2015-2016 Patriot's Pen Essay Contest

 

PP Symbol

 

VFW believes strongly in good citizenship and fostering patriotism.

 

That’s why we encourage youthful minds to examine our nation’s history and their own experiences in modern American society through our Patriot’s Pen youth essay-writing contest.

 

Annually, roughly 112,000, students from grades 6-8, enter to win one of several savings bonds totaling $1.2 million, as well as an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the National first place winner.

 

Students draft a 300-400 word essay, expressing their views based on an — always patriotic — annual theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.

 

Ethan Schroeder, a 7th-grade student, was named the 2014-15 Patriot's Pen 1st-place winner.                    

 

His essay on the 2014-15 theme, "Why I Appreciate America's Veterans," won him a $5,000 award. 

Ethan was sponsored by VFW Post 92 and Ladies Auxiliary in New Kensington, Pa.  

 

PP 1st Place Winner

 

You can watch him deliver his winning essay here

 

This year's Theme for 2015-2016 is:

 

"What Freedom Means to Me"

 

HOW TO ENTER:

Loudoun County Virginia students should first ask a teacher, parent, or youth group leader to supervise their progress in the competition. Next, it's time to start drafting your essay on the 2015-2016 theme: “What Freedom Means to Me”

 

(For Students residing outside of Loudoun County Virginia, please click HERE to find a VFW

Post near you!)

 

Essays must be no less than 300 words and should not exceed 400 words and must be submitted by mail to VFW Post 1177, along with the completed Patriot's Pen entry form no later than November 1, 2015.

 

You can download the application HERE.

 

JUDGING CRITERIA:

Knowledge of the theme is worth 30 points: You must show a thorough knowledge of the theme in your work. Demonstrate you have researched the issue extensively.

 

Theme development is worth 35 points: Answer all relevant facts about the theme such as the who, what, where, when and why. Relate the theme to your own experiences.

 

Clarity of ideas is worth 35 points: Write your essay in an easy-to-understand format. Leave your reader with a clear understanding of your explanation of the theme.

 

Loudoun County VFW Post 1177 will select a winner from Loudoun County to compete in this prestigious competition at the District level (NOVA) and winners will go on to compete at the State and National level.

 

Essays must be no less than 300 words and should not exceed 400 words and must be submitted by mail to VFW Post 1177, along with the completed Patriot's Pen entry form no later than November 1, 2015.

 

For more information or any questions you may have, please contact the PP Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ATTN: PP

 

Please mail the completed application (we'll fill-in the LOCAL POST INFO) and typed essay to:

VFW Post #1177
Attention: Patriot's Pen
P.O. Box 1933
Leesburg, VA 20177

 

Loudoun County middle school students and teachers can find additional information

in this flyer.