Essay Contest Examples

2014

First Place: “America is The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.But…Are its Universities?” by Arianna Samet

Second Place: “Untitled” (PDF) by Anna Mitchell

Third Place: “Untitled” by Emily Snell

Third Place: “Student Censorship and Academic Growth: A Paradox in Higher Education” by Hadi Kateb

Third Place: “Free Speech: An Inextricable Part of Higher Education” by Mahishan Gnanaseharan

2013

First Place: “**** **** ***** *****” by Kanitta Kulprathipanja

Second Place: “The Necessity of Debate” by Isabella Penola

Third Place: “Free Speech: The Cornerstone of Civic Empowerment” by Justin Hunsaker

Third Place: “Untitled” by James D.E. Ellwanger

Third Place: “College and University Censorship of Student Speech Undermines America’s Future” by Emily Cox

2012

First Place:“The Audacity of Independent Thought” by Mark Gimelstein

Second Place:“What Can I Say?: Free Speech on College Campuses” by Nora Faris

Third Place:“Free Speech’s Importance on Campus” by Alexandra Crum

Third Place:“Censorship is Not Education” by Hannah Dent

Third Place:“Education as Conversation” by Asheshananda Rambachan

Drawing Winners: Clayton Hammonds, Jr; Minhi Kang; Hannah Rasmussen; and Brian Shouse.

2011

First Place:“Civil Liberties in Academia” by Vincent Kelley

Second Place:“That We May Think What We Like—Or Not At All” by Rachel Anderson

Runner Up:“The Right to a Free Mind” by Matthew Abel

Runner Up:“Freedom of Speech: The Basis for Higher Education” by Katherine Gerton

Runner Up:“Free Speech is Integral to Higher Education” by Blaire Landon

Runner Up:“Freedom of Speech on College Campuses” by Michael Munther

Runner Up:“Keeping the Marketplace of Ideas Open in Schools” by Zachary Trama

2010

First Place: “Freedoms and Education,” by Kristen Kelly Lemaster

Second Place: “Freedom of Expression in Higher Education,” by Mollyanne Gibson

Runner Up: “A Uniform Graduating Class,” by Abigail Averil

Runner Up: “Tolerating Intellectual Free Will,” by Zach Beims

Runner Up: “Oppression of Innovation,” by Miriam Leigh Creach

Runner Up: “Tyranny vs. Progress,” by Adam Spangler

Runner Up: “Wanted: Free Speech on American Campuses,” by Jackson Wilson

2009

First Place: “Educational Institutions or Re-education Camps?” by Nathaniel Cornelius

Second Place (Tie): “In Clear and Present Danger: The State of Personal Liberty in America’s Universities,” by Andrew David King

Second Place (Tie): “Losing the Marketplace of Ideas,” by Eric Podolsky

Runner Up: “Higher Education-or Total Indoctrination?” by Rachel Helmstetter

Runner Up: “The Lighting of a Fire,” by Erin Kahn

Runner Up: “Say What We Say…Think What We Think,” by Rachel Ochoa

Runner Up: “The Freedom of All Freedoms,” by Morgan Turner

Runner Up: “On the Consequences of Oppressing Free Speech,” by Danielle Wogulis

The type of creative writing you want to submit into a contest will depend heavily on who the sponsor is. Think about how different your tone would be if you are writing for Maxim, Campbell's, or Woman's Day.

But don't just think about the sponsor; an outstanding contest entry appeals to their target audience as well.

Before you put pen to paper, think about the people that the sponsor wants to reach. Are they trying to attract kids? Young adults? Senior citizens? The tone of a great creative writing contest entry will be a good fit with the sponsor's company image.

If you want to get a feeling for the sponsor's company image, start by visiting their website and looking at the words that they use to talk about their business. Is the company fun? Family-friendly? Compassionate? Edgy?

Next, watch some of their advertising. Look at their ads on their website, and any commercials you can find (YouTube is a good place to look). What image are they trying to convey? Who is the target of their ads?

They will likely want to use the winning creative writing entry as part of their advertising, so make sure you are giving them a good fit.

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