Bright Youth Journey is hosting the Story Writing and Essay Writing Competition all year around. Every month we will pick the best story/essay and share it with you. Join our Blog and be a blogger! We will post our monthly best story/essay on the Blog!

It’s free, it’s fun, and the winner gets published on our BYJ website. Please submit your essay to the contact below!

Apr 2023 Runner Up Winning Essay

Democracy’s Ability to Destroy the Nation

Author: Jewel Chen 08/04/23

In our current political system, democracy is heavily favored. The mass is able to express

their choices and government officials do not hold all the power. However the concept of

democracy is in actuality, one that may not have the efficiency of dictatorship.

Dictatorship is often put into a common misconception in which it is criminal and

inhumane, however that is because people have only considered dictatorships with substandard

dictators. A good dictator is able to decide for their people with the most correct and best

decisions. A good dictator is able to take into consideration the needs of the people, not the


In democracy, the people decide what they want. The people will not choose what is best

for the country, instead, they will choose what is best for them. Most people do not act upon

knowledge and facts, they instead act upon emotions and experiences. When given a choice that

impacts their life, they will not ask for something that helps the mass, they will seek for

something that benefits themselves. Different from democracy, a dictatorship has a singular

dictator which can decide what is best for the country. The reason why dictatorship has not been

accepted, is because we have not yet found a suitable dictator.

Democracy is also said to be fair because everybody is able to show their opinions,

however this is not entirely true. Bribing, violence, threats, impersonations, these are all

examples of how voting can be affected. Democracy is not impenetrable from unfair elections

and the silencing of the people.

Democracy having so many parties and people running causes only political warfare and

conflict. People will always find a way to create dispute and tension, especially in politics.

Having so many groups run for a political position, and having people be able to give their

opinions on these groups, creates a space in which one can not properly express their ideas to

others without judgmentation and criticism.

A dictatorship is able to avoid these problems by excluding the opinions and words of the

mass. It is able to start a political environment in which people can not disagree, giving them no

chance to argue politically. Though people get less say, they aren’t able to begin a domain of


A dictator can save and extricate a country, but only a good dictator is able to. If one day

we are able to create a government in which there is a dictator that can throw away personal

opinions and feelings and create the best options for the country, we may be able to eliminate

war, famine, poverty, and other problems of our current society.

Apr 2023 1st Place Winning Essay

Free Write

By Aaron Guo

This is an essay about space travel.


Continued space travel and exploration are essential for humans in order to expand our understanding of the universe. One of the biggest questions we have is if there are other living beings out there.  We also want to know whether or not there are any valuable resources that we can use on earth.  Finally, as the earth becomes more and more crowded, people wonder if there is a planet that humans can live on.  Of course there are many costs, dangers and rewards associated with exploring these three ideas further. 

Aliens and extraterrestrial beings occupy the imaginations of millions of people.  Think of how many books, movies and songs are about creatures from outer space. As soon as man stepped foot on the moon – the question about life on other planets continued to dominate space research and exploration.  The technology required to observe, record, and test the atmosphere and composition of the planets is very costly. It is expensive to design tools to withstand extreme temperatures and unknown materials.  Also as science advances and new things are discovered, new tools need to be created in order to find out more.  Many satellites and probes are used to determine if there is movement or living things on other planets.  These tools only measure what we currently know to measure. Scientists are working hard to evolve the satellites and probes so that we can measure and learn more.  The dangers of finding out about life on other planets is that sometimes valuable equipment is lost or worse, human lives are lost as some space crafts do not make it out of the earth’s atmosphere or back into it after a mission is completed.  But when there are discoveries made the rewards are huge for the astronauts and the scientists as they become famous and make lots of money because of their bravery or brilliance.

Humans use a lot of the earth’s resources.  Some are renewable and some are non-renewable.  Consumption is a huge concern and so some people focus on using renewable resources and recycling what we do have and others look to finding new sources of energy.  One of the places that scientists are exploring for resources is space.  As far as we know, since nobody lives in space, no one owns space including the land, the air or the resources.  Therefore, if someone was to discover something useful and a way to mine it and transport it back to earth, they could do that.  While that would be extremely expensive to research, it could be very profitable in the end.  However, there may also be many dangers such as losing new equipment and technology while trying to find out what works, or losing lives when people are exploring or having the resource be toxic and harmful to humans once it’s in earth’s atmosphere.  If the resource was helpful to humans the rewards would be fame, money and a good feeling of knowing you have helped to do some good for people or the planet earth.

