Pulitzer Center Local Letters for Global Change 2023

Deadline: 12th of November, 2023

Make your voice heard this fall by writing a letter to a local elected representative that explains the global issue you want them to prioritize, shows how it connects to your local community, and proposes a solution. Through this contest, students can practice global citizenship, civic action, and persuasive writing, all while exploring the underreported issues that matter to them through Pulitzer Center news stories.


We will select three first place winners, including one high school entry (grades 9-12), one middle school entry (grades 6-8), and one elementary entry (grades K-5). First place winners will receive:

  • $100 to support global community engagement in your classroom (prize distributed to your class teacher)
  • Publication of your letter, photo, and bio on the Pulitzer Center website.
    • Additional finalists will be selected across all grade levels. Finalists will receive:
  • Publication of your letter, photo, and bio on the Pulitzer Center website


  • Entries for all current K-12 students across the globe. are welcomed
  • Letters may be written in English and/or Spanish.

Judging Criteria:

Letters will be judged using this rubric. Here are some guiding questions and tips from the Pulitzer Center team:

  1. How can I explain this global issue and its importance to someone who is less familiar with it?
    • Before arguing for a solution, your reader has to understand the issue. How can you explain it to them concisely in a way that is easy to understand, and makes its importance clear? Use the Pulitzer Center news story as a resource as you summarize, and be sure to cite your sources. Are there facts, statistics, or quotes from the story that could help you explain the issue?
  2. How am I connected to the global issue I am writing about?
    • Most letters will respond to a news story reported from a city, state, and/or country different from their own. In your letter, share details of the news story you read, and explain how the underlying issues are connected to your own community. Are you or other members of your local community affected by the same issue? Do the actions of your community have an effect on the people and places you read about? Identify the big, systemic issues in the news story, and make it clear how they connect to you locally and/or personally.
  3. What solutions to this problem already exist?
    • Other people are probably working on this issue in your local community and around the world. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel! Consider advocating for a solution that has been effective before or is already in progress. You could explain how a solution implemented elsewhere could work locally, or how the work of people/organizations active in your community could be supported.
  4. Who has the power to effect the change I want to see?
    • Your letter will be most effective if it makes it into the hands of a person who has power to implement the solution you’re suggesting. Learn about your elected officials and decide whose office should receive your letter. For example, if you’re writing about local education issues, you might write to a member of your school board. If you want to see state-level legislation passed, your state senator or governor might be the right choice


1. Go to, or the Suggested Stories tab above, and choose a news story about a global issue that matters to you.

2. Write a one-page letter to an elected representative in your community that includes the following:

I.   Short summary of a global issue, citing a Pulitzer Center news story.
II.  Explanation of how this global issue connects to your local community, and/or to you personally.
III. Suggestion of what action you would like your local representative to take to resolve this issue, or otherwise improve related conditions.

3. Use the form to enter the contest. It will request some basic personal and contact information; the name and contact information for one of your teachers; and you can copy/paste your letter directly into the form.

4. Your representatives’ contact information is available online. After submitting your letter to the Pulitzer Center, please consider mailing or emailing your letter to them directly!

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