Entries Being Accepted for High School Essay Contest

Press Release – NATCHITOCHES – Submissions for the 10th Annual Louisiana High School Essay Contest are being accepted until May 31.The essay contest is open to all Louisiana students in grades 9-12 regardless of type of school institution, including students in all types of private educational environments, as well as home schooled students.  

The 2018 Contest theme is “Once Upon a Time in Louisiana.”  Entrants are invited to address one of two options, but not both. The first option is a creative non-fiction essay in which they describe an experience that could only have happened to them in Louisiana. Personal reflections and experiences are perfectly valid as part of the essay content. Essays may be in narrative form if the student so chooses.

The second option is a folk or fairy tale set in a Louisiana setting. Students may make up their own tale or may base their tale upon those collected by famous tale collectors (such as the Brothers Grimm or Charles Perrault) or upon the adventures of a folk or fairy tale hero such as Anansi the Spider or Momotaro. Students should not retell stories based upon animated or live action films.

Essays should be approximately 1,000 – 2,500+ words, should have titles and should be typed (double spaced, 12-point font, standard margins).  Entries should include a cover sheet with the student’s name, school affiliation, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address and the title of their entry.  Entries may be submitted via e-mail to Dr. Shane Rasmussen, rasmussens@nsula.edu or mailed to the Louisiana Folklife Center, NSU Box 3663, Natchitoches, LA 71497.  “2018 NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest” should be the subject line of e-mails.  The deadline for contest submissions is May 31.  Prize-winning students will be notified by July 15.

The prizes for the contest winners are $150 for first place, $100 for second and $50 for third. In addition, essay contest winners will receive a $200/per semester NSU scholarship with a value up to $1,600 if they attend NSU for four years.  This award is in addition to other scholarship awards that the student may receive from Northwestern State.  Winners must have at least a 20 ACT composite or 950 on the SAT, as well as at least a 2.0 GPA to be eligible.  Essay winners need to submit proof of the award. 

Winning essayists will be invited to read their paper at the 10th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference held at Northwestern State on Saturday September 22.  The top three winning entries will also be published in the Louisiana Folklife Journal.  Submission of an entry to the Contest entails granting permission to publish the essay in the Louisiana Folklife Journal.  Entries may be subject to minor revision prior to publication. Additional information is available on the website for the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State at louisianafolklife.nsula.edu.

The NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest is sponsored by Louisiana Folklife Center, the NSU Writing Project, the College of Arts, Sciences, Graduate Studies and Research, the Office of Financial Aid, and the Office of Recruiting at Northwestern State.