One of the most interesting ideas is living on another planet besides earth or even living in space on a big spaceship. Nowadays when astronauts live in space it is on small space craft with not a lot of room or excitement.  For people to actually live in space a lot of money will have to be invested in space craft or habitat structures on other planets that have oxygen supplies.  This would also be quite dangerous and many people could have accidents or die if something were to go wrong with the habitat.  The rewards for humans would be kind of like being a pioneer or the “first'' true space residents.  Also a chance for a new or different way of life.

Space travel and exploration will be a part of the human story for years to come.  We won’t know how long it will take before aliens are discovered, resources are mined and utilized on earth or if we will truly ever live in space.  Money will continue to be invested in space and some lives will be lost, but the rewards and excitement will be worth it.

Dec 2022 Winning Essay

December 3, 2022

By Boba Milk

The “ding” of the café’s door chimed as floods of people stepped in. The strong aroma of fresh bagels was alluring while wandering through the streets of Paris. Everyday people would walk in tired, and leave with joy plastered on their faces. No one only went to the café once. If they just decided to grab one donut, they would always come back for cakes and bagels. Then they would come every morning and it would become a routine. The café was a small cozy room with dazzling fairy lights, so bright they could take over for the sun. There were sage green walls and a checkered tile floor that was always squeaky-clean. It was like no other store in all of Paris. It was owned by the one and only Madame Potsh. She was a bright and chipper lady who always had her hair up in a funky side ponytail. Her platform heels would create the familiar “clickity clackity” sound but no one noticed. They didn’t care. They were here for the food. 

Dec 2022 Winning Essay

December 3, 2022

By Tina X.

Leaves rustle in the wind and a full moon shines brightly in contrast with the dark night sky. Crunch. Crackle. Crunch. In the midst of the peaceful setting, a tall, hooded figure shuffles along a pathway in the woods, taking their time to step on every single leaf. Crackle. Crackle. BOOM. The sky rumbles in anger and a flash of lightning flies across the sky, illuminating the world for a split second. A few moments later, the air is filled with plump raindrops while thunder rumbles in the sky menacingly. Continuing down the dark and foreboding path in the forest, the figure disappears step by step, soon merging completely with the scene until you couldn’t even see his outline. 

Dec 2021 Winning Essay

December 3, 2021

By Judy G.

I was walking down a small, noisy and crowded street of Paris one winter when the smell of blueberry muffins grabbed me. It led me to a small shop on the corner of 9th street. As soon as my hands pushed open those doors, the smell of the pastries overwhelmed me. The shop was extremely small, it was only composed of two tables and a glass counter, yet it was warm and cozy. I sat down at a table shaped like a star and examined the place. There was a fireplace in a corner and a counter in the middle of the room. There were many pastries in the glass counter like croissants, éclairs, cannelésan, financiers, crepes and many more. I picked up a menu in front of me and scanned the entire page, I signaled the waiter to my table and I ordered a blueberry muffin. I took a moment to enjoy the many scents of the pastries around me, after a few minutes the waiter came to my table holding a paper bag with a kitty on it, I took a bite out of it and the flavour erupted in my mouth. 

Dec 2021 Winning Essay


December 2, 2021

By Lixia Z.

The gentle breeze ran through my arm creating goosebumps “ Wshhhhh”. All the beautiful vibrant trees slowly let go of their leaves making a colorful sight of red and orange  dancing to the ground. The delightful melodies of the chirping birds bring joy and happiness to my ears. I can feel the bumpy texture of an oak tree which makes my hand tickle. Through squinting, I can see the bright sun shine onto the smooth pavement sidewalk in front of me. The fresh smell of the wind and the leaves rush through my nose as I breathe in. The bright orange pumpkins beside my feet remind me of Halloween, candles, costumes and candy. 

Nov 2021 Winning Essay


November 19, 2021

By Tina X.

