Patriots Pen

Conducted nationwide, this VFW sponsored youth essay competition gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on democracy. We invite you to join the more than 125,000 students who participated last year in this contest. The top 46 national winners all receive at least $500. The first-place award is currently $5,000, plus an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the winner and a parent or guardian.

Patriotic Essay Writing Contest Grand Prize: $5,000

1st: $5,000 2nd: $4,000 3rd: $3,500 4th: $2,750 5th: $2,500 6th: $2,000

7th: 8-9th: 10-11th: 12-13th: 14-15th: 16-46th:

$1,750 $1,500 $1,250 $1,000 $750 $500

When is the deadline?

To qualify, all entries must be submitted to a sponsoring VFW Post by Nov. 1, 2013. The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has again approved this contest for its National Advisory List of Contests and Activities.

How does the contest work?

Where do I submit my entry?

All entries begin at the Post level. The only exception is where schools/classes/youth groups have large numbers of students and wish to conduct their own competition, submitting one winner for each 15 students to the local VFW Post competition. Individual students may submit their entry directly to the Post providing they have not competed at a school/class competition.

The contest consists of four levels. The first level (entry) is sponsored by local VFW Posts. Post winners advance, one for every 15, to the VFW District (regional) level where the one first-place winner is advanced to the VFW Department (state) level. The one first-place winner at the Department level is then advanced into the VFW National competition. The winner from each Department (state) then competes for the national prizes.

Who can enter?

Patriot’s Pen is open to 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students enrolled in public, private or parochial schools in the U.S., its territories or its possessions. Home-schooled stu- dents also are eligible.

Dependents of U.S. military or civilian personnel in overseas schools can participate too. (Foreign exchange students and former winners that placed in the National finals are excluded from the contest.)

VFW Post 4103 encourages all eligible students to participate. If you are interested, please contact us for more information.