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Essay Competitions

Many museums, libraries, government, and educational programs sponsor reputable essay contests for middle school and high school students. Check your local library and youth programs or look in to these nationwide competitions:

Library of Congress "Letters about Literature" Contest
Students in 4th-12th grade can write a personal letter to any author, living or dead, of fiction or nonfiction in any genre, explaining how that author's work changed the student's way of thinking about the world or themselves.
Due Date: December 1, 2005

NPR "This I Believe" Essay Contest
National Public Radio invites anyone over 18 to share the beliefs that guide them in their daily lives.
Due Date: Currently accepting submissions

NPR Call for Short Stories on Photos
National Public Radio invites writers to craft an essay of 150 words or less about a favorite photo.
Due Date: Currently accepting submissions

Patriot's Pen
A nationwide competition that gives students in grades 6,7, and 8, the opportunity to write essays expressing their views on democracy. 2005-2006 Theme: "Who Are Today's Patriots?"
Due Date: November 1, 2005

Voice of Democracy
An audio essay contest for high school students in grades 9-12. The annual contest, which is designed to foster patriotism, allows students the opportunity to voice their opinion in a 3 to 5-minute essay based on a particular theme. 2005-2006 Theme:  "How I Demonstrate My Freedom"
Due Date: November 1, 2005

Ayn Rand Institute
Essay contests for grades 9-12.
Due Date: Athem, grades 9-10. March 2006
Due Date: The Fountainhead, grades 11-12. April 2006

National Society of Sons of the American Revolution
An essay contest open to all high school juniors and seniors who are U.S. citizens or legal aliens.
Due Date: November-February, depending on where entrants live.


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