Each year more than 132,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $55,000, with each first-place state winner receiving a minimum of $500 at the national level.
The Patriot’s Pen program is open to students in grades 6-8 (on the October 31 deadline), who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial school or home study program in the United States and its territories.
To enter, search on line for Patriot’s Pen Rules. Download and complete the entry form and brochure. Essays must be no less than 300 words and cannot exceed 400 words. They should be submitted to the local VFW Post, along with the completed Patriot’s Pen entry form by October 31. Students can ask a teacher or youth group leader to supervise their progress in the competition.