The 2023 Global Voices Essay Contest

Clock Deadline: 28. February 2023.

The 2023 Global Voices Essay Contest


From the organizer:

Call for Submissions

In partnership with MSU’s Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (CERES), the 2023 Global Voices Essay Contest is open to citizens between the ages of 15 and 24 from specific countries in Central and Eastern Europe (see list below). We invite youth to share their stories of RESILIENCE in order to raise awareness, amplify their voices, and inspire others. 


  • Eligibility: 15-24-year-old citizens from newly joined and aspiring members of the European Union (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kosovo*, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine) or from Belarus or Russia.
  • Submission Due Date (Extended): February 28, 2023
  • Essay Length: 600 - 900 words
  • Submission Language: English
  • Theme: RESILIENCE: the ability to withstand pressure or adversity and overcome difficulties


(Promotional PDF flyer: Essay Contest Poster 2023 - Extended Deadline)


Step 1: Choose one sub-theme for your essay:

The essay contest will be split into five sub-themes which are outlined below. The examples given in each description are merely to inspire ideas; they are not exhaustive. Please select the category which most closely fits your story!

War is one of the most dreadful acts that humanity both endures and inflicts upon itself. However, from these tragedies arise some of our most salient stories of resilience both from those who have been directly impacted and those who sacrificed for their neighbors in need.


Step 2: Write your essay, being sure to include these key points:

  • Think about a time related to the chosen sub-theme when you have had to be resilient. Explain both the challenge that you faced and ways you have demonstrated resilience through your circumstance.


Step 3: Submit your essay:

  • Save your essay as a Microsoft Word document
  • Submit it via the submission system
    • Note: If the writer is less than 18 years old, parental or guardian consent must also be provided via the submission system. See the blank Parent/Guardian Consent Form which must be completed, signed, and uploaded to the submission system together with the essay submission.



  • First Place Winner: $500
  • Second Place: $200
  • Third Place: $100



The best essays within each sub-theme will be published online and/or in print. By submitting an essay, you must agree that it may be published online and/or in print. Any proceeds will be used to advance global youth advocacy, access, and opportunity. 


Judging Criteria

On a scale from 1-5, our student, faculty, and staff judging panel will rate the essays on the following criteria: 


  • Originality: The essay shows a great deal of independent and thought-provoking insight. It gives a sense of the person behind the words. Original, creative, honest, and engaging. 

  • Appropriateness to the Theme: The writer clearly connects their story to the overall theme of Resilience as well as a sub-theme with well-chosen reasons/examples.

  • Critical Insights: The writer demonstrates a deep, fresh understanding of the subject. Original ideas are presented and developed through facts, examples, anecdotes, details, opinions, statistics, reasons, and/or explanations.

  • Resilient Perspective: Writers share their approaches to dealing with the challenges they face. They offer some solution, coping strategies, or insight that is integral to their ability to withstand or overcome.

  • Organization/Use of Language: The essay is artfully structured, moving the reader smoothly and naturally through the text. Free of spelling and punctuation errors. Grammar usage is controlled. Meets the word limit.


Global Youth Advancement Network at Michigan State University & The Center for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Michigan State University







More info


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