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 essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements and download the entry form and brochure before submitting your entry to your local VFW Post.
The 2018-19 theme is:
Why I Honor the American Flag
About the 2017-18 winner ...
Karolina Mazur, an eighth-grade student from Glyndon, Md., was named the 2017-18 Patriot's Pen first-place winner. Her essay on the theme, "America's Gift to My Generation," won her a $5,000 award. Karolina was sponsored by VFW Post 521 and its Auxiliary in Owings Mills, Md.
Watch Karolina deliver her winning essay, or see the complete list of 2018 national winners.