Last call for Write Start! National essay competition deadline on Mon 1 November

The Wired868 Write Start competition challenges Trinidad and Tobago-based students, aged between 11 and 18, to tackle one of two thought-provoking subjects, with attractive rewards available for our top 20 writers.

But you are going to have to shift into high gear to beat the deadline! The time allowed for entering a submission in the inaugural competition expires at midnight on Monday 1 November 2021.

Photo: Students at the Gandhi Memorial Vedic School volunteer to make a point during a visit by Ministry of Education officials.
(via Ministry of Education)

At stake is over TT$30,000 in cash prizes with winners in the 11-15 and 16-18 categories each guaranteed TT$6,000 plus six-month mobile plans from bmobile.

The Wired868 Write Start competition was launched by US-based Trinidad and Tobago businessman Sean Powder and is supported by Minister of Education Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and Minister in the Ministry of Education Lisa Morris-Julian. As previously stated, the cash prizes for each group are TT$6,000 (winner), TT$4,000 (runner-up), TT$2,000 (third place) along with an additional prize of TT$1,000 (most shared story).

The top three finishers in the two categories will receive TT$1,000 in cash with the rest of their prize money placed in bank accounts opened in their names and only made available to them at the end of the school year. The other 14 shortlisted writers will get gift cards from Massy Stores.

There are also additional prizes to be announced for either category once all submissions are in.

So what do you have to do to take part?

Photo: The Wired868 Write Start competition is chock-full of prizes for participants in both age groups.
(Copyright Getty Images)

For children ages 11-15, the assignment is to write a short, fictional story of 600-800 words with the title, ‘The day I met my local hero’. The plot and characters may be fictional but your ‘hero’ must be a real, living, local person.

The 16-18 group must write an essay of 800-1,000 words based on the following subject: ‘Describe the ways in which you think the first post-Covid-19 Carnival will be different from its predecessors’. 

Participants must email their essays to and copy to to arrive by midnight on Monday 1 November 2021. Writers must not exceed stipulated word limits.

Entries must have a cover page showing the writer’s name, date of birth and current school and class as well as a telephone contact number and email address for their parent or guardian. A telephone number for the school is also required.

There is no registration fee.

Photo: Happy writing!

COSTAATT’s Ken Gordon School of Journalism and Communication Studies will judge the 16-18 group while the 11-15 group will be judged by a panel chaired by novelist, poet and newspaper columnist Lisa Allen-Agostini and including Francis Warner, former head of the English Department at QRC, and short story writer Raheema Sayyid-Andrews.

Wired868 will publish the 10 shortlisted stories in each category before the final winners are announced on 15 December 2021.

Wired868 Write Start is sponsored by Sean Powder, bmobile, RBC, Massy Stores, and Customized Health Solutions and is endorsed by the Ministry of Education and authorised by the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB).

Editor’s Note: All entries for the Write Start competition must be sent to and copied to Good luck!

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