The United States Embassy in Qatar, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar (VCU-Q) celebrated the winners of the third annual ‘Young Writers Competition’ held at the VCU-Q in Education City.

Nearly 300 essays were submitted for this year’s competition and the top five writers from each grade were recognised during the event. The winning entries will also be featured in the Third Volume of the Young Writers Journal which will be published by the US Embassy in July.

US Ambassador to the State of Qatar Dana Shell Smith congratulated all the students who participated in this year’s competition and commended the efforts of teachers, for their invaluable support.

I’d like to extend my gratitude to all the amazing teachers who make this programme possible for their students. The work of teachers is often overlooked and undervalued, but without them our societies would fail and our youth would never realise their full potential.’

The theme of this year’s competition – Shaping our World for the Better – according to the US Ambassador, speaks directly to the importance of education in shaping our world, and particularly our youth, for the better.

The Young Writers Competition is the central component of the larger Young Writers Programme, which strives to encourage Qatar youth to read, write and think critically about important topics in society, while improving their English literacy skills. Students from more than 120 government schools have participated in the programme since its inception in 2014. The Young Writers Programme is a joint partnership between the US Embassy and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, with substantial support from VCU-Q.

The Programme consists of four strands that take place throughout the academic year: Teacher Capacity Building Sessions, Student Writing Workshops, Young Writers Competition and the Young Writers Journal. Students from grades 5, 8, and 10 were asked to write a personal essay, story or poem (fiction or non-fiction) on one of the topics provided for their grade using this theme as inspiration. According to many students who participated, the writing competition improves their imagination and gives them ideas on how to change the world through writing.

For more information about the Young Writers Competition, please contact the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy Doha, Qatar at [email protected] You can also visit the Young Writers Qatar website at