In June, Helium ran the “World Population Approaches 7 Billion” writing contest, an exciting opportunity for Helium writers to discuss important issues related to population growth.

The contest, which was sponsored by Helium, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reportingand Population Services International (PSI), asked writers to submit magazine-style articles on four titles related to population growth. The four contest titles were:

In July, a panel of judges from the Pulitzer Center and PSI selected Donna Hicks’ article on population grown and gender inequality as the grand prize winner, which meant it would appear in an upcoming issue of the Impact, PSI’s print magazine, and on the Pulitzer Center’s website.

Well, the latest issue just came out, and Donna’s article has now officially been published in print! Check it out on Impact’s website to see how well it turned out.

Again, congratulations to Donna and all the other winners in this contest. Great work!

If you didn’t get a chance to participate in the “World Population Approaches 7 Billion” writing contest, don’t worry. Helium is hoping to do more contests like this, both with the Pulitzer Center and some of our other charity partners, so stay tuned.

Helium is currently conducting a variety of focused surveys to evaluate the member experience, and as part of this effort, we are currently conducting a “Feedback on Writing for Helium” contest. The contest is a new and different way to get feedback from Helium members about their experience on the site. These topics cover a variety of areas that we are trying to learn more about, covering everything from what your experience was like as a new member and what interested you in joining Helium to what motivates you to keep writing and how you think Helium could improve. You can write to as many or as few of the topics as you would like.

There are two things that are important to note about this contest.

  • Writing in the first person is allowed and encouraged. Helium wants to learn about your personal experiences and opinions through these articles.
  • After the contest is over, the titles will be taken down from the site, and all of the articles will be read by Helium staff members, including the CEO, as part of the information gathering process we are conducting to learn more about member experience and how we can improve it.
So check out the contest and get writing. We want to know what you think!

We’ve got another great crop of writing contest winners this week! Congratulations on a job well done, everyone. Want to get in on the fun (and prizes)? Stop by the Helium Writing Contests page to see what’s new and get all the details on how to participate.

Creative Writing: Board Games

First Place: Rachelle de Bretagne

Second Place: Jack Ivey

Third Place: Stanley Courage Dugah

Music Theory

First Place: Stanley Courage Dugah

Second Place: Fluttershy

Third Place: John Sarkis

Fitness Tips

First Place: Dorothy Kieffer

Second Place: Ted Sherman

Third Place: Stanley Courage Dugah

Secret to Happiness

First Place: Stanley Courage Dugah

Second Place: Dr. Deborah Bauers

Third Place: Ted Sherman

Infants and Toddlers

First Place: Krystal Waldron

Second Place: Ellen Page

Third Place: Dorann Winburn

Movie Mania

First Place: Ted Sherman

Second Place: Isaiah Montoya

Third Place: Ryan Lewis

Fantasy Football

First Place: Jimmy Flatbush

Second Place: Randy Augsburger

Third Place: Alex Deremer

Earlier this summer, Helium tested out a new type of blind-entry contest, something that community members have been asking to have for a while. In this test, we tried out a method of keeping contest entries private until after the rating period is over. There was a good response to this test, and after surveying the writers who participated, we’ve decided to test this out again. This is still a test of this functionality, so we ask that participants be patient and work with us.

This time, there will be four blind-entry-style contests: Entrepreneurs, Reality TV, NFL, and Hurricane Season.

There are a few things that are important for contestants to know.

  • This blind entry contest will be run through Helium’s assignment system.
  • On the contest page for each contest, the links for the five titles in the contest will take you to the assignment dashboard on your My Helium page.
  • In the Open Assignments tab, click on the “see all” link. Then, do a title search for the word contest, and the five titles in the contest will show up. They will all have the word contest in front of the title. Click “Accept” for the title you want to write to first, and it will go into your Accepted Titles.
  • Then, go to Accepted Titles on your My Helium page, click on the title, and it will take you to the write page so you can begin writing.

It is also important to note that because this blind-entry contest will be run through the assignment system, contestants will receive standardized emails from the assignment system, which will not be related directly to the contest. These emails will say something about the article being purchase or not purchased. Please disregard these emails completely. They are just generated because the test is being run through the assignment system.

Another difference with this blind-entry contest is that the contest titles will not be searchable on Helium during the contest. Contestants will only be able to find them through the assignment system as outlined above. The titles will be listed on the contest page, but you will not be able to see who has written to them.

