Each year more than 138,000 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 $900,000 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 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.


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. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements, and download the 2023-24 entry form application as all student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.


The 2023-24 theme is:  "How Are You Inspired by America"


All applications must be submitted to no later then midnight on 31 October 2023 


Previous Post Winners:


Post Winner(s): Tyler Tippett and Collin Hill

Runner(s) Up: Raquel Reyes and Cailin Dowd


Post Winner(s): Asha Preuss and Olivia Schrider

Runner(s) Up: Caroline Apolenis and James Korn


Post Winner(s): Charlotte Benfer and Caitlyn Brown

Runner(s) Up: Anya Neufeld and Katie Reed


Post Winner: Dakota Clemens

Runner Up: Lucy Welch


Post Winner - Amanda Collingham

Runner Up - Isabella Webb