has taught writing courses at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and the University of Iowa.
$100 (winning piece + author interview will be featured on Write the World’s website and blog)
Best Peer Review:
$50 (reviewer interview will be featured on Write the World’s website and blog)
What’s Different about Write the World Competitions?
The winning entrant will receive $100, and the runner-up and best peer-reviewer will receive $50.
The winning entry, plus the runner-up and best peer review, will be featured on our blog, with commentary from our guest judge.
Turn your rough draft in by Monday, March 9, and get feedback from our team of experts—authors, writing teachers, and educational professionals.
Competition Opens: Monday, March 2nd
Submit draft for Expert Review (optional): Monday March 9th
Reviews returned to Writers: Thursday, March 12th
Final Submissions Due: Tuesday, March 17th
Winners Announced: Friday, March 27th
Write an Album Review
Stay tuned for more details!