Application Deadline: 5 May 2018.
Millions of young people all over the world, up to age 15, have participated in the annual International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People at the national and international levels since its launch in 1971.
The competition is an excellent way of encouraging literacy in children and young people. It develops their skills in composition and the ability to express their thoughts clearly. The contest also makes them aware of the important role postal services play in our world.
How does it work?
Each year, the UPU International Bureau announces a theme. Participating countries then organize the competition at the national level with support from its Post and often with the support of education authorities. All entries must be submitted through the national Post. Each country chooses a national winner and submits this entry to the international round, held by the UPU. An international jury, chosen by the UPU International Bureau, judges the letters and selects the winners and entries worthy of a special mention.
The theme selected for the 2018 competition is: “Imagine you are a letter travelling through time. What message do you wish to convey to your readers?”
2018 marks the 47th time the competition has been held.
All member countries are invited to participate by organizing a competition on the national level before sending their top composition to the UPU.
Each country’s best letter must be submitted to the International Bureau no later than 5 May 2018.
- The competition is open to participants up to the age of 15 years.
- The UPU International Bureau does not accept compositions sent directly by schools, individuals or similar.
Organization of the competition and selection of the winners
- The UPU announces the theme for the new competition.
- Each member country then organizes a letter-writing competition on the theme in its territory as it sees fit but preferably with the help of its national education authorities.
- The national organizing body/bodies choose the best composition in accordance with the general rules of the competition.
- Each member country then sends the International Bureau its best national composition, with the supporting documents (see below), by no later than 5 May of the following year.
- 1 Only one entry per member country is permitted.
- Each entry must be accompanied by the following documents
a A completed entry form;
b The original letter in the following formats:
– a good-quality scan, in colour, of the handwritten original (if available) in PDF format; and
– as a Word document;
c A translation of the composition in English and/or French, as a Word document; and
d A good-quality photograph of the candidate:
– in JPEG format (300 dpi minimum); or
– as a print copy (please do not staple or glue the photo to any of the documents if sending by post).
4 Presentation and content of entries
Compositions must be in the form of a letter and contain the basic elements thereof, such as date, opening and closing salutation, and signature. The original composition may include illustrations from the candidate. Entries must adhere strictly to the theme and not exceed the limit of 1,000 words in the original language.
To ensure the jury is able to judge the letters impartially, please ensure that there is no reference to your country in your national winner’s composition.
5 Jury designation and results
The UPU International Bureau will designate an international jury to judge the letters it receives. This jury will not be informed of the country of origin of the letter-writers.
The following criteria will be used to judge the quality of the letters:
– structure as a letter;
– adherence to the theme;
– creativity; and
– use of language.
The judges will select the three best entries (i.e. first, second and third places) and may also award special mentions to other compositions. As soon as the UPU International Bureau receives the results from the jury, it will notify the member countries within a reasonable amount of time.
- The top winners will receive a special medal (gold for first prize, silver for second, and bronze for third) and a certificate, as well as other prizes to commemorate their win (such other prizes to be decided by the UPU).
- The gold medallist may also be offered a trip to the UPU headquarters in Berne, Switzerland, or an alter-native prize to be decided at the sole discretion of the UPU.
- Writers awarded a special mention will also receive a certificate as well as other prizes (such other prizes to be decided by the UPU).
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