Student with laptop by the Forward

The Forward’s Youth Writing Contest: We want to hear from you!

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Outside, the sun is shining but the streets are eerily empty. You seem to have more free time than ever but there seems to be less and less to do with it. School’s in session, but when you see your fellow classmates, they’re just little squares on a screen. Passover is approaching, a time when we should be celebrating freedom — and yet, how free do any of us feel?

In these strange and unsettling times, we want to hear from you — our future leaders and thinkers. We want to know what you’re thinking and feeling. We want to know what it’s like to grow up in this new reality. That’s why we’re launching our first youth writing competition of the 21st Century.

The Forward’s Youth Writing Contest: We want to hear from you!

Our theme is: “What It Means To Be Free.” In partnership with the Jewish Education Project, we are asking you to send us an essay, a story, or maybe even a poem about the meaning of freedom in 2020 America. Your work will be read by a panel of judges including Dahlia Lithwick, a senior writer at; former U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, Forward senior editor Adam Langer and representatives of the Jewish Education Project..

If we like your essay, we’ll publish it on our site. If we really like it, we’re awarding a cash prize of $180 to the top entry in each of three age categories.

If you’re ready to enter our contest, please send your name, your age, the name of the school you attend, a photo of yourself, and your entry (no more than 1,000 words) to For more information on our contest guidelines, click here.

We look forward to reading your work.


The Forward’s Youth Writing Contest

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