A rundown of that remarkable win from the underdogs? A feature piece on virtual coaching during the pandemic? An op-ed on why a break from sports has been (surprisingly) beneficial for many teens? This month, with the Summer Olympics rescheduled to begin in Tokyo, help us kick off our Sports Writing Competition—the field of sports writing is yours to play on.
Regardless of your topic, make sure to:
- Focus your attention on one issue or event.
- Conduct background research so that you have a good contextual understanding of your topic. This might mean looking into the historical record of the team you’re writing about, or a coach’s history, or the incidence of doping 20 years ago versus now… you get the idea.
- Seek out the opinions of others and gather interesting quotes! If you’re writing about a sports event at your school, interview players, coaches, and fans. If you’re writing about a national or international event or issue, draw on newspaper and magazine articles.
- And finally, make your writing come alive! Use active, interesting verbs; avoid the passive voice; and bring your reader into the article (and onto the field!) with specific, sensory details.
Like other forms of journalism, a sports article benefits from a carefully crafted structure. In just a few sentences, you must pull the reader in and make sure they hang on every line until the last! Read the definitions below, and be sure to check out the resource “Sports Journalism: It’s all in the structure!” for more info and examples.
Who is Eligible?
- HEADLINE: Five to ten words that grab the reader’s attention and give them a quick overview of what’s in the story.
- LEDE: The opening paragraph of an article, that serves to solidify the reader’s interest.
- NUT: The paragraph that provides context for your topic and the information needed to understand the issue at hand. Somewhere in the LEDE or NUT, make sure you’ve covered the five “W’s and the H”! (Who, What, Where, When, Why, How)
- BODY: What happened! The outcome; the highlights; how an issue has developed over time, or how the community is responding; quotes from fans, athletes, coaches, or experts…
- CLOSE: A few lines that wrap up the article, posing an additional question about the topic or offering a fresh way of looking at the issue.
Young writers ages 13-18
600 – 1,000 words
John Vitti has spent more than 30 years in newspapers, including the last 20+ in the Boston Globe sports department, where he helps produce all aspects of the print and web content. He has also spent the last 14 years teaching/advising/volunteering in the Watertown (Mass.) Public Schools. In March 2020, he founded Headliners in Education, a 501c3 nonprofit that is all about the wonderfulness of journalism in schools and is affiliated with students and teachers in 350+ schools in 34 states and four countries.
What’s Different about Write the World Competitions?
- Best Entry: $100 (Our guest judge’s commentary on the winning piece, and an interview with the author will be featured on Write the World’s blog)
- Runner up: $50 (Our guest judge’s commentary on the piece will be featured on Write the World’s blog)
- Best Peer Review: $50 (Our guest judge’s commentary on the best peer review and an interview with the reviewer will be featured on Write the World’s blog)
- Prizes: The winning entrant will receive $100, and the runner-up and best peer-reviewer will receive $50.
- Professional Recognition: The winning entry, plus the runner-up and best peer review, will be featured on our blog, with commentary from our guest judge.
- Expert Review: Submit your draft by Monday, July 12, and get feedback from our team of experts—authors, writing teachers, and educational professionals.
WtW Camps and Workshops!
- July 5: Competition Opens
- July 12: Submit draft for Expert Review (Optional. We will review the first 100 drafts submitted.)
- July 16: Reviews returned to Writers
- July 20: Final Submissions Due
- July 30: Winners Announced
This July and August, take your writing skills to the next level by participating in Write the World's virtual writing camps taught by professional authors, editors, and educators—including former Guest Judges! Learn more and register here.
Our Flash Fiction Competition opens Monday, August 2nd.
Stay tuned for more details!
Is previously published work eligible?
Our monthly competitions are designed to get you writing across a range of genres throughout the year, so we encourage you to write a new work for each competition, but we will also accept work that has been previously shared with a small, local audience (for instance, a piece that was published in a school journal).
How to Enter
- If you haven’t yet, sign up for a free account for Write the World as a young writer here
- Hit the “Start Writing” button above!
- Draft your entry! Hit “Save” to return to it later.
- The first 100 people to submit a draft will receive an in-depth review from one of our Expert Reviewers—authors, writing teachers, and educational professionals—that you can use to revise your final entry. The “Submit for Expert Review” button will be clickable if slots are still available—click it to have your draft reviewed. (Note: you can still enter the competition if you haven’t received or don’t want to receive an Expert Review!)
- When you are ready to submit your entry, hit the "Submit as Final" button (You can revise, re-publish, and mark any version as your "final submission" until the deadline.)
- Only one entry per person, please.
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- Anything that may be deemed hurtful, defamatory or discriminatory in nature.
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All final submissions will automatically be published on Write the World’s website.