Student Essay Contest

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2019 Student Writing Contest


2019 Student Writing Contest winners have been notified. Winning Essays be posted to the Library of Virginia website by March 29, 2019.


Contest Overview

Virginia students in grades 6–12 are invited to honor outstanding women in Virginia history by participating in the Virginia Women in History student writing contest sponsored by the Library of Virginia and Encyclopedia Virginia. Four winning essays will be chosen, two from students in grades 6–8, and two from students in grades 9–12. 


The Wall of Honor at the Virginia Women’s Monument on Capitol Square is meant to honor “the Women of Virginia for Their Contributions and Achievements” in all walks of life. If your community had its own Wall of Honor, who would you nominate (living or deceased)? How has that person made a difference in your life? Or in your neighborhood, community, or school? How does that person inspire you to make a difference? 

Contest Rules

  • We have extended our deadline to Sunday, March 17, 2019.
  • Submit your 400-word essay online for a chance to win an Apple ipad and $250 for your school!
  • Each entrant must be a student in grade 6-12 at a public or private high school in Virginia. Homeschoolers also may apply; the $250 school award can be applied to a homeschooler association if the winner’s family has an active, dues-paying membership.
  • There will be four winning essays: two from students in grade 6-8, and two from students in grades 9-12.
  • All entries must be original works that have not been published or submitted for publication anywhere else.
  • Entry should not exceed 400 words.
  • Entries become the property of the Library of Virginia and will not be returned.
  • The Library of Virginia reserves the right to use the winners’ names and entries for promotional purposes in all forms of media without notice, review, approval or compensation, except where prohibited by law.
  • Entry must be submitted below.


  • Deadline for entries is Sunday, March 17, 2019.
  • Winners will be notified by March 22, 2019.
  • Winning essays will be posted to the Library of Virginia website by March 29, 2019.
  • Library of Virginia representatives will be available to honor each contest winner during a visit to his or her school.


  • Winning students will receive an Apple iPad.
  • Winning students’ schools will receive a cash award of $250.

Judging Criteria


Reflection of careful and thorough thought


Prompt questions answered and main idea clearly articulated


Relevant, quality details about important thoughts and concepts


Essay flows well and shows good word choice and structure


Correct use of grammar, spelling and punctuation



Virginia Women in History Student Essay Contest
(Maximum of 400 words)