New York Times ‘Write a Rap About 2013’ Student Contest

Deadline: January 7, 2014

By popular demand for a third year, the New York Times is back with the Year in Rap contest. In partnership with Flocabulary, (creators of the Week in Rap, the Year in Rap and other educational songs, videos and resources for K-12), students are invited to write a rap about some aspect of the news of 2013.

Quick: What rhymes with “Affordable Care Act”? “Edward Snowden”? “His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge”?

If you can’t come up with at least one answer, you might want to start brainstorming, because the Year in Rap Student Contest is back. If you’ve participated before, the rules are pretty much the same: just write an informed, engaging 12- to-16-line rap about some aspect of this year’s news.


Students should choose at least four important New York Times stories from one of the news categories listed below.


The top five raps, as judged by The Times and Flocabulary staff using this rubric, will be featured on both The Learning Network and

Eligibility and Contest Rules: Write Your Own ‘Year in Rap’

  • Submissions must be from students from 13 to 19 years old. (Update:Students can come from anywhere in the world.) No last names please, but an initial is fine, as is a school or class code of some type. (For example, “Ethan G. CHS112.”)
  • The rap should be 12 to 16 lines long.

  • The rap should be original and must follow Learning Network commenting standards, which means no profanity or vulgar language.
  • Submissions are allowed from partners and teams as well as from individuals — just remember to submit all of your names when you post your rhyme. (This year we’ll judge all entries the same.)
  • One submission per student, please. If you’re submitting as part of a team, you should not also submit as an individual.

Raps must be submitted as comments on this post by 5 p.m. Eastern time on Jan. 7. If you have questions about the contest, please feel free to post them in the comments section as well, and we’ll answer you there.

For more information, click here.