Contests/Competitions

A great way for students to showcase their writing skills, demonstrate a particular intellectual or social interest, receive scholarships, gain recognition, and save money for college is to participate in one of the numerous essay contests offered each year by various organizations. Many of these contests involve a work of literature; however, there are essay contests and competitions related to other academic disciplines (including science, engineering, history, math) or social issue. While students may participate in these essay contests as a part of a class in school, many essay contests accepts essays submitted by students independently. Be sure to check out the eligibility requirements and adhere to the guidelines set out by the contest sponsors.
 
You can find a sample of some of the more popular essay contests for junior high and high school students below.
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Name of ActivityType of SubjectNature of ActivityTime/FrequencyDescriptionHow/Where to Get InvolvedBenefitsFor More Information:
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Name of ActivityType of SubjectNature of ActivityTime/FrequencyDescriptionHow/Where to Get InvolvedBenefitsFor More Information:
John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest History/Social Science/Politics Essay contest January, annual    John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest 
National History Day Contest Social Science Competition (exhibit, documentary, performance, paper, website) Spring semester Open for grades 9-12; Students choose a history theme to conduct primary and secondary research on. Then they present their project and will be judged by professional educators and historians. History class or website Certificates, medals, money, and scholarships. National History Day Contest 
California Math League Mathematics Competition Varies - throughout school year. Open for all grades; Type of test varies by level, but for high school students, mathematic contests comprise of a 30 minute, 6 question test Mathematics classroom or on website Certificates Annual Math League Contests 
Ayn Rand Essay Contests - Anthem Essay Contest English Essay contest  Open to 8th, 9th and 10th graders  Money Ayn Rand Essay Contests - Anthem Essay Contest 
Ayn Rand Essay Contests - The Fountainhead Essay Contest English Essay contest  Open to 11th and 12th graders  Money Ayn Rand Essay Contests - The Fountainhead Essay Contest 
Ayn Rand Essay Contests - Atlas Shrugged Essay Contests English Essay contest  Open to 12th graders and college undergraduates and graduate students  Money Ayn Rand Essay Contests - Atlas Shrugged Essay Contests 
Ayn Rand Essay Contests - We the Living Essay Contest English Essay contest  Open to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders  Money Ayn Rand Essay Contests - We the Living Essay Contest 
CFGL Essay Contest English Essay contest Summer   Recognition CFGL Essay Contest 
Being an American Essay Contest History/Social Science Essay contest December, annual   1st place - $1,000; 2nd - $500; 3rd - $250 Being an American Essay Contest 
U.S. Academic Decathlon Art, Economics, Essay, Interview, Language and Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science, Social Science and Speech Competition National finals are in April. For all other dates, look on website. 10-event scholastic competition for teams of high school students. Students may be in grades 9-12. School Club or website Medals and recognition U.S. Academic Decathlon 
American History Essay Contest Social Studies Essay contest Visit website for deadlines Open to students in grades 5-8. A selected essay topic during the year is announced and contest instructions are sent to schools.  School or website Certificate, medals, and money. American History Essay Contest 
Adlyn M. Keffer National Story League - Short Story Writing Contest English Essay Contest Begins in January, ends in March Students compose an original short story of 2000 words or less.  Visit website for contest instructions Money and recognition Short Story Writing Contest 
Freedoms Foundation National Awards Program English Essay Contest Deadline for entries is in June Open for grades K-12; Students compose a written essay or speech related to one or more of the basic American rights set forth in the American Credo or the obligations outlined in the Bill of Responsibilities. Website Top recipients receive $100 and a framed George Washington Honor Medal Freedoms Foundation National Awards Program - Essay Contest 
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