CatholicU Magazine Student Writing Contest

Artwork depictions of students wearing masks

It’s been almost one year since the COVID-19 pandemic forced shutdowns across the country. In this year like no other, we experienced loss, separation, fear, and demands for justice. The challenges for college students have been too many to count. Everything in your world suddenly turned upside down in March 2020 — we watch in amazement as you keep rising to the challenge.

We want to hear your stories!

The editorial team of CatholicU, the flagship magazine of Catholic University, is launching our first-ever student writing contest. Share your experience of the last year, whether it be one of hardship, triumph, or both. This is your chance to become a published author, add an impressive new line to your LinkedIn profile, and earn serious bragging rights!

What to enter: We are looking for original essays of 700 words or less.

Who can enter: Any student who is currently enrolled at Catholic University, or any alumnus/a who was enrolled at Catholic University in 2020.

How to enter: Submit your essay by email to In the email, include your name, class year, major, and title of your essay. Your essay should be sent as an attachment. Do not include your name or other identifying information on your essay. A title on your essay is necessary.

Deadline: Monday, March 15, 2021, midnight EDT.

Judging Criteria: Essays will be judged through a blind process by a committee of faculty and staff representing different areas of the University. Judges will be looking for originality and quality writing, and they want to read compelling stories. Use your voice to tell your story. Your essay can educate us, demand a call to action, pull at our heartstrings, or make us laugh. The direction and style of your submission is up to you!

Awards: The first-place entry will appear as a feature article in the spring 2021 edition of CatholicU magazine (print and online), which is mailed to 80,000 readers. Based on the quality of the entries, judges may also award one or more entries in each of the following categories: second-place, third-place, and honorable mention. Winners in these categories will have their essays published online, and in whole or in part in the print magazine. All winners will receive award certificates and an assortment of CatholicU swag. Those who live on or near campus will participate in a photo shoot with Catholic University’s professional photographer. Photos and bios of all winners will appear in print and on the University website and social media.

Contact us at with any questions. Good luck!