* This competition is now closed but you are still welcome to submit a piece and read through the published writing. *
A rundown of that remarkable win from your favorite team, a feature piece about the Olympic swimmer you’ve always admired, or an op-ed on the representation of women in sports media. This month, we’re kicking off our sports journalism competition. From surfing rules and etiquette to the ethical issues around performance enhancing drugs, the field of sports writing is yours to play in.
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 he hangs 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 gives her 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 – 1000 words
Martha Kelner, Chief Sports Reporter, The Guardian (UK)
What’s Different about Write the World Competitions?
Prizes: The winning entrant(s) will receive $100, and the 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 and get feedback from our team of experts—authors, writing teachers, and educational professionals.