We’re pleased to announce that the second Yakezie Writing Contest is now live!  We are expanding the applicant pool to include college students who are paying the majority of their tuition on their own in addition to high school students or younger.  The first contest was a success thanks to all of you, and we’d like to continue the tradition all year.  The first place winner will receive $600, second place will receive $300, and the third place essay will receive $100.

After the second contest, we plan to change the way we raise and distribute money after this round.  What we plan to do in the short run is create a Pledge Page on Yakezie.com where you can submit your name or site and pledge amount during each contest.  Your pledge is your bond as one’s social capital is fast becoming one of the most important currencies.  With a Pledge Page, no money goes through Yakezie.com and will go straight to the winners as a gift.  As a reminder, ALL money that was sent to Yakezie.com for the first and second contest has been and will be 100% donated.  We don’t take any of your contributions for ourselves.

Our #1 goal is to help our Yakezie Scholars further their education and contribute positive change to the community.  If you are an individual or corporation who would like to be a sponsor/partner, we’d love to hear from you via e-mail.  Without further ado, may we present the second list of Yakezie Writing Contest questions.

The Second Yakezie Writing Contest Questions (CHOOSE ONE ONLY)

* Tell us about a world event that had a profound impact on you.  What changed in you for the better?  What changed in you for the worse?  Why couldn’t you realize the better changes before the event happened?  Why did an event have to happen in order for you to see the world a little differently?

* If you won a $20 million dollar lottery, who would be the first person you’d call?  Would you call anybody?  Describe in detail what you would do with the money.  How long do you think your happiness from winning the lottery will last?  Why do you think so many wealthy athletes and other famous figures go broke?

* Do you believe in second chances or even third chances?  Please explain why. Is there an extent to how bad an act you do before there are no more second chances?  Tell us about a second chance you got or did not get. What have you changed about yourself to make you a better person?

* What are the attributes that makes someone a success?  What does success mean to you?  Describe a time where you thought you were successful, but in reality, it turned into a failure.  What were the lessons learned?  Do we really need to focus on success to be happy?  Can we be happy without being successful?

Length: 700-1000 words.

Target demographic: College students who are paying for the majority of their tuition out of their own pocket, through loans, or with scholarships.  High school students or below who are looking for money to pay for college or buy school related items.

Number of finalists to be published: Up to 10 to be published if there are up to 20 applicants.  If there are more than 20 applicants, we will publish the best 30 and run a concurrent Contest and Member Article schedule on Yakezie.com for the month. 

Deadline for submission: Saturday, January 22th at 6pm EST.

How to submit: Click here to apply.


* Do submit early and provide all pertinent detail, including a picture of yourself.  Please write a short bio about yourself and what makes you tick at the end of your essay submission.  The more the reader gets to know you, the better.

* Encourage your friends and family to visit the competition and vote.  To be fair, please have them vote for all participants.  Part of success is how well you market yourself.  This is an important skill you will need in college and in the work force.  Others inevitably will market themselves, so you might as well too.  The Yakezie Members have a 3X vote weighting and will also vote to ensure fair play.  At the end, we will tally up the non-Member votes vs. the Member votes and see if there are any inconsistencies.  With hundreds of people voting, generally the discrepancies should be minimal and the best written essays that connect with readers should receive the most votes.

* Tell us a story.  The best essays are those that capture the imagination of the reader and allows us to feel what you are going through.  Make us want to root for you!

* Think about a unique title that is pertinent to your essay.  Also try and think about what your other applicants will be writing about and perhaps do something different.  This is called leveling, another useful skill to learn.

* Do check for punctuation and grammar.  Ask your friends, parents, or teachers to read your essay and provide suggestions.  Often times we are blind by what we write and cannot see obvious errors without the help of others.

* Applicants should feel free to interact with reader comments once their posts are live.  It shows that you are listening and are a part of the community.  The Yakezie is all about community interaction.  Notice how all three winners responded back to comments.  The more you respond to readers, the higher the likelihood they will warm to you.

* Follow us @Yakezie on Twitter because we do highlight multiple updates throughout the competition that you may want to be aware of.

* Here’s the post on determining the number of contest winners for your recap.

How to submit: Click here to apply.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Essays which do not comply with the directions (700-1000 words, properly formatted, relevant information, and contact info will not be eligible to compete).  If you are one of the 30 finalists, we will contact you for a picture if you wish to send one.  Please also don’t forget to SAVE your draft just in case it does not go through.  Any problems uploading, try deleting your cache on your browser and refreshing.

If you are having trouble registering and getting a confirmation e-mail, that is because Google hit a limit of 200 e-mails sent per day.  We are working on manually reconfirming your registration.  Once you get that confirmation e-mail, please apply and submit your essay.

All applicants must subscribe to our RSS feed to keep up to date.


Thanks again!

Sam, Chris, Jennifer & The Yakezie Writing Contest Committee