Winners Announced

Speech Writing Competition 2018

Oration — Be heard.

* This competition is now closed but you are more than welcome to read through the published writing and blog posts. * 

Who said these words?
  • Integrity is the lifeblood of democracy. Deceit is a poison in its veins.
  •  I have a dream.
  • I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.
  • A democratic and free society… is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
  • It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens.
  • We take our stand for freedom.
(Scroll to the bottom to find the orators of these famous lines, and the year they were spoken.)
For most of us, at least one of these famous lines rings like a familiar bell, reverberating across time and space. Speeches like these are burned into our collective memory. They have the power to catalyze social change, inspire movements, and spark courage. Words that are written to be spoken aloud are charged with a particular power—crafted to come alive when delivered to an audience.
This month, dear writers, compose a speech of your own. Join WtW and the EMK Institute in celebrating the power of the spoken word. Read the tips below and then submit a written and/or recorded entry.
Speech Writing Tips
  • BEGIN WITH A PURPOSE. Before you start writing, ask yourself what it is you really want to communicate. What are you passionate about? What cause or position do you hope others will join you in promoting? What is the message you hope to convey, and why is it so important? 
  • IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE. Who are you speaking to? What you say in your speech will vary depending on whether your listeners are familiar with the topic, and aligned with your purpose already or fiercely against it. 
  • BE HUMAN. Your audience wants to connect with you, personally, and understand why the subject at hand is important to you. Consider telling a story, or sharing experiences and emotions that reflect your connection to the topic. 
  • WRITE THE WAY YOU TALK. Your speech need not be composed of perfect grammar and complete sentences. Your audience wants to hear your voice ring true. 
  • CONSIDER LITERARY DEVICES. Remember that all your favorite elements of creative writing are still in your toolbox, so use them! Great speech writers rely on devices such as alliteration and metaphor to make their words all the more memorable.
  • CONSIDER REPETITION. Because your audience is hearing your words instead of reading them, repetition can serve as a powerful reminder of your message. Write with rhythm that catches the ear. 
  • READ ALOUD… OFTEN. Words make a different impression when spoken aloud. Make sure to read your speech aloud as you draft and revise. 
  • START WITH A BANG. We’ve all zoned out when listening to a hum-drum public speaker. Pique the interest of your audience early with a thought-provoking statement, anecdote, or question. 
  • CLOSE WITH A BANG. Rather than repeating your main point, build on the foundation you’ve already established, and end your speech with a call-to-action or a new idea that inspires listeners to join the cause.
  • READ ALOUD… AGAIN. Make sure to read that final draft aloud, practicing with pauses, emphasis, and body language. 
How to Record and Submit an Audio File (optional)
This month, we'll award a prize for the best spoken delivery as well as one for the best written speech. If you’d like to create an audio/video version, you may use any platform of your choice—simply copy the link within the text of your submission. Some options to consider:  Please note that these are public platforms and are not affiliated with WtW. If you need assistance getting started, please contact
Who is Eligible?  
Young writers ages 13-18  
600 – 1,000 words
Guest Judge
Stephen Krupin

Best Written Entry: $100 (winning piece + author interview will be featured on Write the World’s website and blog)  
Best Audio Entry: $100 (winning piece + author interview will be featured on Write the World’s website and blog)  
Runner up, Written Entry: $50  
Best Peer Review: $50 (reviewer interview will be featured on Write the World’s website and blog)  

What’s Different about Write the World Competitions? 
Prizes: The winning entrants (one written and one audio) will receive $100; the runner-up for written and the best peer-reviewer will receive $50.       
Professional Recognition: The winning entries, plus the runner-up and best peer review, will be featured on our blog, with commentary from our guest judge.       
Expert Review: Submit your draft by Monday October 8th and get feedback from our team of experts—authors, writing teachers, and educational professionals.   

Key Dates 
October 1: Competition Opens  
October 8: Submit written draft for Expert Review (Optional. We will review the first 100 drafts submitted.)      
October 12: Reviews returned to Writers  
October 16: Final Submissions Due
October 26: Winners Announced  
Upcoming Competition
Our Novel Writing Competition opens Monday, November 5th.
Stay tuned for more details!  
Famous Speech Lines
Edward M. Kennedy: August 11, 1980
Martin Luther King Jr.: August 28th, 1963
Malala Yousafzai: July 12, 2013
Nelson Mandela: April 20, 1964
Susan B. Anthony: 1873
Winston Churchill: October 5, 1938

Due Dates
  • Oct 8 - Drafts Due to Expert Reviewers

  • Oct 16 - Competition Deadline


Speech Writing Competition Winners Announced!

October 26, 2018

For this month’s writing competition, we challenged you all to harness the power of the spoken word to craft your own speech on a topic you’re passionate about. We were blown away by pieces on everything from gun control laws in the U.S. to the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Today, we’re pleased to share the winners of Best Entry, Runner Up, Best Peer Review and Best Delivery, chosen by competition guest judge and former senior speechwriter to President Obama Stephen Krupin.

Read about the winners on our blog

Stephen Krupin’s Tips on How to Be a Stellar Speechwriter and Public Speaker

October 9, 2018

During his time in the White House, President Barack Obama was lauded for his ability to galvanize constituents into action through his inspiring speeches. A team of dedicated speechwriters helped President Obama to craft these rousing public addresses and today, we’re very pleased to introduce you to one of them: Stephen Krupin, who joins us as Speech Writing Competition guest judge this month. In our interview with Stephen, who now teaches speechwriting at the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, he shares invaluable advice on how to craft an engaging speech and to be stellar public speaker. Read on for all of Stephen’s advice for the Write the World community.

Check it out here