Have you ever wondered how Google seems to know what you like? Have you ever noticed how smart the internet has become? People around the world are developing smarter and more dependable AI (artificial intelligence) as we speak. The question is, where is the line? Will people continue to develop AI so much that it’ll be running our businesses for us? Will we become so reliant on it that we forget how to do everyday tasks without it? Here is my theory about why it is likely that robots might take over the world someday.

Some people will immediately shake their heads saying ‘Robots or AI taking over the world only ever happens in sci-fi movies. It’s not possible for them to actually take over.’ I understand where those people are coming from but really think about it. Every year, we get new ideas for AI. Every year, we come up with better and smarter versions of it. We’ve begun to develop self-driving cars, which are run by AI. We also already use AI for simple everyday things like Google Search, Smart assistants (like Siri), and even on social media where it’s used to prevent spam messages. Of course, AI is extremely helpful, but what would happen when it becomes so advanced that it’s able to take over all of our roles in society and run it for us? What would happen to us then? Would we simply live at home playing video games while robots and AI ran the world? What would become of the world? I think AI is useful in everyday life, but there needs to be a line. AI can’t become something that we can’t live without or else life will lose its meaning and we’ll all be basically living in the shadows of robots.

Of course, there are other scenarios where AI develops some evil idea and begins to build its own robotic form and takes over the internet, shuts down all communications and hatches a plan to take over the world, which, is possible, but I’ve already used up more than one page, so I’m not going to get into that.

Overall, we should be careful with where we’re going with AI and robots because they can easily take over the world.

Oct 2021 Winning Essay

Public Speaking

By Kaylee S

All humans have fears, whether it is looking down from the highest part of a roller coaster, or plugging into the water of a swimming pool for the first time. Yet, most people are afraid of glossophobia, the fear of public speaking.  Unlike swimming or facing venomous insects, public speaking isn’t avoidable. For this, I have discovered a few methods to overcome this fear. First, I find practicing in front of a mirror very helpful. Mirrors don’t criticize you and while practicing you can see what you look like and improve on your presentation skills. If you want feedback then you can present to a family member or a friend, doing so you can gain practice and honest feedback. Finally, before giving a speech remember to calm down, when talking with confidence, everything you say, whether true or false, will be believable. Overall, as long as you practice and stay confident, public speaking can be conquered like all other fears. 

Oct 2021 Winning Essay


        By Babo Milk

If I go on vacation to any place in the world, I would probably travel to Tokyo, Japan. I’ve always dreamed of visiting Japan, mainly because I want to try different kinds of Japanese food including a variety of different noodles, sushi and sweet treats. I would also love to go shopping in Japan’s enormous malls and purchase all kinds of little trinkets I probably won’t need. Seeing Japan’s native flower, the cherry blossom, would be such a nice experience. Japan is also meant to be very clean and put together. Japan is also one of the safest countries in the world with one of the safest crime rates. I would love to go and do karaoke with my friends in the place where karaoke was born. Japan is a place where you can meet new people, learn new things, and experience new situations. I hope one day I can truly visit this astounding country.

Sep 2021 Winning Essay

Why Children Shouldn’t Be Able To Vote

By Kai Z.


Elections are very important. We have them every couple years to vote on who is the mayor, premier or prime minister. The decision impacts everyone. One thing that people are thinking about is the age limit. That brings up a question. Should children be able to vote? Well, I personally think that children shouldn’t be able to vote. First, children are still in the control of their parents. That means that their parents will have influence over their child’s vote. That also means that the child might not be having his voice heard, and parents would get more votes. Secondly, although there are many smart and logical children, they could vote for someone because they think they “look super cool” or maybe because they have been in the news lately. That isn’t the right way to vote and if many kids end up voting for the same person because they are cool, it could make a significant impact. Children shouldn’t be able to vote because they are still under control of their parents, have a brain that is still developing and because they are just not mature enough to do such a thing.

May 2021 Winning Essay

The whale adventure 

By Michael Q.

We were canoeing across the inlet when we noticed some unusual movement alongside the boat. A whale was surfacing next to us. Another one followed closely behind. Suddenly, our boat was being lifted out of the water. It was a whale! Which, in fact, I’ve never seen one before. It was steering us left, and right, up and down, and in all different directions, until the boat flipped over! Fortunately, we brought our life jackets and we knew how to swim. The whales offered us a ride on the back. When we said “Yes”, and when we got on the whale, another whale came to the surface, and broke our boat. 

