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About Uganda Youth Writing Competition

Uganda Youth Essay Competition is a program of Youth Rising International that seeks to empower young people in Uganda to express their views through writing. The program focuses on putting views, ideals and opinions of young people at the forefront through writing challenges.

01: Overview

In this age of social media where information sharing has been reduced to 2 lines of tweet, the institute also aims at sharpening young people’s writing skills by subjecting them to descriptive, exploratory and creative writing challenges.

We therefore believe the competition will bring out the ability within students to think quickly, write persuasively and present well-connected ideas while presenting well-connected ideas in a compact fashion.

The ultimate goal is to spark “critical thinking” and build the next generation of leaders that write with brevity, creativity, language, and unique personal style.

The writing challenges are open to  Ugandan aspiring writers who are between aged 12–25 years, or in grades Primary 5 – Primary 7, Senior one to Senior Six, or University students. Each challenge is open for a specific period of time that the writer can use to gather their thoughts, write and submit a 500 word essay. We encourage primary and high school students to work with their teachers and integrate writing challenges into their daily teaching schedules.


02: Awards

Uganda Youth Essay Competition a program that seeks to empower young people in Uganda to express their views through writing. The program focuses on putting views, ideals and opinions of young people at the forefront through writing challenges.

01. National Winner

– UGX 50,000

– Essay Published in national News Paper

– Social Media mentions

02. Honorable Mentions

There will be 2 honorable mentions and each will receive up to 25,000 UGX cash prizes, The essays will be published on our website and social media channels.

03. Annual Challenges Winner

Essay winners receive certificates and cash prizes. 

Annual Challenges Winner

Every December, we award the National All Challenges Winner with a Tablet. To qualify for the annual award, you must have participated in at least 6 challenges and. The Writing Institute picks 5 top essays from the year and submits them to the judges who choose the essay of the year.

The winning essay takes the Annual All Challenges prize and his/her essay is published on social media and national newspapers.

Annual Literary Magazine

The Annual Literary Magazine is a collection of the top 50 – 200 essays of the year. These are collected from each challenge and published in December. This is another great opportunity to have your writings featured.

03: Topics

Youth Rising Writing Institute formulates its essays questions mostly around national and world issues. Essay challenges are designed focus to highlight and celebrate such issues on international days of observation. We also organize special challenges that may fall out of our regular calendar. Such challenges are sponsored by different partners.

Topic Categories

  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Health and Wellness (COVID-19, HIV/AIDS), Malaria, SRHR, NTDs, etc.)
  • History and Politics
  • Human Rights
  • Social Issues (WASH, Education, Youth Development)
  • STEM
  • Traditional Folktales 

04: Rules

01. Registration

Entrants can enter in any challenge but can only submit one entry per challenge.

02. Submission

Essays must be submitted through the official PDF form following clear steps posted on each challenge page.

All submissions must be received before the deadline stated for each challenge.

Each essay must be written and submitted by a single author being the student without any co-authorship from another individual.


03. Communication

All communication with the entrant will be by email. It is the responsibility of the entrant to check their email address in order to receive further communications from Youth Rising Writing Institute


Joel Ankunda


Joel is currently an Associate at Shonubi Musoke and Co. Advocates. He is a Human Rights Lawyer and the founder of “Justice Behind Bars” an initiative geared towards helping inmates who can’t afford Lawyers get access justice through legal representation.

Prossy Kawala


Prossy is a Media and Community Solutions expert with profound knowledge and skills in developing and promoting meaningful initiatives for community transformation and development. She co-founded the Center for Media Literacy and Community Development – CEMCOD,

George Ocen


George is a prolific essay writer. In the past, he has won the East African Community Students’ Essay Writing Competition (2009); the Makerere Law Society Legal Writing Contest (2015); and the LEX: LEAD international writing scholarship.

Want to be a Judge?

Join our growing community of judges and help us discover the next Shakespeare. We recruit judges all year round and they voluntarily spend not more than 5 hours of their time every month reading 10-20 one-page essays. That is all the commitment we ask for. Nothing else. Now if you are the one, fill out the form below and we will get back to you with the next steps.

Youth Author In Residence 2023

Every year, Youth Rising International selects distinguished young people to work as authors and writers in residence to support the writing institute. Most Authors in Residence are previous essay winners and their role is to continue contributing to various writing challenge topics. 

DOuglas Kimumwe

High School Student and Youth Fellow

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Douglas Kimumwe

Who is Douglas?

Douglas is a published author and an A Level Student at Seroma Christian High School. 

What does he do?

During his holidays he participates in creating youth writing challenges, blogging about various issues, and maintaining social media pages. 

How do I become an Author in Residence?

To become an Author in Residence, apply to Uganda Youth Essay Writing Competitions. The judges usually determine who they want to become an Author in Residence depending on the quality submissions.

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Program Impact

Youth Ambassadors Trained
Youth Reached by Youth Ambassadors
Youth Essays Submitted since inception
Youth in all Sporting Activities

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