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Summer essay writing competition

SINK magazine is launching its debut short essay competition to encourage young Northern creatives to get thinking and writing about the issues which affect and underlie regional inequalities. We are looking for short essays of up to 750 words responding to any of the three questions below. Your essay can be personal or impersonal, artistic or critical, narrative or persuasive: we will reward diversity of form as much as diversity of content, so don’t put limits on your own creativity. Most of all, we want you to have fun whilst writing your essays, so that we can feel your enthusiasm bleeding through into the pieces we read.

Essay questions:

  1. What is the spirit of the North?

  2. Is there such a thing as Northern identity?

  3. What would Northern independence look like?

Who is eligible?

  • Anyone aged 15-19 (on the date of the submission deadline) who is not a university student

  • You must have some connection to the North of England, whether you live here, work here, study here or were born here


  • FIRST PRIZE: £50 and automatic publication in Issue 3 of SINK magazine

  • SECOND PRIZE: £25 and automatic publication in Issue 3 of SINK magazine

  • THIRD PRIZE: £15

There will also be a number of shortlisted entrants.

Send your submissions to with the subject line ‘Short Essay Competition’ before 5pm on the 15th August 2021. If you have any further questions about the competition, send them either to the email address above or as a direct message to any of our social media accounts.

Further details

  • Submit your short essay as a Word or PDF document, not in the body of the email.

  • Footnotes are not required, but if you do include them, they will not be considered part of your word count.

  • Do not include your name or any other identifying information on the Word document/PDF. In the body of the email, please include your name, pronouns (if comfortable), age and connection to the North of England.

  • If you would like us to contact your school (if applicable) if you win or are shortlisted for the competition, include the name of your school in your submission email or copy them into your submission email.

  • There is no submission fee.

  • You will not receive an acknowledgement that your essay has been submitted, but all candidates will be contacted when the winners of the competition have been decided.

  • You may not submit more than one essay.

Who are we?

SINK is a political, literary and artistic magazine centred around Northern pride and solidarity and celebrating that which makes us different. We are strongly rooted in community, having given a platform to more than 50 Northern creatives, and we donate 50% of our profits to Northern charities. We have so far printed two Issues and are working on releasing a third towards the end of 2021. We are proud to have featured a wide range of different art and writing by a wide range of creatives and cannot wait to continue our project to empower and uplift Northern art and writing.

Read more about our work:

Our website can be found at Our Twitter handle and Instagram are both @sink_magazine. To buy previous issues, go to our Big Cartel at


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