Write On is a yearly competition designed to encourage students to develop their critical thinking, expressive writing, and English language skills. Participants in the contest are students from 6th grade through university as well as non-native speaking English instructors. During the contest, participants have one hour to sit and respond to a thought-provoking and age-appropriate creative prompt. In Albania, participants’ essays are then scored at the local, regional, national, and international levels.
In 2003, a group of Peace Corps volunteers in Georgia established the Writing Olympics as an innovative way to promote creativity and critical thinking among students in developing countries. Three years later, Armenia and Azerbaijan competed in the first Trans-Caucasus Writing Olympics. The contest went international in 2009 with the inclusion of Moldova. Thanks to outreach efforts by Peace Corps volunteers and staff, the number of participating countries has doubled in recent years with the addition of Albania, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Mongolia, and Ukraine. The project, now known as the Write On! Competition, is over ten year old and looking to expand to even more countries.
For teachers, the competition is an opportunity to develop the English language skills of their students through thought-provoking ways not often included in the curriculum.
For students, the contest provides an outlet for freedom of expression and an incentive for further language development.
For PCVs, this is a chance to get involved, be inspired, and have a lot of fun on a secondary project.
For donors, this is an opportunity to encourage creativity in students living in the regions of developing countries.