Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest is now Open/ How to Apply (Prize: $5,000)
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Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest is now Open/ How to Apply (Prize: $5,000)

Patriot’s Pen is currently accepting entries for its 2023 essay contest!

Every 6th, 7th and 8th grader, you can apply to Patriot’s Pen essay contest.

Also, it is important that you are a resident in the United States of America before you apply. 


 Eligibility for Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest

  • Patriot’s Pen is open to 6th, 7th and 8th-grade students enrolled by the Oct. 31 deadline in any public, private or parochial schools in the U.S., its territories or its possessions.
  • Home-schooled students also are eligible.
  • Although U.S. citizenship is not required, students must be lawful U.S. permanent residents or have applied for permanent residence (the application which has not been denied) and intends to become a U.S. citizen at the earliest opportunity allowed by law. (Foreign exchange
  • Students or former winners that placed in the National contest are ineligible.)
  • Entry is Free

Submission Guidelines

  • Download and complete the Patriot’s Pen entry form.
  • The theme of this contest is  “How are you inspired by America”.
  •  All essays should be typed in English with no color or graphics and 300 – 400 words in length (+ or – 5 word max).
  • The essay must be contestant’s original work and a product of the contestant’s own thinking.
  • The approach to the Patriot’s Pen theme should be positive and clearly focused.
  • Poetry is not acceptable.
  • The body of the essay must not identify you in any way, (including, but not limited to your name, school, city, state, race, or national origin).
  • More so, quotations may be used sparingly if the source is  identified.
  • A contestant’s teacher, counselor or parent may check the essay for punctuation, grammar and/or spelling, but the content must remain the contestant’s.
  • Students can ask a teacher or youth group leader to supervise their progress in the competition.
  • Your Patriot’s Pen entry must be submitted to a participating VFW Post by the Oct. 31 deadline.
Judging Criteria for the Contest
  • Knowledge of the theme is worth 30 points: You must show a thorough knowledge of the theme in your work. Demonstrate you have researched the issue extensively.
  • Theme development is worth 35 points: Answer all relevant facts about the theme such as the who, what, where, when and why. Relate the theme to your own experiences.
  • Clarity of ideas is worth 35 points: Write your essay in an easy-to-understand format. More so, leave your reader with a clear understanding of your explanation of the theme.


  • The prize for this essay contest is $5,000! 

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