Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Essay Contests for High School Students

Here are two essay contests for high school students:

The annual John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest invites high school students from across the nation to write an original essay about an elected official who has demonstrated political courage. The contest is a companion program of the Profile in Courage Award, named for President Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Profiles in Courage, which recounts the stories of eight senators, the obstacles they faced, and the special valor they demonstrated despite the risks.

Winning essayists will receive awards totaling up to $8,500. The first-place winner will be invited to accept the award at the Profile in Courage Award Ceremony hosted each May by Caroline Kennedy and Senator Edward M. Kennedy at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. To encourage student leadership and civic engagement, the nominating teacher of the first-place winner will receive a John F. Kennedy Public Service Grant for $500.

The window for entries is September 1, 2008, to January 10, 2009. For important information about entry requirements and submission information and deadlines, visit the website


Enter the 2009 Girls Gone Great Scholarship Essay Contest
You have a voice, you have great ideas, you contribute, you have hopes and dreams…and, WomanTalk Live wants to hear all about it!

Tell us how you are a girl gone great and be eligible to win a $1000 scholarship and much more! Girls Gone Great is a scholarship essay contest for young women in MARYLAND entering their junior or senior year of high school in the Fall of 2008.

How to Enter
Step 1: Your essay should address each of these questions:
1) How are you making a difference in your community?
2) Why is making a difference important to you?
3) How do your actions support your vision for the future?

Your essay should be 800 words or less, single-spaced in 12-point font and checked for grammar and spelling. At the top of your essay, be sure to include your name, what high school you attend and what grade level you are, your home address, a phone number where you can be reached, and your email address.

Step 2: Submit a reference from someone who is not a family member. At the top of their reference, they should include:
• The name of the girl gone great they are supporting
• Their name, mailing address, phone number and email address
• What their relationship to you is
• How long they have known you
• And, most importantly….what makes you a Girl Gone Great?

Step 3: Submit your essay and reference in a Word Document attachment and email it to

The deadline for submission is midnight, Friday, October 31, 2008. When your submission is received, you will receive a confirmation email within 2 days.

All essay submissions become the property of WomanTalk Live and excerpts from your essay may be read on WVIE 1370 AM during the months of November and December 2008 and January 2009. In addition, excerpts from your essay may be used on the WomanTalk Live website or in printed materials. The WomanTalk Live 2009 Girl Gone Great will be announced on January 15, 2009.

More details on the web site.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.