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Hslda Essay Contest 2012 Movie

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

CATEGORY 1 (ages 7-10)

If you could be an animal, which one would you be and why?


  • King of Beasts by Stuart Denham
  • My Favorite Paws, Jaws and Claws by Jerome Dittman
  • If I Were a Cat by Jose Felten
  • All about Monkeys by Eric Green
  • The Hummingbird Migration by Hadley Green
  • The Greatest Beast by Malia Irvine
  • The Puppy Love Dog by Heidi Jones
  • My Peafowl Experience by Elizabeth Moulton
  • The Camouflage Master by Hugh Ryder
  • The Gems of Cloud Forest by Emma Smith
  • Wolves and Their Ways by Julia-Rose Spears
  • The Mighty Eagle by Elijah Spies
  • Worms by Elisabeth Washington

CATEGORY 2 (ages 11-14)

If you could travel outside of your country, where would you go and why?


  • The Journey of a Lifetime by Abigail Bosworth
  • Wonder in the Wild by Hailey Braddock
  • Unconquerable by Landri Coble
  • Kingdom of Stones by Patrick Denham
  • Cobblestone Paths by Emma Fowler
  • The Neuschwanstein Castle by Summer Hammond
  • An Exotic Land by Sam Kellam
  • A Day in the Lowlands by Phoebe Knapp
  • My Dream Destination by Kiersen Landes
  • Peaks of Majesty by Amanda Lindberg
  • A Dangerous Wish by Leah Matthews
  • Taiwanna Go There by Annabel Peltzer
  • Maybe One Day… by Emma Storey
  • Land of the Rising Sun by Esther Zhang

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?


  • The Little Things by Katellen Allen
  • Happiness is a Sacrifice by Madeline Carroll
  • People Smart by Elise Engen
  • The Whys and Wherefores of Gratitude by Aaron Frish
  • Pursuing the Pursuit of Happiness by Timothy House
  • The Connection between Wealth, Generosity, Thankfulness, and Happiness by Stasia Hudak
  • The Role of Independence in Personal Happiness and Satisfaction by Alexander Kim
  • True Happiness by Moriah Martin
  • The Importance of Generosity by Ethan Read
  • Happiness that Counts by Laura Rothermel
  • The Question of Graduation Day by Danielle Stanton
  • The Key to a Productive Adulthood by Maddie Steele

Format and Submissions:

  • Students may submit two (2) different essays.
  • Word limit per essay: 700 (does not include Title)
  • Typed and double-spaced in 11- or 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Print 2 copies on white, unlined paper
  • Type the student’s Entry ID on the top of each page. This number will be found on your Entry Form Confirmation message. NO OTHER identification should appear on these pages, to ensure the judging is anonymous.

Note to Parents: Essays must be completely the work of the student entering the contest. No assistance in editing or proof reading is permissible. While we encourage students to brainstorm and discuss topic options with their parents, the construction and language of each essay should be entirely done by the student. Parents may:

  • Type essays for younger students.
  • Direct students to resources where answers can be found (e.g. suggesting a student look in a dictionary or specific book if he or she has a question about spelling a word or a specific topic).
  • Help students understand the grammar or spelling suggestions made by the Word processor.

How to Enter:

Entering is as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Fill out the Entry Form online to be issued an Entry ID number. Fill out an online Entry Form for each essay. You do not need to print this. You may also download and print an Entry Form to mail in with your essay instead of entering online. In this case, do not write any Entry ID number on your essay.

  2. On both copies of your essay, type or write your Entry ID number on the top right corner and your Age Category number on the top left corner:

  3. Mail your essay and entry fee, payable to HSLDA. Remember to include an entry fee for each essay – they may be combined onto one check. Mail to:

  4. HSLDA
    Attn: Essay Contest
    PO Box 3000
    Purcellville, VA 20134

Entry Fee:

Multiple entries may be mailed in the same envelope and the multiple entry fees may be included on one check.

Regular Entry Fee$15.00 per essay
HSLDA Member Discounted Entry Fee$10.00 per essay

Please pay via check or money order made payable to "HSLDA" with a note of "Essay Contest" in the memo line.  Foreign checks not accepted.  Contact the Contest Coordinator if you have any questions regarding payment: contests@hslda.org. 


Contest winners will receive a cash congratulations, plus a wonderful transcript booster!

1st Place$100$150$200
2nd Place$75$100$150
3rd Place$50$50$100
Honorable Mentions (2)$25$25$50

Where the Contest Profits Go

All contest profits go to our charitable arm, the Home School Foundation, which uses them to provide low-income homeschooling families with access to educational and legal resources to help them continue homeschooling.

To learn about the mission and funds of the Home School Foundation, visit their website at www.HomeSchoolFoundation.org.

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