-- Writing Contest

All writing contest entries must be in essay format in English. Informative essays, narrative or true stories are welcome. Please do not submit any poetry. Essay length and prompts are grade-specific. We ask teachers or parents to guide the students in formulating their ideas and essay. Plagiarism or writing by anyone other than the child whose name is provided as the writer will be immediately disqualified. Please choose the category which applies:

Elementary School (GRADES 1-5)*

“My Culture, My Home”

What special meaning do your own cultural traditions hold for you?
Describe one or several of these traditions and tell us how they make you
unique, how they make you YOU.

*Length of essay must be 200-400 words.

Brainstorming Ideas
  • Think about the timing of the traditions and the reasons, if there are any, behind them.
  • Describe an event where you shared some of these traditions with others? How did it turn out?
  • How would your world be different if you did not have these traditions? How would you feel?
  • Think about an environment where everyone adhered to the same cultural traditions and values. How do you view such a world?
Middle School (GRADES 6-8)*

“Culture Through my Eyes”

How does your own or another individual’s cultural identity enrich your world?
Describe one or more of your cultural traditions, or the cultural tradition of another individual (friend, teacher, mentor..etc) and illustrate with an example of how it has enriched your view of the world. Did it open your  horizons? How so?

* Length of essay must be 300-500 words.

Brainstorming Ideas
  • Describe the dominant themes that are integral to your culture. Discuss how your cultural traditions illustrate those themes.
  • Discuss how you can contribute to the cultural diversity of your immediate environment through your cultural traditions and heritage?
  • Describe an encounter with a cultural tradition that was completely foreign to you. How did it impact you? How did you connect to it?
  • Illustrate with examples what you learned from encounters with different cultural traditions. How did you react to them?


Entries will be judged on the basis of:

  • How well the essay illustrates and addresses the theme
  • Flow and style of writing
  • Originality and uniqueness of the piece

-          Entries will be judged by a panel of elementary and middle school teachers and professionals.


Submissions must include the following information:

Essay Title:
Date of Submission:
Name of Writer:
Name of School:
Sponsoring Teacher/Parent:
Email of Sponsoring Teacher/Parent:

Essays can be submitted through our website. Please do not e-mail any essays.

Disclaimer: The Turkish Cultural Center reserves the right to display any of the submitted pieces at the festival or on the website. If you would like us NOT to display your piece, please inform us beforehand with your submission.

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