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Please contact the Contest Coordinator at contests@hslda.org with any questions. We love your feedback!


The Essay Contest is currently closed.
Our next contest will begin in September.

THEME FOR OUR UPCOMING CONTEST

Category 1 (ages 7–10*)
Imagine that you are pen pals with someone who lives far, far away from you. This person has never seen your home or experienced the sounds, smells, people, and events that happen where you live. How would you describe your house, neighborhood, town, or city to them? Answer this question in an essay.

A good way to get ideas for this essay is to pretend you are a stranger where you live. A stranger would probably notice ordinary things that you take for granted every day!

Category 2 (ages 11–14*)
Imagine that you are a tour guide in your community. You get to pick three local sights or other noteworthy things to show to tourists. What do you choose? In an essay, explain why these three things are worthy of being included in your tour.

The first things you think of will probably be the popular, exciting places in your community, but don’t overlook things that are noteworthy in a different way. Finding the hidden treasures as well as the obvious will increase your appreciation for where you live.

Category 3 (ages 15–19*)
Imagine that you’re in a job interview and your interviewer asks this question to gain more insight about you: “How has the place (or places) where you’ve grown up impacted who you are?” Answer this question in an essay.

You might start by thinking about the people you’ve interacted with or have come to know in your community. Have you learned any lessons in your experiences with them? Do you think the outcome of those experiences might have been different in another location?

*All ages are as of September 1, 2019.
See Rules & Guidelines for important instructions!



CATEGORY 1 (ages 7-10)

Describe where you live


First Place Winner


“My Valley View”
Sylvan Cocco-Romano

Second Place Winner


“Welcome to Amherst”
Sylvan Cocco-Romano

Third Place Winner


“A Unique Town”
Anna Roller

Honorable Mention


“From My Edge of Town to Middle of Town”
Zoë Coughlin

Finalists

  • My Beautiful Land by Madelyn Barten
  • The Wonderful Wildlife on Our Farm by Noel Burt
  • My Life Is Quiet and Peacful by Melrose Pettit
  • The Spectacular Skagit Valley by Selah Weston
  • Moline by Hannah Bancks
  • My Lovely Hometown by Evelyn Coodey
  • Shapes of Sabetha by Kaeb Coughlin
  • Stuck in Time by Adela Madson
  • Dear Friend by Jordan Ashton

CATEGORY 2 (ages 11-14)

Be a tour guide for your community


First Place Winner


“A Place I Call Home”
Melody Goh

Second Place Winner


“Jewels of the Desert”
Milana Tramel

Honorable Mention


“A Sunset Tour on the West Texas Plains”
Evelyn Fisher

Honorable Mention


“An Out of the Ordinary Town”
Elijah Roller

Finalists

  • Ave Maria, Florida: Blessed Mother's Town by Paola Castillo
  • The Best Place to Grow Up by Katie Olander
  • My Community by Lucia Hunter
  • The Wildest Ride in the West by Emmeline Peltzer
  • Join Me in Kansas City by Gloria Burt
  • Home by John McDaniel
  • Beauty Is Everywhere by Tennyson Kinard
  • Simple Pleasures by Kayla Negley
  • A Tour Guide of Virginia, Above and Beyond by Hannah McAllister
  • What a Small California Town Has to Offer by Michael Curzan
  • A Step Back In Time by Abigail York
  • The Historic Side of Noblesville by Jaylyn Henegar
  • Touring the Bighorns with Me by Olivia Irving
  • A City of Construction by Abigail Ho

CATEGORY 3 (ages 15-19)

How has the place where you’ve grown up impacted you?


First Place Winner


“The Place Without Dreams”
Nova-Lee Hogshooter

Second Place Winner


“Going and Growing”
Garrett White

Third Place Winner


“The Everyday Adventure”
Natalie McDaniel

Honorable Mention


“Two Worlds Collide”
Leah Steed

Honorable Mention


“The Places That Made Me”
Addison White

Finalists

  • The Heart of Home by Jessie Cannon
  • How Chicago Has Impacted Who I Am by Grace Eng
  • Who I Am Because of Where I Am by Caleb Coodey
  • Here I Am, Send Me by Tristan Teng
  • This is Home by Mary Robertson
  • From Cotton Rows to the Cosmos by Taylor Honeycutt
  • My Home, My People, My Identity by Isaac Rits
  • Explosive Gratitude by Victor Hembree
  • Prepare for Impact by Kassja Davis
  • The Influences of my Community Swim Team by Anna Sophia Cline
  • Imagine Your Home by Amy Albiston
  • A Lesson from Mexico by Kiersen Landes
  • The Deaf In The Philippines by Madeline Carroll