My dad was upset, but he knew that the whales were much faster. The whales also offered us a cute little baby whale. “It’s so adorable!” I said. Dad was proud. He knew that a cute pet whale is cooler than a new wooden boat that gives you splinters. They also offered us a submarine, some seaweed, and 2 little fishes. We had so much fun! We did countless activities with the whales. First, we used our submarine to look at cool fish, then we went riding on the whales, then we got some berries and fish for the whales, after we went fishing, and after that, we went looking for stuff in the ocean.

We also saw a fox! Two things that I’ve never seen before and now I have. Wow! Today is my lucky day! The whales showed us their friends. Some of their friends were Squid, Dolphin, Narwhal, Turtle, Pufferfish, Shark, and lots more! This is one lucky day! I’ve never seen any of these animals, because I don’t go in water so much. But now, there’s no animal to be scared of. Even the shark! Well, the shark was double as nice! The other animals said they would be their friend for 2 reasons. One, it’s their first time seeing a human, and two they wanted me to show them the “Out of land part” like, you know, land.

I was still amazed, because I could breathe underwater for this whole time! Also, how was it still day?! I checked an underwater clock and it said “8:14 P.M.” I was a bit confused. But soon I started to get it. I was underwater, in a room full of fake sunlight and other stuff. In the room, there was no water. This was the ocean animal’s secret human room. They said that if they found some humans, they would put them in the secret room. Dad had a BIG room. There were a lot of photos of sea animals. But when it was 12:03 A.M. , we had to leave, we thanked the sea animals and went home. Yesterday was a very interesting day. I hoped that today would be as interesting as yesterday. But then I had FORGOT! The cute baby whale! Fortunately, it was in Dad’s big container. Yesterday was the best day ever. We hoped that any day would at least be as good as yesterday, or better.

Apr 2021 Winning Story

Most important person in history who made our society better

By: Kevin

            The most important person in history who made our society better was Martin Luther King. Due to that there was segregation at that time, the laws weren’t fair. He probably did it because he felt empathy for all of the other black people, who couldn’t go to the same schools or drink from the same fountains as white people.

Martin Luther King broke the law of segregation and racism. He helped a lot of other black people too, like Jackie Robinson, who was the only black person at the baseball team. He also helped many other people like Viola Desmond and Ruby Bridges, and other black people who were affected by prejudice and racism. Martin Luther King had enough courage and confidence to say “I have a dream.”, and that made segregation just disappear. 

    After Rosa Parks was arrested, Martin Luther King started a boycott to make the bus drivers not earn any money. Martin Luther King did that to show that the laws were unfair and needed to be equal. 

Today, without the great Martin Luther King, black and white people wouldn't have equal rights. Obviously, white people would have better treatment, and the laws would be unfair, but because of the legend of Martin Luther King, the law of segregation faded. At the end, sadly, Martin Luther King was shot by someone, but his great story still stands. He greatly made the laws more equal and finally, segregation was gone.

Apr 2021 Winning Story

Did She Actually Just Say That?

By A.Z 

I walked down the school hall, flanked by my two best friends, Annabelle and Camille, shoving whoever was in my way. Everyone cowered under my gaze. I stopped, looking down at a small girl blocking my way. I studied her carefully with a hard stare. Her fists were balled and she was looking down at her shoes. I scoffed and smirked. Who does she think she is, standing in my way? She must be a transfer. 

           “Hey, who do you think you are? Get out of my way.” I said coldly, crossing my arms and glaring at her. Students stared. She lifted her head and met my eyes with her own fierce gaze, as if challenging me. Her action surprised me. No one has dared to oppose me before. My shock must’ve shown because instead of obeying me, she raised her fist. Before I could react, she landed a punch on my cheek, making me land on my knees. Annabelle and Camille scrambled to help me up, brushing my uniform off. I quickly recovered and shook them off with a piercing glare, my body shaking from shock and rage.

          “Who do you think you are? Maybe you should stop acting like the queen and start being nicer,” the small girl said, her voice icy, “And maybe focus more on your studies,” she added, pointing to the ground.

