Pulitzer Center Update October 4, 2018

Local Letters for Global Change: A Pulitzer Center Writing Contest

Media file: lgbtq_india-06262.jpg
Kriti, a member of Delhi’s LGBTQ community, poses for a portrait. In many cases, Western notions of sexuality and gender don’t translate seamlessly to India, and Kriti was one for whom Western labels seemed ill-fitting. Image by Jake Naughton and Aarti Singh. India, 2017.

Announcing the Pulitzer Center Letter-Writing Contest!

Make your voice heard this election season by writing a letter to a member of Congress that explains the global issue you want them to prioritize. Make your case using Pulitzer Center reporting.

The Pulitzer Center wants to read and share your letters: tell us, and the world, what's most important to you. Read on for contest details. DEADLINE: Friday, November 15th at 11:59PM EST. Click here to see work by the winners of the 2018 Local Letters for Global Change contest.


1st place:

  • $100 to throw a class party celebrating global community engagement (payment distributed to your class teacher)
  • A personal video message from a journalist who reported on the issue you select
  • A profile of you written by a professional journalist [optional]
  • Publication of your letter on the Pulitzer Center website

2nd & 3rd place:

  • A personal video message from a journalist who reported on the issue you select
  • A profile of you written by a professional journalist [optional]
  • Publication of your letter on the Pulitzer Center website


  • Publication of your letter on the Pulitzer Center website


Any current K-12 student in the United States or abroad may submit. Students outside the United States should address a local equivalent to their member of Congress.


Friday, November 15, 2019 11:59 PM EST

Submission Guidelines:

1. Go to www.pulitzercenter.org/reporting and choose a news story about an issue affecting another part of the world. When choosing your news story, consider: How is this issue relevant to your local community? Why should you and your neighbors care about it? [See below for some suggested stories to get you started]

2. Write a one-page letter to one of the member of Congress for your state that includes the following:

I.    Short summary of an issue affecting another part of the world, citing a Pulitzer Center news story.
II.  Explanation of why this issue is important to you and your community.
III. Suggestion of what action you would like your Congressperson to take on this issue.

For support writing your letter, use this letter-writing template.

3. Submit using this Google form. It will request some basic personal/contact information, 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, consider mailing or emailing your letter to them directly!

Judging Criteria:

Judges will use this rubric to evaluate letters.

Support for Preparing Students:

1. You can use this graphic organizer to guide your students in making connections to global news stories and planning their letters.

2. Email [email protected] to invite a Pulitzer Center education team member to facilitate a lesson for your class in-person or via Skype.

3. Feel free to adapt this rubric to evaluate your students' letters.

Suggested News Stories:

Migration, Immigration, and Refugees

We Became Fragments: A Teenager Starting Over in Canada [Video]
Jamaica's 'Barrel Children' Often Come up Empty with a Parent Abroad [Text]
Across the Border and Back: An Asylum Seeker's Journey [Video]
The First Syrian Refugees in Iowa [Text]
The Labor Train: Following the Migrant Workers of Tajikistan [Video, Drawings/Paintings]

Climate Change and the Environment

The Weight of Numbers: Air Pollution and PM2.5 [Video, photo, text]
Threshold Podcast: Climate Change in Shishmaref, Alaska [Audio]
China's Surprising Solutions to Clear Killer Air [Text]
How a Warmer Arctic Could Intensify Extreme Weather [Video]
Young Collectors, Traders Help Fuel a Boom in Ultra-Exotic Pets [Video, text]

Human Rights

For Uganda's LGBTQ+ Community, Visibility Brings Violence [Photo, text]
The Fight to Overturn El Salvador's Abortion Ban [Text] - Content warning: Sexual assault
The Deadly Risk of Standing Up to Putin [Video]
Would You Let Your 10-Year-Old Kid Work? It's Perfectly Legal in This Country [Video, text]
A California Summer Camp Helps Families Stay Close While a Parent is in Prison [Text]