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Global Essay Competition Opens For SA Students

  • 3 min read

Registrations for the Harvard Crimson Global Essay Competition have opened up for South African students. The competition offers an opportunity for ambitious high school students, between the ages of 13 and 18, to showcase their passion for writing on a global stage. The winner will bank a $1 000 cash prize, together with a number of other prizes.

“The competition gives young South Africans a chance to demonstrate the depth of their critical thinking skills, creative ideas and written communication. For local students, competing at an international level is a great way to explore your passions, use your strengths, and elevate your impact and achievement – whether you’re applying to a top university abroad, or one closer to home,” says Rebecca Pretorius, Country Manager at global mentorship company Crimson Education, who have partnered with The Harvard Crimson, Harvard University’s student newspaper, to run the competition.

To enter, students need to register on the Harvard Crimson Global Essay Competition website ( and submit their 500-word creative or argumentative essay by 30 January 2022. In addition to the cash prize, the winner will receive an additional $1 000 towards a Crimson Education mentorship and an exclusive Harvard Crimson internship, to help kickstart their writing career. The top eight essays will be published on the official Harvard Crimson Essay Competition website for readers across the globe to read and enjoy.

Out of more than 2 500 global submissions received last year, South African student Hiewon Ahn, placed third overall; “Since the competition is hosted completely online, we’re able to break down geographical barriers and provide students from all over the world with access to explore and develop their writing interests. Global competitions are the perfect stepping stone to develop real-world experience and network with international peers,” says Pretorius.

Additionally, all participants will be invited to attend global webinars and workshops, hosted by top writing professionals. “Beyond the competition itself, our aim is to equip the writers of the future with the skills needed to succeed in the long-term by connecting them with world-class writers, screen-writers, journalists and more,” says Pretorius.

“With final exams wrapping up, the end-of-year holiday is a valuable time for students to develop their extracurricular and personal profiles. With school commitments on hold, students can use this time to gain experience, build expertise, and grow their knowledge. This competition is an opportunity to participate in a fun and creative activity that allows ambitious young South Africans to shine at an international level,” says Pretorius.

Students can take advantage of the early bird registration, which will cost R114 until 15 December. Regular registration, which runs from 16 December until 19 January, will cost R228. Schools wanting to enter full English classes or groups of students will pay a R75 registration fee per student. To find out more or to register for the competition, visit Schools wanting to enter student groups can reach out to

Through a team mentorship model, Crimson connects learners with admission strategists and tutors to assist them with the complex application process for top universities abroad. For more information, visit