VFW believes strongly in good citizenship and fostering patriotism.
Each year, nearly 68,800 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $1.4 million in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000!
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.
Before submitting your essay, read the rules and eligibility requirements.
All student entries must be submitted to Loudoun County VFW Post 1177 by midnight, Oct. 31.
Leighton Peters, a seventh-grade student from Rice Lake, Wisconsin, was named the 2022-2023 Patriot's Pen first place winner. Her essay on the theme, "My Pledge to Our Veterans" won her a $5,000 award. Leighton was sponsored by VFW Post 2204 and its Auxiliary in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.
This year's Theme for 2023-2024 is:
"How Are You Inspired by America?"
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 Patriot's Pen theme.
(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.
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.
Please mail the completed application (we'll fill-in the LOCAL POST INFO) and typed essay to:
VFW Post #1177
Attention: Patriot's Pen
401 Old Waterford Road
Leesburg, VA 20176-2120