learning center and money museum

2015 Creative Writing Contest

The Cleveland Fed's Creative Writing Contest gives high school juniors and seniors a chance to put their knowledge and understanding of economic concepts to work. Cash prizes are awarded to the top entries. Teachers sponsoring contest submissions get a thank you gift.

See the 2015 winners of the creative writing content.


You rule your school! What would you do if you were principal for a day?

Imagine that you are principal for a day. What would you change as the head of your school? Would you set new goals for students? What big ideas would help you reach those goals?

How would you pay for your cool new school?

The Challenge

If you were principal for a day, would you change the lunch menu or the food prices, or would the school day begin later and end earlier? Would you change the course requirements, hire new staff, or build a whole new high-tech building with a game room and widescreen TV?

This is your chance to choose. Write an essay, short story, poem, or play describing what you would do as the boss of your school.

As you craft your composition, think about the economic impact of the new rules or goals that you propose.

  • What are the costs and benefits?
  • Do the new rules respond to a demand?
  • What are the opportunity costs?
  • Do the new rules create any unintended consequences?

To answer these questions, you must think critically about some basic economic principles.

Some Key Economic Concepts

  • Benefits are the social and financial positives that result from an economic activity, good, or service.
  • Costs are the expenses—such as time and money—necessary to obtain benefits.
  • Demand is how much of something people want.
  • Inflation is a general increase in the price of goods and services.
  • Opportunity Cost is the value of possible alternatives that a person gives up when making one choice instead of another; also known as a trade-off.
  • Supply is the total quantity of a good or service that is available for purchase at a given price.
  • Unintended Consequences are outcomes that are different from the expected ones.

Submissions, Judging and Eligibility

Click for more information on submission requirements, judging and eligibility.