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National Peace Essay Contest Registration


The annual Peace Essay contest sponsored by the Richmond Peace Education is now open for entries. The theme for the 2018 contest is “Remembering All of Virginia’s History.”

The writing prompt asks students to consider what people or events are not included among Virginia’s monuments? What new monument could help tell a more complete history, and build understanding and respect among all Virginians? They’re asked to describe what a new monument might look like and where it might it be placed.

The contest is open to all elementary, middle, and high school students in Virginia. It offers a top prize of $100 in each of four grade divisions: K-2, 3-5, middle, and high school. Seven additional cash prizes are awarded in each division. Deadline for entries is April 16, 2018. Teachers are encouraged to use the contest’s writing prompt as they prepare students for the annual SOL writing tests.

Download copies of the entry form here:

Essay contest 2018 (MS Word format)

Essay contest 2018 (PDF format)


How the Contest Works

Each year, the Peace Essay Contest encourages young people to elaborate, clarify, and organize their thoughts about a critical topic related to peace.  The specific writing prompt changes each year.  By participating, these young writers grow and expand their own views on peace and justice.  The contest is open to any elementary, middle or high school student in Virginia. Prizes are awarded in four grade divisions:  K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

The essay contest is managed by a committee comprised of Peace Center volunteers and board members.  The committee selects the prompt, recruits judges and prepares entries for judging.  Once the essays are submitted, volunteer judges read and score the entries.  Each entry is read by at least three judges and scored based using a standard system.

This program is supported by the Doherty Family Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia.  If you’d like to volunteer to help with this year’s contest, please contact us at rpec@rpec.org

We valued every essay that was submitted and appreciate all who participated!


Congratulations to the 2017 Peace Essay Contest Winners! 

Read their essays here:

Primary Grade Winners

Elementary Grade Winners

Middle School Winners

High School Winners

The writing prompt for the 2017 Peace Essay Contest explored the theme:

Many People…One Nation 

 Americans come from many different backgrounds.  How can we build understanding and respect for one another among people of different heritages and beliefs?  

What can you do to help build a community from people of so many different backgrounds?  What can we do together in our schools, our neighborhoods, and our nation to help build respect and understanding among all who live in our country? 

Include examples of contributions from people of various cultures and heritages, including your own, who have helped build the United States.





Win Scholarship Money Now! 10 Essay Contests for High School Sophomores and Juniors

by MyCollegeGuide.org

Learn how to win college scholarship money now with these 10 essay contests for high school sophomores and juniors.

Opportunities abound for high school sophomores and juniors to write essays and win college scholarship money. For potential pay-days as big as $10,000, it’s time well-spent.

My College Guide has gathered a list of 10 essay contests that high school sophomores and juniors can participate in. Be sure to check each contest’s website for complete rules and deadlines. Now, get your laptop ready and start writing!

American Foreign Service Association Essay Contest: Write an essay for this prestigious national essay contest for a chance to win a $2,500 cash prize, an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to meet the Secretary of State and full tuition to cover a Semester at Sea voyage once you enroll at an accredited university. Any high school student can enter. New essay contest rules and the application are posted in November each year. The deadline is typically in April.

Bennington Young Writers Awards: Students in grades 10 through 12 can participate in this writing contest. Choose from one of three categories: poetry, fiction or nonfiction personal or academic essay. The deadline is usually November 1 each year. Top prize is $500.

DuPont Challenge Science Essay Contest: Middle school and high school students can participate in this essay contest. Write an essay on a science-related topic on one of four of the identified challenges: feeding the world, building a secure energy future, protecting people and the environment and being innovative. The deadline is typically in February each year. Prizes range from a $250 U.S. Savings Bond to a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond. First, second and third place winners also receive a trip to Orlando.

EGirl Essay Contest: The National Academy of Engineering’s EngineerGirl website offers an essay contest on an engineering topic for girls and boys. Awards range from $100 to $500. Winning entries are published online.

First Freedom Student Competition: Write an essay (or create a video) about a topic examining the history and current-day relevance of religious freedom. Top prize is $2,500. The deadline is usually in November each year.

The Fountainhead Essay Contest: High school juniors can read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and write an essay on one of three topics. Prizes range from $50 to $10,000. The entry deadline is typically in April.

JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest: Write an essay on a U.S. elected official “who has chosen to do what is right, rather than what is expedient.” The winner gets $10,000, second place gets $1,000 and up to five finalists receive $500 each. The deadline is typically in early January each year.

George S. & Stella M. Knight Essay Contest: The National Society Sons of the American Revolution sponsors this annual essay contest. Students compete at the state and national levels. You must write an essay on a topic related to the American Revolution, Declaration of Independence or U.S. Constitution. The top national winner receives $2,000. State/local deadlines are usually by no later than December 31 each year, but these deadlines can vary depending on location.

National Peace Essay Contest: The U.S. Institute of Peace offers this contest. First-place state winners receive a trip to Washington, D.C., and a $1,000 scholarship. National award winners receive $2,500 to $10,000. Essays are typically due in February.

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: Apply in one of 28 categories to earn a scholarship and have your artwork exhibited or writing published. Awards range from $500 to $2,500. New submissions are typically accepted beginning in September each year. Deadlines vary by region and contest.

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