           "Did she actually just say that?" People gasped. Murmurs echoed in my ears. I glared daggers at the girl, then gazed in the direction of her finger. When I fell, papers from my backpack had scattered onto the ground. Unfortunately, among those scattered papers was my chemistry test, embellished with a big red F. Students standing in the hall also noticed where she was pointing and saw that wretched assessment. Annabelle and Camille exchanged concerned glances as they started to collect the fallen papers. My face flushed and embarrassment flooded through my body. I grabbed my backpack with the papers put back in and fled out of the school doors. 

          When I got home, I scrambled up the stairs straight up to my room, ignoring the calls from my mother. I sat on my bed and started screaming, crying, and yelling until I finally calmed down. Then, I started thinking. I knew I was mean and I knew that I acted arrogant sometimes, but people left me alone that way. Should I really start being nicer? Maybe it would be a nice change, I decided. Tomorrow, I will start fresh.

Mar 2021 Winning Story


By Erin

When everyone is young, they yield a certain fear that holds them back from doing things that others can do. Whether it’s acrophobia, aerophobia, claustrophobia, or any other kinds of possible phobias children could have, all of them have been faced with different levels of bravery and varying conclusions, both good and bad. All of us, as children, have faced challenges that involve fears that stirred from traumatic experiences, and I will share a personal experience I’ve encountered in the past that has awakened a fear that still lives inside me to this day.

The crisp autumn air had recently fallen upon the city, and a spell had bewitched the trees orange and yellow. A sound of crunching leaves could be heard about every corner of the little world that I lived in, and my mind swirled around the thoughts of activities and friends and everything a young child could ever think of during the fall season. I walked along yellowing fields of grass, enchanted by everything in sight. Occasionally my easily-impressed eyes would point out a gaggle of geese or a flock of ducks, to which my parents would smile encouragingly the way adults smiled at clueless children. 

The pathway of which we strolled twisted and turned around trees, the latter littering leaves all over the former. A sudden poke agitated my back, and I turned around to see Pearl’s smiling young face an inch from my own. Our parents dropped back as we chattered excitedly of all young dreams of candy and toys and dolls and whatnot until Pearl squealed with delight at seeing a large thing crawling curiously on a small maple leaf. She leaned closer, and my simple mind decided that that was a good idea. I followed in her footsteps, intrigued until the succeeding event occurred so quickly that my slow brain wouldn’t be able to process it, given the limit of a lifetime.

I’d leaned too close. A flicker, a shriek, and a distant sound of -- was that laughing or crying? Yet that didn’t matter to me at all. Eight spindly legs tickled my nose, as a pair of tiny, harmless pincers soundlessly clicked in front of my eyes. Six beads of gleaming black ink bore their gaze into the shallow depths of my pathetic soul. My throat was sore -- why? Those screams couldn’t be mine… they were too far away. And the sudden merciless murk that covered my eyes like a blanket had to be the demon’s wicked witchcraft. As were the cackles… and the pain in the back of my head… as were the pounding noises roaring in my ears…

And then at last -- at last! Gone was the devil’s spawn from my face! But still, a fear was borne like a seed into the vast cavities of my mind. A fear of small, harmless, hairy vertebrates that had the satanic name “spiders.” A fear of hairy little bugs in general. 

I still run away, panicked, each time I meet these demons this very day.


Feb 2021 Winning Story

The Island 

By L.Q

Five dollars, they had said. Only five, for this magnificent patch of land in the middle of the ocean. We climbed ashore and gazed at the pearly white sand and the glittering shells that were scattered along the coast. The palm trees swayed back and forth, following the wind’s will as their ripe coconuts swung through the air. Mya, the last to get off the boat, hurried forward in amazement. 

“Look over there!” she laughed, running towards some rocks. “It’s a cave!” Sure enough, in between 2 rocks stood a huge opening that led to a cave. Mya started lowering herself in, not minding the sharp rocks and edges.

“I wouldn’t do that!” Dad warned, unpacking his bag and setting up his tent. “There could be all sorts of dangers lurking inside. You don’t want to get hurt before we even start camping.”

“That’s right,” informed Mya’s older brother Jason who was setting down his many National Geographic books. “I once read a book about these scorpions that lived in giant water caves.” Mya then quickly retreated from the hole, shuddering at the thought of scorpions’ stingers. 

