Contact your local VFW Post to participate.
6th, 7th, and 8th grade students properly enrolled in public, private, parochial or home schools in the United States, its territories and possessions, and in overseas schools for dependents of military and civilian personnel. Foreign Exchange students and former winners that placed in the National finals are excluded.
Big National Prizes
How Does the Contest Work?
Who Can Enter?
2019-20 Official Student Entry Form
Patriot’s Pen Competition
Entry Form Must Be Completed by All Contestants Please Print
or Type Clearly
2019 - 2020 Theme
"What Makes America Great”
Student Entry Deadline: October 31, 2019
Patriotic Essay Writing Competition Grand Prize: $5,000 Award
Conducted nationwide, this VFW-sponsored youth essay competition gives
students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual
patriotic theme. We invite you to join the more than 120,000 students who
participated last year in this contest. The national winners will receive at least
$500. The first-place national award is currently $5,000 plus an all-expense paid
trip to Washington, D.C., for the winner and a parent or guardian.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has again
approved this contest for its National Advisory List of Contests and Activities.
National awards total: $55,000
Prizes include the various amounts listed below:
1st: $5,000 7th: $1,750
2nd: $4,000 8-10th: $1,500
3rd: $3,500 11-12th: $1,250
4th: $2,750 13-23rd: $1,000
5th: $2,500 24-25th: $750
6th: $2,000 26-53rd: $500
The Internal Revenue Service requires that any recipient that receives more
than a $599 award should receive a Form 1099 identifying the proceeds as
taxable. This may require the winner to provide their social security number.