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Who We Are

The Harvard International Review is a quarterly magazine offering insight on international affairs from the perspectives of scholars, leaders, and policymakers. Since our founding in 1979, we've set out to bridge the worlds of academia and policy through outstanding writing and editorial selection.

The quality of our content is unparalleled. Each issue of the Harvard International Review includes exclusive interviews and editorials by leading international figures along with expert staff analysis of critical international issues. We have featured commentary by 43 Presidents and Prime Ministers, 4 Secretaries-General, 4 Nobel Economics Prize laureates, and 7 Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

The Contest

Inspired by our growing high school readership around the world, we created the Harvard International Review Academic Writing Prize to encourage and highlight outstanding high school writing on topics related to international affairs.

Contest Format

Participants in the contest submit a short-form article on a topic in international affairs. Each submission will be read and graded by the Harvard International Review.

A number of contestants will be selected as finalists, who are invited to participate in a virtual HIR Defense Day. At the Defense Day, students will have to opportunity to give a 15-minute presentation and oral defense to Harvard International Review judges. Students will also be able to attend other special events related to international affairs.

Submission Guidelines

All submissions must adhere to the following requirements, as outlined in the Submission Guide below.

Content: Articles should address a topic related to international affairs today. Potential categories include (but are not limited to): Agriculture, Business, Cybersecurity, Defense, Education, Employment, Immigration, Energy, Environment, Economics, Public Health, Science and Technology, Trade and Transportation.

Length: Articles should be at least 800 words but not exceed 1,200 words (not counting diagrams, tables of data, or authorship declaration)

Writing Style: Submissions should present analytically backed perspective on an under-appreciated global topic.  

Excellent contest submissions will aim to present a topic holistically from a balanced perspective. Evidence and nuance are critical. Submissions should be well-researched, well-informed, and formal in style and prose.

The HIR does not accept op-eds, otherwise known as editorials or opinion pieces for its competition. Articles are expected to have a thesis but should not have agenda. Submissions should also not be merely a collection of facts.

As a journalist organization, we ask that submissions follow AP Style's newest edition. We also ask that submissions are culturally sensitive, fact-checked, and respectful.

Examples of pieces that would be considered excellent submissions are below.

The Trade War That No-One Is Talking About
Amid the noise of the United States’ engagement with China, Japan and South Korea have recently engaged [https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/12/business/south-korea-japan-trade-war/index.html] in their own trade war. On July 4 of this year, while Americans were celebrating their own independence and freedo…
Kashmir: Between a Rock, a Hard Place, and China
With India’s move to repeal Article 370, the historic dispute over land in Jammu and Kashmir has risen to a tipping point. While most of the focus has been on the potential of military escalation in India and Pakistan, there has been little focus on the third actor that owns a slice of Kashmir: Chin…
Africa’s Growing Scientific Communities: A New Renaissance
Technological change has always been one of the largest dividers between developed and developing countries. The scientific heavy-hitters have traditionally included the most economically powerful nations. According to the World Bank, every year, the United States, Germany, and Japan all spend upwar…

Citation and Sources: All factual claims must be backed by a citation from a reliable source. All ideas that are not your own must be properly attributed. Citations should be made via hyperlinks. Non-digital sources are welcome but must be cited properly as per AP Style. See the examples above for examples of using hyperlinks for citations.

Contest Dates

There are three distinct submission cycles for the 2021 Contest.

Spring 2021

Submission Deadline: May 23, 2021

Defense Day: June 26, 2021

Summer 2021

Submission Deadline: August 15, 2021

Defense Day: September 5, 2021

Fall 2021 / Winter 2022

Submission Deadline: January 2, 2022

Defense Day: February 5, 2022

Contest Prizes

All submissions will receive a letter grade from the Harvard International Review. Contestants that receive a passing grade without qualifying for a HIR Defense Day will receive a Commendation. Finalists will be eligible for the following medals based on their preliminary grade and performance in the HIR Defense Day.

All Participants: HIR Digital Subscription

Commendation: HIR Certificate

Bronze Medal: HIR Certificate and name listed on website

Silver Medal: HIR Certificate, name listed on website and 1-year HIR print subscription

Gold Medal: HIR Certificate, name and paper linked on website and 2-year HIR print subscription

All grading and prize decisions are final. The contest will not be able to provide additional detail beyond the grades provided by Harvard graders.

Contest Eligibility:

United States

Students are eligible if they are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories, or if they are U.S. citizens/lawful permanent residents attending high school overseas.

International

Students in countries outside of the United States are also welcome to submit. Submissions are expected to be written in English and with traditional American spelling. For more information on submissions in your country, please contact contest@hir.harvard.edu