One difference from the last time we tested the blind-entry contest is that there will be no leaderboard. We surveyed the participants, and they were evenly split about the need for the leaderboard. As a result, we wanted to try this batch of blind-entry contests without a leaderboard. After the contest closes, we will announce the winners both here on our blog and on the individual contest pages.

There will also be four contests (Exotic Pets, Family Fun, San Francisco, and Global Economic Crisis) run through the standard contest interface if you prefer that to the blind-entry contests.

It’s that time again — time to congratulate the latest Helium writing contest winners! Let’s have a warm round of applause (virtually, of course) for the writers who came out on top this week.

Musical Instruments

First Place: Susan Klatz Beal

Second Place: Ted Onulak

Third Place: Bridget Webber

U.S. History

First Place: Ted Sherman

Second Place: Nick Ford

Third Place: Donna Hicks


First Place: Clare Hughes

Second Place: Christobel Rajesh

Third Place: Darren Bunton


First Place: Steve Gregory

Second Place: Effie Moore Salem

Third Place: Rose Clearfield

Back to School

First Place: Ellen Page

Second Place: Blair Worthington

Third Place: Rachelle de Bretagne

There are new chances to win every week. Check out this week’s new contests and see what sparks your interest. The new contests include Investing for Beginners, New York State of Mind, Smartphone Apps, College Life, Fall Planting and Little League World Series. Come on, it’s time to throw your hat in the ring!

Have you checked out Helium’s writing contests lately? Take a minute to visit our writing contests page and see what’s new. We’ve got seven cool contests that just started this week, including a new creative writing contest that’s all about time. The other new contest topics include Changing Careers, Motorcycles, Treasure Hunting, Tropical Destinations, the English Premier League and Republican Presidential Candidates.

We’d also like to give a shout out to all of this week’s contest winners.

Creative Writing: Vacation

First Place: Mandy Cohen

Second Place: Cathern Rosser

Third Place: Denise Calaman

History Mysteries

First Place: Ted Sherman

Second Place: Stanley Courage Dugah

Third Place: Nan C. Avery


First Place: Krystal Waldron

Second Place: Kerry Michael Wood

Third Place: Cicely Richard

Best Books

First Place: Matilda Willows

Second Place: Ed Ostrom

Third Place: April Knight


First Place: Christina Pomoni

Second Place: Virginia Gaces

Third Place: Oluwasegun

Veterinary Medicine

First Place: Mary Ann Mellott

Second Place: Charlotte Howard

Third Place: Ayodimeji

In response to requests from community members, we announced a few weeks ago that Helium was testing out a new blind-entry contest. Well, folks, the results are in, and we have the winners for our first ever blind-entry contest!

Congratulations to first-place winner Karen Chamchuk, second-place winner Effie Moore Salem, and Leigh Goessl, who placed third.

The Helium staff will be reviewing how the test of the blind-entry contest went, and we could be doing more of them in the future.

We’d also like to give a big round of applause for this week’s other contest winners:

Art History

First place: Donna Hicks

Second place: Nan C. Avery

Third place: Chelsea Crawford


First place: Elizabeth Nuttall

Second place: Victoria Tiegert

Third place: Steve Gregory


First place: Eric Bailey

Second place: Philip Lop

Third place: Craig Buck

Scuba Diving

First place: Christobel Rajesh

Second place: Virginia Gaces

Third place: Cicely Richard

Don’t forget to stop by Helium’s Writing Contests page to check out this week’s new contests. The topics are Music Theory, Fitness Tips, Secret to Happiness, Infants and Toddlers, Movie Mania, and Fantasy Football.

The 10 Squared promotion that Helium kicked off on June 1 has been a huge hit with lots of winners. In an effort to get the $10 bonus titles out to the 10 Squared winners faster, we’re asking writers to email us at to tip us off when they’ve had their 10th story accepted in a single leaf channel.

All you need to do is email links to the 10 articles you’ve written to that leaf since June 1, and we’ll target a personalized $10 bonus title to you in two to five days. (Check in the Personal tab of your Assignments dashboard on your My Helium page to find it.)

This also gives you a chance to suggest a title for the $10 bonus assignment! In your email, include a suggestion for a title you’d like to write to in that leaf channel. We might not be able to assign that exact title (for example, if it already exists on the site), but it will give us a very good idea of what you want so we can get you a title that’s a great fit.

