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


Now Accepting Submissions!
September 1st — November 1st.


THEME FOR OUR UPCOMING CONTEST

Category 1 (ages 7–10*)
If you could be an animal, which one would you be and why?

Have you ever found yourself fascinated by an animal in your yard or at the zoo and thought how cool it would be to be that animal? Maybe you would enjoy being a greyhound dog, able to zoom at speeds of 40mph. Perhaps you want to feel the sensation of flying weightlessly like an eagle or fitting through a hole the size of a quarter like an octopus.

Tell us about an animal whose unique features and abilities you would like to experience.
To get started, put yourself in someone else’s shoes – or boots or moccasins – and let your imagination take you there!

Category 2 (ages 11–14*)
If you could travel outside of your country, where would you go and why?

Have you ever seen a picture from a distant land that stirred in you a strong desire to visit that country? Maybe you want to pace the halls of a European king’s greatest palace, walk along the Great Wall of China, cut through the thick vegetation of the Amazon rainforest, or camp under the Milky Way in the Sahara desert.

Tell us about a faraway place you’d like to visit and what makes it so special to you.

Category 3 (ages 15–19*)
Considering the role gratitude and generosity play in personal happiness, how should you and your peers approach life after high school? Write a persuasive essay outlining the values and ambitions that your generation should adopt to positively impact your lives.

When asked how much money was enough, American billionaire J.D. Rockerfeller famously replied, “Just a little bit more.” It’s easy to slip into thinking that we need more money to be happier. But research increasingly shows that intangibles like gratitude and generosity are vital ingredients in the recipe for happiness and good mental health, irrespective of a person’s wealth. In fact, one recent joint university study found no notable difference in levels of observable happiness from wealthier to poorer countries who had the same high or low level of generosity.

As you prepare for what the future holds for you after high school, we invite you to delve into the relationship between generosity, thankfulness, happiness, and wealth. How are they related or not related? What makes true happiness?


*All ages are as of September 1, 2017.
See Rules & Guidelines for important instructions!



CATEGORY 1 (ages 7-10)

If you could go back in time, who would you most want to have a conversation with, why, and what would you want to talk about?


First Place Winner


“Be Not Afraid”
Paola Castillo of Ave Maria, FL

Second Place Winner


“Conversation with George Washington”
Mary Sannapu of Phoenix, AZ

Third Place Winner


“A Conversation with Art”
Evelyn House of Poughkeepsie, NY

Honorable Mention


“I am Thankful for God’s Will(iam)”
Emmeline Peltzer of Laveen, AZ

Honorable Mention


“At Home and At War in WWII”
Evelyn Fisher of Lubbock, TX

Finalists

  • A Meeting with the Emperor by Daniel Gleason
  • LEGOs and Their Creator by Declan Green
  • Dad's Ancient Stuff by Rose Hilst
  • Sacagawea’s Journey by Josephine Jones
  • Hi, Mamma Lillian! by Elena Leszczynski
  • Robert Smalls: From Slave to Captain by Emmett Lucibello
  • What Kind of Attitude by Veronica O’Brien
  • Never Give Up by Alannah Ortiz
  • Neil Armstrong: Moon Quest by David Rainer
  • If I Could Go Back In Time … by Noah Roberts
  • Hello Sacagawea! by Aurora Siegrist
  • If I Were to Go Back in Time by Silas Smith

CATEGORY 2 (ages 11-14)

If you could go back in time, what day would you most like to witness up close, like a fly on the wall, and why?


First Place Winner


“A History and Heritage of Thanksgiving”
Leila Castillo of Ave Maria, FL

Second Place Winner


“Observing the Olympics”
Grace Wilson of Wichita, KS

Third Place Winner


“Escape of the Century”
Triana Engen of Snohomish, WA

Honorable Mention


“If Mere Stories Could be Memories, and Memories Could be New Again”
Caleb Adkins of Rochester Hills, MI

Honorable Mention


“Titanic Sacrifices”
Chizaram Ugochuku of Easton, PA

Finalists

  • The Voice from the Wires by Katellen Allen
  • A Lightbulb of an Idea by Lilianna Allen
  • Dry Ground by Lucy Combs
  • Walt Disney’s Great Idea by Teresa Crothers
  • Setting Records in Sailing by Lillian Dumas
  • When God Gives Out the Medals by Alexandria Dotten
  • Mosby’s Daring Escape by Jackson Fenton
  • A Day with Mimi by Karis Green
  • Surviving Until Liberation Day by Harrison Gibbs
  • Meeting Bernadette by Evangeline Lothian
  • The Unexpected Encounter by Mercyanna McIlvain
  • A Short Flight, A Great Invention by Alyson Nishimura
  • A Midnight Clear by Abigail Wake
  • Words into Action by Ruthie Waterson
  • Mary’s Faithful Story by Lene Wright
  • Rotting Hopes by Abigail Zuber
  • Tear Down This Wall by Kaitlyn Zuber

CATEGORY 3 (ages 15-19)

If you could go back in time, what historical event would you like to have been involved in, and why?


First Place Winner


“Summer of Love”
Allison Shedden of Naples, FL

Second Place Winner


“The March on Washington’s Influence on Me”
Alyssa Meekins of Irving, TX

Third Place Winner


“That First Thanksgiving Day”
Maria Copeland of Herndon, VA

Honorable Mention


“Simple Wonder”
Alexanna Minor of Newcastle, WA

Honorable Mention


“Peace in Europe”
Maria Wiseman of Anna, OH

Finalists

  • The 1893 World Columbian Exposition by David Alexander
  • The Discovery of the Miracle Drug by Nathaniel Amiri
  • Involved in What?! by Emma Anderson
  • The Final Spike by Ruth Deem
  • To Be Used of God by Ella Dotten
  • Survival in Armenia by Victoria Gamboian
  • Taking a Bite from the Apple by Noah Hines
  • Credo by Ruth Nguyen
  • Winning Beyond the War by Daniel Lisle
  • Smuggling Bibles by Morgan Schafer
  • Constitutional Law: Rebranded by Nathan Smith
  • Wacht am Rhein by Benjamin Teague
  • Why I Would Travel Back to the 1940’s by Angelica Thomas