Our First Annual Essay Competition for A-Level & IB students

£200 Prize Pool

The best entries that will be judged by a panel of expert Economists will take a cut of our £200 prize pool with £100 going to the top submission and £50 being awarded to two runner-ups. 


A Opportunity to be Published

The top ten submissions including the competition winners will be published in the journal of The Backseat Economist after being highly commended for their contributions to the competition.

Large Audience
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Join The Debate. Give us a Piece of Your Mind.

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1. The political institutions of the modern world do not represent the 'people.' Discuss.

2. Should the state exercise control over the expression of individuals?

3. Is the modern political landscape more polarized today as opposed to the past? If so, why, and, is this a problem? 


Like any other study, Politics is one that deeply concerns itself with ideas. However, unlike 'hard sciences,' which concern themselves with finding universal truths, Politics, is a discipline that helps one find their humanity.


Economics is a discipline that deals with the human problem of how to allocate our scarce resources among unlimited wants and needs. Such problems need human answers, and, if not that, a great degree of diverse thought and contribution.


1. Should the United Kingdom & Allies withdraw engagement from China? 

2. Is now the time for a UBI? You may answer with an economy or economies of your choice.

3. COVID-19 has exposed a trend of accelerating inequality. Is this a problem, and, if so, what should be done to mitigate it?

Competition Guidelines:

Entry Requirements:
Entry is open to any 16-18-year-old living within the United Kingdom studying at A-Level or IB equivalent qualifications. Candidates must be between these age bounds on the final date of submission. (18/12/22)

Word Count Guidelines & Requirements:

Each essay should address only one of the questions in your chosen category. Essays must not exceed 2000 words. (+10% leeway is not accepted)  This word limit does not include diagrams, data tables, footnotes, bibliography, or authorship declaration. Only the main body of the essay will be used in the word count, this includes; in-text citations, the introduction and the conclusion of your essay. 

Referencing & Academic Integrity:
All material that is gathered and used from another source within your essay must be cited to avoid plagiarism. Accepted referencing & citation methods for this essay competition include; Harvard referencing & Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition (full note/author-date will both be accepted)

Collaboration with fellow students is allowed for this essay competition. Each student that co-authors submitted papers must be credited when you submit your entry. A maximum of five authors is allowed. (more information on this below) Whilst working on your entry, do not seek help from professionals such as teachers, personal tutors, or anyone who does not fit the essay entry requirements. If evidence of collaboration with third parties is found and is not correctly credited and or is with parties that are excluded from the essay competition then disqualification from this and future essay competitions will be arranged. 


Please do not include any sensitive information that can link your work to the author(s) within your submission in the main body or headers within your submission. Names of entrants will be logged in a separate spreadsheet with their corresponding entries as to avoid bias within the marking process.

Marking Criteria & Methodology:
Submissions will be marked by the quality of the argument presented and will not be judged on an ideological basis by the Editors of The Backseat Economist & Economist panel. This essay competition has no formatting requirements for the main body & content. However, submissions will be judged on how clearly the main body, graphs, and other relevant material such as references and citations are presented. Judges & Editors will also examine the quality of source material found in your citations within your submission.

Academic Writing Help Resources:
LEADERSHIP LAB: The Craft of Writing Effectively

LEADERSHIP LAB: Writing Beyond the Academy 1.23.15


1st Place: £100, Entry published within The Backseat Economist, and Certificate of Achievement
2nd Runner Up: £50, Entry published within The Backseat Economist, and Certificate of Achievement

3rd Runner Up: £50, Entry published within The Backseat Economist, and Certificate of Achievement

4th-10th Place: Entry published within The Backseat Economist, and Certificate of Achievement

Key Dates:
October 17th 2022 - Competition Opens for Submissions

December 18th 2022 - Deadline for Submissions
December 31st 2022 - Shortlisted Candidates Notified
January 2023 - Winners Announced
(These dates are provisional and are subject to change, any changes will be notified to all candidates and displayed on this page)


Essay Submission:
Please submit your essay via a Google Doc link through our website. The title of the Google Doc should read SURNAME, First Name, Category, and Question Number. (e.g. SMITH, Bob, Economics, Q2)

For entries with multiple authors, the Google Doc should read, SURNAME (1), SURNAME (2), SURNAME (3)..., First Name (1), First Name (2), First Name (3)..., Category, and Question Number. (e.g. SMITH, JAMES, RYAN, Bob, Brent, Bryan, Politics, Q3) All authors who collaborated on the entry must be listed. Maximum of five.

These entries will be managed by an independent secretary who will remove personally identifiable information before entries are passed onto the editing team and judging panel. Anonymous entries will be judged and then returned to the secretary who will return the results to the respective entrants under the supervision of a company director. 

Declaration: (PLEASE READ)
When submitting your entry, you agree to personally identifiable information (First Name, Last Name, Email address) to be stored on our company's servers and datasets. Upon conclusion of the essay competition, should you not have been shortlisted, or, received any prizes, your information will be erased. Your entry will be kept in our records for cross-referencing and plagiarism-checking purposes. Please do not resubmit your entry as a standalone article on our submissions page. All our readers and participants are welcome to contribute to the journal but we will not publish work used for the essay competition. If you wish to write for the journal, please create a new piece of original work and submit that. 


Individuals who submit their entries and win prizes or are shortlisted agree to have their information stored so that The Backseat Economist may contact them for promotional and business-related purposes. Should you win prizes and wish to not have your information stored, The Backseat Economist will comply and erase your data from our datasets and spreadsheets.

By participating in the essay competition, you understand and agree that your entry should it be part of the top ten, will be published in The Backseat Economist Journal. More information on our editing policy and how your published piece will be used by the company can be found here. Those who win the competition will have this agreement sent to them explicitly as to ensure that all parties agree to the terms.

The top three winners of the competition will be asked for bank account information so that money transfers of the rewards can take place. This information will not be stored. Additionally, winners will be asked to provide information such as their first and last names, photos, and their educational institutions so that The Backseat Economist can use this in the making of promotional material relevant to the essay competition and journal.

We hope you enjoy taking part in our competition,

Hubert Kucharski, Director at The Backseat Economist Limited