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Op-Ed Writing Competition 2024 Winners Announced!

Hailing from the US to Singapore to Greece, the winners of our February Op-Ed Competition proved that writing is a crucial tool for discussing issues across the globe. Read on to discover the winners and finalists, along with commentary from New York Times staff editor and Guest Judge Neel Patel!



‘The concept of the American Dream is flawed, because it is not for Americans’ by Annie Jiang (US)

Read Annie’s winning entry, or log in/sign up to read the piece on our site (for writers aged 13-19).

This piece does everything you hope an op-ed would do. It puts forth a clear, discernible thesis early in the piece, then goes on to defend it to the reader by pulling from personal experiences as well as external evidence and supporting details. Annie’s piece never strays too far from its central argument. And I think its argument is made well. She makes a clear illustration to the reader how the goals behind the American Dream reconcile poorly with the messaging that everyone in America is invited to participate. Her own tension and struggle to understand this is felt throughout the piece, but because Annie acknowledges this openly, it comes across as a strength, not a weakness.


‘Singapore, as a Moral Society, Ought Not to Consider the Death Penalty’ by Cindy Toh (Singapore)

Read Cindy’s entry, or log in/sign up to read the piece on our site (for writers aged 13-19).

Sometimes the most effective op-eds are narrower in scope. That isn’t a bad thing at all — when you only have a few hundred words to say something, you have to be careful and economical with your words. Cindy’s piece makes it clear there is a growing problem in Singapore’s utilization of the death penalty that is incompatible with humane standards today, and it doesn’t mince words to make this critique effectively and call clearly for reformations that are practical and achievable. Though she is not pulling from her own experience here, she writes with a voice and urgency felt throughout the piece.


‘Beyond labels: Embracing neurodiversity using love, advocacy and understanding,’ reviewed by Katerina (Greece)

Log in/sign up to see the winning peer review on our site (for writers aged 13-19).

Katerina not only provided great feedback, but also took the extra step in providing encouragement to the writer of the draft she reviewed. This is especially critical for the very personal piece she read — when a writer is pouring their heart out, it’s paramount to be sensitive with how you provide feedback. This sort of encouragement is what helps writers flourish. (The peer review finalist was also excellent; it was hard to choose!)


Log in/sign up to read the pieces on our site (for writers aged 13-19).


Is Queerness Unafrican?’ by Viggie Oke (Nigeria)

A Call for Education and Dialogue’ by ShaneLischin (US)

We No Longer Tip Out of Genuine Appreciation’ by Olivia Ming (China)

You’re Next’ by Julia Perian (US)

Peer Review:

‘Death 360,’ reviewed by dylanana (South Korea)

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