Essay Competition

The ISA Essay Competition is an annual opportunity for pupils at ISA Members’ schools to showcase their writing skills. Wordsmiths are invited to submit entries to a range of categories aimed at age groups from Year 5 to sixth form.

Essay Competition 2022

The 2022 Essay Competition saw fantastic examples of creative writing across all age groups. The judges thoroughly enjoyed reading the entries. The winning essays include a tale of a knight in shining armour, a thought-provoking story about the war in Ukraine, an emotional account of a trip to Paris, and an insightful report about the dangers of fast fashion. Well done to everyone who entered.



This competition is now closed.


ISA Essay Competition 2022 - Results

We are delighted to announce the results for the ISA Essay Competition 2022. Here are some words from our judges:

Generally, pupils displayed excellent imagination. Their creations were invariably well crafted and engaged readers. I was particularly impressed by their mastery of figurative language to create compelling fictional worlds! Further, there has been a clear improvement in how pupils structure sentences, exploiting an effective range of grammatical forms -an accolade to their teachers!

Brian Duffield, Horsey Category judge

This year, as always, I should like to congratulate all the young people who took part in the...competition. The number of schools participating was higher again this year, and the standard of the essays chosen to represent those schools was so high that it made the adjudication process more challenging, but also more enjoyable. Every entry I read felt worthy of a prize, and I hope that the pupils whose entries were submitted get the acclaim they deserve for their work, in their own schools.

Gilliam Shearn, Max Gate Category judge

It has been an absolute pleasure reading all of this year's entries, and I have been very impressed by the diversity, sophistication and creativity of the writing that has taken me from Victorian England to present day las Vegas, from harsh realities to futuristic dreamscapes, exploring the experience of immagrantas and explorers, criminals and kings, victims and survivors.

Sarah Lockyer, Favonius Category judge

The global events of the previous year have weighed heavy on all our shoulders, not least on those who are poised to inherit the world their forebears have created. The essays submitted for the 2022 ISA Essay Competition are shot through with the passion, fury, and insight of a generation of young adults braced to take the rest of us to task, and I for one could not be more thrilled. ...The wordsmiths of these papers fill me with renewed hope for a brighter future. The very best of them made me want to leap from my seat and take to the streets with placards raised, demanding change and justice! Quite apart from anything else, they were all expertly and elegantly written – better, in many cases, than I could have written them myself.

David Hartley, Sixth Form Category judge

Please see below the full list of results and the winning pieces:

ISA Essay Competition 2022 - Results

Click on the links below to read the winning pieces:

Horsey category - winning essays
Max Gate category - winning essays
Favonius category - winning essays
Sixth Form category - winning essays


If you have any queries about our competitions, please contact us at [email protected].

Only schools whose Head is a member of the ISA are eligible to enter these competitions. Please contact our membership department if you wish to make an enquiry about joining the ISA.