Restless Development x Financial Times Writing Challenge

Enter this new writing challenge from Restless Development and the Financial Times.

Education isn’t equal. 129 million girls are out of school worldwide.

How does education need to change to help more girls stay in school?

Have your say on this important question by submitting an answer to our writing challenge before 7 May 2022.

Winning entries will be published in the Financial Times and We Are Restless – a chance to have your views read by thousands of people.

How to enter

Applicants aged between 7-18 have until 7 May 2022 to enter. Entries are split into three age categories, each with a different word count.

  1. Find your category.
  2. Write your answer to the question: How does education need to change to help more girls stay in school?
  3. Submit your answer.

Entry categories

  • Category A: Applicants between 7-12 years old are asked to submit their answer in three short paragraphs (max 300 words). Parents/guardians are asked to submit the applicant’s answer on their behalf.
  • Category B: Applicants between 13-15 years old are asked to submit their answer in 500 words. Parents/guardians are asked to submit the applicant’s answer on their behalf. 
  • Category C: Applicants between 16-18 years old: applicants are asked to submit their answer in up to 500 words. Applicants can submit their answers themselves.
  • Unfortunately we are only able to accept entries written in English. 

To enter, please email your submission to, either as a word document or using similar writing software, or in the email body. In the subject line, please include the category you wish to enter: A or B or C. Please include your full name and the best way that we can get in touch with you. 

Please read the Terms and Conditions of this writing challenge before entering.

Education is a right

There are lots of barriers stopping women and girls from getting their education, and the pandemic is only making things worse. It is estimated over 20 million girls may not return to school. 

Your answer is a chance to share your ideas and solutions to help more girls stay in school. You may draw on your own experience of education, or the views of movements and organisations you have seen that are trying to improve education for young people, or anything else that inspires you to put pen to paper. 

Winners will be announced on 25 May 2022 and the best entries have the chance to be published on the Financial Times and the WeAreRestless blog. The winners will also be invited to share their answers with political leaders in the UK’s House of Lords in September 2022.

Entries will be judged by a panel that includes Restless Development and Financial Times staff, as well as our challenge partner: the Global Partnership for Education. This is not purely a challenge of your writing skills. Entries will be judged based on originality, clarity and strong ideas to make a compelling argument – think about what will make your reader stop, think and act on this issue.

Applicants can find ideas in many recent articles on the FT including its section on education, all of which are available through the free schools access programme, as well as on the Education pages on the WeAreRestless blog. 


Every pound you give to our #PowerUp Appeal between 7 March and 6 June will be doubled by the UK government.

This writing challenge is part of Restless Development’s Power Up Appeal, which is raising money to help girls in Sierra Leone go to school, get their education and shape their own futures. Every pound given to the Power Up Appeal until 6 June 2022 will be doubled by the UK Government.