       “You better all unpack before we go exploring,” decided Mom as she set down her pack. All of a sudden, when everyone was unpacking, a slight tremor shook the island. 

“What was that?” trembled Mya, backing away into her tent.

“What do you mean?” Dad replied, unconcerned. 

“You didn’t feel that?” asked Mya, a look of confusion plastered on her face.

“It was probably nothing,” grunted Mom, lifting up wood for the campfire.

Finally, when everyone was done setting up their tents, they hefted their packs full of water and food then set out into the small forest. They saw many lost things and pieces of garbage, all of which they stored in plastic bags to later throw out. 

Suddenly, Jason let out a cry, “Look! It’s a book! A National Geographic book!” He pointed at a small, rolled up yellow magazine that read ‘National Geographic - Natural Disasters’. “It’s the only book I don’t have!” yelled Jason with delight. He then scooped up the book, brushed off the leaves and the dirt, then hugged it to his chest. 

“All right, whatever, let’s go back to our campsite now,” yawned Mom. Before they could get back though, the island jerked and threw them to the ground.

“You must have felt that,” Mya shouted, her voice quivering. 

“It was probably just some loose rock that fell, nothing to worry about,” Dad said, rolling his eyes and stretching out his arms. “Let’s go back to the camp now.”

Back in the camp, everyone sets up and gets ready for bed. Mya crawled out to Jason’s tent. Jason, wide awake and reading his new National Geographic book about natural disasters, rolled his eyes after seeing her come in.

“What do you want?” asked Jason, his eyes focused on the pages. 

“You’re so mean,” pouted Mya, “I’m going back to my tent.”

In the morning, the sun shone in the sky. Jason had finally finished reading his natural disasters book, and talked about it non-stop. 

“Did you know that earthquakes happen very often in some places? I knew that. Did you know that there’s such thing as an underwater volcano?” Jason could talk for hours without stopping sometimes. 

“Let’s go explore that huge cave,” Mya suggested. Mom and Dad agreed to watch her, but Jason kept looking at his National Geographic novel. Half an hour later, when Mom and Dad were watching Mya explore the cave,  a bubbling sound started bubbling, almost as if something were about to explode. Jason listened to these sounds, pondering what they meant. The sudden rumbles, the crazy jerks in the ground, and now the bubbling . . . what did they mean? Finally , his eyes fell upon one of the pages in his National Geographic novel. An underwater volcano. Jason gasped, then ripped out the page and sprinted towards his parents as if his life depended on it.

“Mom, Dad!” he screamed, stumbling forward with his arms outstretched. Jason quickly explained about the underwater volcano, which seemed to be right under the island. His parents’ eyes widened with alarm. Mya crawled out of the cave, and everyone set out running away from the island. The volcano, about to explode, bubbled even louder. They didn’t make it far enough. The volcano exploded, and everyone sunk into the water, moments away from blacking out. The last thing Jason remembered was that his underwater volcano page was still clenched tightly in his hand, so he tucked it safely into his pocket. 

Beep. Beep. Jason lifted up his head slowly. He was in a hospital, with Mya, Mom, and Dad all laying beside him. A doctor stood in the corner, fiddling with some device. Jason passed out again.

When Jason woke up again, everyone else was already sitting up. He sat up, and looked at the doctor. The doctor explained everything. They had found them floating through the water, barely alive. They had been brought here after the explosion. Speaking of which, the doctor informed us that the person who had sold us the island had already confessed to knowing about the volcano and was now in jail.

“How long have we been here?” wondered Jason aloud. The doctor opened his mouth to reply, but what came out was his mother’s voice.

“Jason! Wake up!” Jason sat up groggily and realized that he was in his room. Rays of sunlight shone through the curtains. 

“What?” asked Jason, “Underwater . . geographic . . hospital.”

“Looks like you were having a dream, honey,” smiled his mom. “Get ready for school.” Jason sat up, but then he noticed that there was a lump inside his pocket. He took the lump out and realized it was a wet piece of paper. He unfolded it, and gasped. Although it was dirty and wet, and unreadable, the paper was unmistakably the National Geographic page; the page on natural disasters.