If you’ve already gotten your first bonus assignment through 10 Squared, congrats! Keep writing and email us when you have another 10 articles accepted in a single leaf and you’re ready for your next bonus!

Helium is excited to announce the “World Population Approaches 7 Billion” writing contest sponsored in part by Helium and two of our nonprofit partners: Population Services International (PSI) and Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

The contest will begin at 00:00:1 GMT on Wednesday, June 8. It will include four titles and will be open for submissions for a two-week period. The articles must be between 400-500 words and be written in magazine style. The best articles will utilize and cite relevant data and statistics. The submission period will be followed by a one-week rating period.

What you can win

1. The winning article will be published in Impact, PSI’s print magazine as well as on Pulitzer’s website. The winning article will be chosen from the top four ranked articles on each title, by a panel of judges from both of the nonprofit partners.

2.  The top #1 ranked article from each title will be published on PSI’s “Healthy Lives” Blog.

3 & 4. There will be two prizes based on the leaderboard from the Helium contest interface. First prize will be a 16GB Apple® iPad™ with Wi-Fi. Second place prize will be a Velocity Micro 7-inch Cruz Digital Reader, an Android-based tablet.

Titles have been announced!!

How does population growth affect gender inequality?

How should men be involved in family planning?

What are the best ways to engage young people in family planning?

What role should governments play in promoting informed choice for people’s desired family size?

Write to them now!

About our nonprofit partners

PSI is a leading global health organization with programs targeting malaria, child survival, HIV, reproductive health and non-communicable diseases. Working in partnership within the public and private sectors, and harnessing the power of markets, PSI provides life-saving products, clinical services and behavior change communications that empower the world’s most vulnerable populations to lead healthier lives. Follow PSI on Twitter.

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting promotes in-depth engagement with global affairs through its sponsorship of quality international journalism across all media platforms and an innovative program of outreach and education. Follow Pulitzer Center on Twitter.


Love the thrill of victory? All members of Helium can gain the satisfaction of discovering that their peers ranked their articles the best in a writing contest. All contests are based around a theme. You can write to one title or all 20 to increase your chance of winning the top prize. Articles are judged by fellow Helium writers through our rating engine and earn points to determine the winner.

As a winner you are identified with a badge on your About Me page showing off your writing prowess to fellow Helium writers. As you keep winning the number on your badge keeps increasing!

Helium writer and Steward Rena Sandou knows all about winning. Her badge has a 20 on it to signify her 20 proud contest victories. Read her success story below.

Contests post each week on Wednesdays at 12 p.m. EST. Each writing contest has different rules and requirements, so be sure to read those by clicking on a writing contest name within each contest type. And don’t forget to read our Writing Standards and Contest Rules before you dive in!

Most of our contest titles area seasonally relevant and have good SEO value. As a result there’s more benefit than just winning — your articles will likely get more page views and earn more in the long term. Because the articles are so relevant you may even find yourself on Helium’s homepage one day!

Read below to learn about Rena’s success with Helium writing contests:

I am Rena Sandou and I joined Helium in December 2008. Since then my experience has been nothing more than exhilarating and educative. As an amateur writer, I thought that writing contests was the best place to start. And I was right! Since then I have won nearly all contests that I have participated in, acquiring new knowledge and gaining a significant amount of money. Helium is a dream world for aspiring writers that wish not only to be heard but also get rewarded for their efforts.

Writing contests are an amazing tool to boost your articles traffic, increase your monthly income, learn new things and socialize in Helium’s community. Personally, I only participate in contests that intrigue me the most — increasing not only my chances for a positive outcome but most important, enjoying every single word I write. The thrill, the friendly competition and the satisfaction of watching your articles being ranked first place is amazing!

And the win is just the beginning; 20 contests and about 200 articles later, I have made Helium’s homepage numerous times and managed to increase my monthly income more than 200 percent. Believe me, Helium can be a precious help during these difficult economic times.

Writing for Helium is the best thing that ever happened to me! The things you learn, the people you get in touch with, the help and inspiration from the amazing Helium team, the recognition, the monthly payments and the excitement of competitions have changed the way I think and act. Do not hesitate! Join the weekly contests and see the world from a totally different point of view! Good luck!

You can find more information on Internet Steward Rena Sandou by visiting her Helium About Me profile.