Patriot's Pen Essay Writing Contest

Application Information

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Amount Awarded


Application Deadline

October 31

Awarded By

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

Award Amount

The 1st place winner will receive $5,000 and an all-expense paid trip to Washington D.C. for himself/herself and a parent or guardian; 2nd place will receive $4,000; 3rd place will receive $3,500; fourth place will receive $2,750; 5th place will receive $2,500; 6th place will receive $2,000; 7th place will receive $1,750; 8th and 9th place will receive $1,500; 10th and 11th place will receive $1,250; 12th through 14th place will receive $1,000; 15th and 16th place will receive $750; and 17th through 54th place will receive $500. All scholarships are awarded as savings bonds.


54 awards offered annually. Awards are offered at the national level.

Additional Information

The contest consists of four levels. The first level (entry) is sponsored by local VFW Posts. Post winners advance to the VFW District (regional) level where the one first-place winner is advanced to the VFW Department (state) level. The one first-place winner at the Department level is then advanced into the VFW National competition. The winner from each Department (state) then competes for the national prizes. Each contestant will be judged on the basis of his/her essay alone and is not required to present the essay orally. All essays become the property of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The VFW retains non-exclusive rights to use the student's essay and likeness in the promotion and execution of the organization's programs and activities. Each contestant will be judged on how well he/she understands, develops and presents the theme. A positive approach is recommended to approach his/her viewpoint. Knowledge of the theme is worth 30 points, theme development is worth 35 points, and clarity of ideas is worth 35 points. Foreign exchange students and former winners that placed in the national finals are excluded from the contest.

Deadline Info

Entry forms are available online from the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) website. In addition to the completed entry form, each student must submit an essay on the subject listed on the website. All ... sign up for full scholarship deadline information.

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