Wole Soyinka Essay Competition 2020 for Young Leaders (WSICE)


Wole Soyinka Essay Competition 2020 for Young Leaders

The 11th edition of The Wole Soyinka Essay competition which is a part of the annual Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange Program (WSICE) is now open.

WS86 Essay Competition Rules and Guidelines

1. Essays should be submitted in PDF, double line spacing, each page numbered. No pictures or illustrations. Font size 12, Times New Roman (or equivalent).

2. Essays should be not less than 350 words and not more than 400 words for category 1 (ages 12-16) and not less than 800 words and not more than 1000 words for category 2 (ages 17-22).

3. Plagiarism will result in immediate disqualification.

4. By entering the contest, all entrants grant WSICE a non-exclusive worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual license to use and publish each entry for any purpose and in any manner which WSICE, in its sole discretion, deems appropriate.

5. The judges decision on any matter is final. There is no obligation on WSICE or on the judges to provide an explanation for any decision made.

6. WISCE and/or the judges may disqualify any entry without an explanation if the evidence suggests that there has been a breach of the competition rules.

7. Prizes are not transferable or negotiable.

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8. WSICE accepts no responsibility for entries lost, delayed, misdirected or undelivered. Incomplete and or illegible entries will be disqualified. Late entries will not be considered.

9. All essays must carry a one line certification….. I certify that this essay is solely written by me and no one else has any claim to the copyright.

10. All entrants must submit a passport photograph. (Headshot)

11. Winners will be announced on WSICE website and also contacted individually via email.

Judging criteria

1. Originality and creativity: Treatment of the theme showing imagination, human interest and a fresh point of view. Ability to think ‘outside the box’ in an unusual way.

2. Content and structure: Clearly express your ideas in an organized manner. Fully develop your theme and use transitions to move smoothly from one idea to the other.

3. Length: Must conform strictly to the word limit provided for each category.

4. There must be logical flow using proper grammar and spelling.

5. Adherence to the topic. Essays must stay focused on the topic.

6. Wow factor: Exceptional essays that display an incredible use of vocabulary, clever ideas, and unique style.

7. No use of foul language, derogatory words or insinuation.


To be taken: Online

About the Award: The theme for the year’s project is: I AM because YOU ARE, which is drawn from UBUNTU, the Southern African philosophy which epitomises the principle of shared values that ensures the sustenance and survival of the human family. The theme is inspired by observed factors and motives behind the responses of people and governments across the world to the challenges pushed forward by the rage of the pandemic. In particular, the obvious interdependence of our collective humanity has been brought to the fore in the way people and States have risen to support others experiencing the dire effects of the pandemic.

The 2020 edition of the WSICE runs July 12-14 with programs slated to hold in Nigeria and other parts of the world.

The topic for the competition is: I AM because YOU ARE, inspired by UBUNTU, the Southern Africa philosophy on the principle of interdependence of the Human Family, especially auspicious now in the era of covid-19, which has ruptured the fabric of our collective and common humanity.

This competition is open to young people between the ages of 12 and 22 and entries are accepted in English, French, Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

It is divided into two age categories.

i. Age 12-16 — (350-400 words)

ii. Age 17-22 — (800-1000 words)

Type: Contest (Essay writing)

Selection/ eligibility: age 12-22

Number of awardees: 20

Eligible countries: All. Entries are accepted in 5 languages English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese.


Global winner -$1,000

Zonal winners -$500

Zonal runner ups – $300


Global winner -$600

Zonal winners – $300

Zonal runner ups – $200

Duration of Award:  This year’s events will run for three days – July 12 – 14 2020

How to apply: The second and integral part of the year’s cultural exchange is the essay competition which targets the youth, and is open in two categories:

Ages 12-17 – Secondary/High School students (350-400 words)
Ages 17-22 – College, University and Tertiary level students (800-1000 words).

The submission of essays will start on the 5th of June and close on the 26th of June.

Three winners from each category will be announced on the 14th of July during a scheduled Meet & Greet session in the same virtual/digital space.

⇒Note, in order to submit your Essay, you need to Register here, Here is a screenshot to that effect;

And after registration you can proceed to submit your essay accordingly.

Apply here

Visit Program Webpage for Details


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