Essay Contests For High School On Any Topic 2004

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AMES, Iowa — High school students have an opportunity to win a scholarship to Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences through a Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) essay contest.

The contest is open to all high school freshmen and sophomore students. This year's essay topic is, "What Agriculture Means to Me: My Family."

The winner of the contest will earn a scholarship in the amount of $500 to use in furthering their education after high school. Second place will earn a $300 scholarship and third place will earn a $200 scholarship. The scholarship will be held until the recipient enters Iowa State's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

"We are excited about offering help for students with an interest in agriculture to further their education after high school," said Kelsey Ford, president of Iowa State's ACT chapter. "This essay contest is a great way for freshmen and sophomores to express their appreciation of agriculture in relation to their future."

To apply for the essay contest, students may submit an application and essay addressing the topic, "What Agriculture Means to Me: My Family." Registration forms can be downloaded at

Applications are to be sent, postmarked by March 20, to:

Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow

Iowa State University

206 Curtiss Hall

Ames, IA 50011

Winners will be selected based on the content, creativity and writing quality of the essay. ACT will notify the winning entrants by March 27. Formal announcement and recognition of the winners will take place on April 11, during the 2009 Iowa State VEISHEA celebration.

ACT is a student organization for college students who have a professional interest in the field of agricultural communications. ACT encourages communication, leadership and relationship-building in agriculture through the advancement and exchange of ideas among students, agricultural educators and the community.

For True Believers The Bible Sabbath Association (bible is offering six prizes ($100 to $500) for essays supporting the seventh-day Sabbath -- that is, Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. Only high school and college students who keep the Sabbath and are Christian may enter, and every applicant gets a free one-year subscription to The Sabbath Sentinel. This year contestants are invited to discuss what they would do if they were compelled to work on the Sabbath or lose their job. Essays must be handwritten, with a typed copy attached for easy reading by the judges.

For Dog People The Dog Writers Educational Trust (dw is offering $1,000 college scholarships to at least a half-dozen essayists who produce 250 compelling words on why people own dogs. It helps if the writer is also a dog owner or, at least, has worked with dogs. One of last year's winners, for instance, trained military working dogs at the naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. In the contest's 25 years, has a mutt -- or a mutt owner, to be precise -- ever won? ''I doubt that,'' says Hal Sundstrom, chairman of the trust.

For Wilde Fanciers Promoting its backlist, Penguin Putnam ( is offering five $1,000 scholarships for the best essay by a high school student on Oscar Wilde's ''Picture of Dorian Gray.'' Winners also get a Signet Classic library for their school. (Last year's book was Mary Shelley's ''Frankenstein.'' One winner lamented Victor Frankenstein's egotism and selfishness, clearly putting her out of the running for the Ayn Rand award.)

For Diplomats Giving peace a chance is the timely subject of two essay contests for high school students. The professional association of the United States Foreign Service ( will pay $2,500 for the best essay describing how its members promote United States interests ''by participating in the resolution of today's major international problems.''

The United States Institute of Peace ( is offering a $10,000 college scholarship for the best 1,500-word essay about rebuilding societies after conflict. Essayists must provide ''practical recommendations on how to design and conduct a program of postconflict reconstruction that leads to stability and reconciliation.'' Perhaps the Nobel Peace Prize (upward of $1 million) would be more appropriate.

For Devoted Children Unfortunately, the most effortless essay competition has been canceled. Last year, College Parent Magazine (collegepar offered a $500 scholarship for an outstanding essay that had been submitted with a college application. ''Simply send us your favorite one, or if you are especially proud, send us all of them along with the topic assigned,'' the magazine's Web site urged parents.

Deluged with more than 45,000 submissions from readers, the publisher changed the topic this year. But, at least for parents, it's still heartwarming. The essay question: ''What was the most valuable way your parents helped you with the college application and selection process?''

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