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The Writing Contest

Each year, we seek out individuals to participate in the WSHD writing contest. Make sure you subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates on next year's theme and submission deadline. Be on the lookout, we will begin accepting contest entries in March 2021.

The World Sexual Health Day writing competition recognizes the unique perspective, vision, and voices of North America.

This competition supports writers with an active interest in sexuality and sexual health and further seeks to promote and support their efforts for greater global awareness and community outreach.


  • Poetry

  • Personal Essay — This literary genre is often compared to an autobiography. However, we are not looking for autobiographies or college essays. Author Gore Vidal best defines a memoir as "how one remembers one's own life, while an autobiography is history, requiring research, dates, facts double-checked."

    See Rules & Criteria for more information on how entries must be submitted.


Literary compositions are judged by their relevancy to sexual health, technical merit and artistic expression. We are looking for writing with a strong, clear voice by authors who are daring, original and unafraid to take risks. Resources that the creative writers can make use of the WAS Declaration of Sexual Rights and the Sexual Health quiz.


  • Must be at least 21 years old

  • Your original literary composition must be submitted in one of the following formats: personal essay/memoir, poetry/spoken word.

  • All submissions must be typed, double-spaced, and no longer than 10 pages with a minimum font size of 12 point. All pages must also be numbered. There is no minimum.

  • No handwritten entries.

  • No photos or drawings.

  • No college essays, book reports, myths, or legends.

  • Foreign language submissions and previously published material will not be accepted.

  • You may submit only one entry to the competition.


Winner Selection

All complete and eligible proposals that are received by Connections ABC LLC. by the announced date will be considered. Each entry will be considered anonymously. WSHD judges will evaluate the entries. Connections ABC LLC. reserves the right to reject any entries and decline to award any or all prizes if the entries are not found to be worthy.

Winner Notification

  • Winners will be notified by a phone call, email, and website announcement. 

  • By participating in the competition, each participant and winner waives any and all claims of liability against the competition sponsors, and their employees and agents, their respective employees and agents, for any personal injury or loss that may occur from the conduct of, or participation in, the competition, or from the use of any prize.

  • By claiming a prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation, of the organization name and/or organization media materials for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including, without limitation, radio broadcasts; newspapers and other publications; television or film releases; slides; videotape; distribution over the Internet; and picture date storage) the competition sponsors may deem appropriate.

  • The 1st place winner will receive a certificate of award and their piece will be published on the World Sexual Health Day — North America website. 

Intellectual Property

By submitting any entry, entrants thereby grant to Connections ABC LLC., WAS and World Sexual Health Day or any of their affiliates, and assigns, an irrevocable, perpetual and royalty-free right to use, reproduce, edit, display, transmit, prepare derivative works of, modify, publish and otherwise make use of the submitted work or other information in any and all media, whether now known or hereinafter created, throughout the world and for any purpose. In addition to other things, the rights granted to the Connections ABC LLC. includes, but is not limited to, the right to censor, edit, feature, caption, affix logos to, and to otherwise alter or make use of the submitted work.


By submitting an entry, entrants thereby represent and warrant that the submitted work or information does not and shall not infringe on any copyright, any rights of privacy or publicity of any person, or any other right of any third party, and the entrants the right to grant any and all rights and licenses granted to the competition sponsors herein, including but not limited to, all necessary rights under copyright, free and clear of any claims or encumbrances.


Entrants acknowledge and agree that the competition sponsors shall have no obligation to post, display or otherwise make publicly available any work submitted by the entrant, and may, in their sole and unfettered discretion, remove, edit, modify or delete any work that the entrant submits.

Read the winning entry from 2018

To My Identity Crisis, With Love 

by Lana Kreimer

Past WSHD-NA Writing Contest Winners

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