Creative Writing

Raises public awareness regarding global environmental problems and provides solutions.


An essay involves the reader in a close and intimate conversation with the writer. Your essay should be your own personal response to the environmental problem you are writing about. It should provoke the reader to stand up for what is right. Your essay on the environment will be judged on its ability to express a personal story experience concerning the environment, for example, your personal experience or take on a forest, a lake, a mountain range or a city changing over time due to human intervention or greed.

Short Story

The short story has been around since humans have been able to speak. In other words, it is as old as language itself. The form of the short story conveys a single effect in only one or a few significant episodes or scenes.
Your short story will be judged by its power to provide a clear and satisfying treatment of your environmental issue directly or indirectly. No matter which genre of short story you wish to use – realism, science fiction, horror, mystery etc., it should unite and uplift the reader’s emotions in order to evoke a strong position or stand on the problem you choose to bring forth.


• A creative writing project should be prepared and submitted by only one student.

• You project file, including your creative work, must be submitted for complete application. All projects, including affiliated fair winners, must submit their creative writing.

• All projects must have titles. The title page of the project should indicate the school or other institution represented; the project title; author(s) with age; supervisor; the year in which the project is submitted;

• Essay projects have to indicate the list of cited literature;

• Short story and essay projects should be 2000 words or less (without the cited literature).

• Submissions should be on regular-size paper with 2 cm margins from each side. They should be in 12-point type, using Times New Roman or Calibri fonts, and 1.5 line spacing.

• All projects must be submitted in their final format.

• You must bring your own printed copy.

• Finalists will give five-minute public readings (including judges) from their creative submissions. Other participants will be present during each student’s judging. Judges will afterwards respond with critiques and questions for each Finalist reader. How the reader responds to the questions of judges will influence medalist awards.

• You will be required to submit your artwork as part of the application process (submitted by uploading a document within the application system) and a one-page artist statement (up to 300 words). The artist statement should include the main idea, its relevance and originality. At the end of the page, keywords (from three to six) must be indicated.

• All imagery must be your own work.

• File names must be in English characters.

• Students are allowed a maximum of 1-2 minutes of statement regarding their artwork.

Judging Criteria

Essay writing

  • Clarity of structure and quality of writing (e.g. contents divided into paragraphs with clear internal structure, e.g. PEE – Point, Evidence, Explanation, sentences of manageable complexity, development of points, smooth transition across paragraphs, final statement, lack of grammatical mistakes, appropriate vocabulary) – 25%
  • Argumentation (e.g. main statement/thesis presented, alternative views considered, pros and cons examined, sources cited, statistical data if relevant and available, development of argument, sense of direction) – 25%
  • Persuasiveness (e.g. combination of tight, rational arguments and inspirational theme, presence of literary devices to move the reader, e.g. lists of three, alliteration, stories/anecdotes, hypothetical scenarios sketched out) – 25%
  • Overall effect (readers have a feeling they learned something and/or are moved to act or get more involved in the themes addressed than they were before; they sense they have read an original elaboration rather than a collection of pre-existing ideas) – 25%

Creative writing

  • Quality of writing (e.g. command of literary techniques such as metaphors, rhymes, rhythm, character-building, description, dialogue; effective range of vocabulary, variation in grammatical structures, lack of grammatical mistakes) – 25%
  • Understanding of genre functions (conformity to genre structure and characteristics or meaningful departure from it – be it a rap song, a lyrical poem, a sci-fi story, a moral fable, a detective story, and so on) – 25%
  • Originality (e.g. deviation from stock motifs, mixing styles and genres, unusual perspective taken) – 25%
  • Overall effect (ability to engage the reader intellectually, emotionally, aesthetically – the text gives the reader a rich reading experience in various ways, moving them or making them think, making them inhabit a different reality) – 25%
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