Being An American Essay Contest

Teachers are invited to have their students enter the American Freedom Essay Contest to win a free field trip of Historic Philadelphia for their entire class.

In honor of Constitution Day, The Constitutional Walking Tour wants students to give their views about American freedom. The American Freedom Essay Contest challenges educators to get their students to write a 100-300 word essay on the importance of freedom in their lives. Entries will be judged in Elementary School, Middle School and High School categories with the winner in each category earning a free field trip with The Constitutional Walking Tour for his/her class.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR EDUCATORS

  • Step 1 - Review The Constitutional's many free educational resources available at by visiting www.TheConstitutional.com/1787.
  • Step 2 - Prepare for the contest by having your students find an example of a freedom like Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Assembly in The Philadelphia Inquirer or your local hometown newspaper.
  • Step 3 - Have your students write their own individual essays on "How a particular American freedom (i.e., Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Vote, Freedom of Assembly) makes people's lives better."
    Elementary School Students (grades 1-5) are required to write an essay of approximately 100 (one hundred) words. Middle School Students (grades 6-8) and High School Students (grades 9-12) are required to write an essay not to exceed 300 (three hundred) words.
  • Step 4 - Collect the essays from your students.
    Note: All entries for grades 3-12 must be typed. Entries for grades 1-2 can either be typed or handwritten in neat legible writing, by an adult if necessary.
  • Step 5 - Review the Contest Terms & Conditions
  • Step 6 - Submit the essays from your students by Friday, October 13, 2017.

    All entries can either be submitted online at www.TheConstitutional.com/essay or via the U.S. Mail to the address below:

    American Freedom Essay Contest
    c/o The Constitutional Walking Tour
    P.O. Box 2066
    Philadelphia, PA 19103

    Please note that each essay entry submitted via U.S. Mail must also include the contest entry form (PDF format). Handwritten entries from grades 1-2 must be submitted in hard copy along with the contest entry form via U.S. Mail to the address above.

USE THE NEWS to prepare for the contest by finding an example of a freedom like Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Vote or Freedom of Assembly in The Philadelphia Inquirer or your local newspaper. Write how this freedom makes people's lives better.

Winners 
Winners are usually announced some time in early December each year.

Previous Winners 
You can read previous years' winning entries in the American Freedom Essay Contest by clicking here.

Entries become the property of The Constitutional Walking Tour of Philadelphia and may be published. Please read the contest's full terms and conditions.

To sumbit essays online, please complete the form below. Alternatively, you can mail in your hard copy essay submission along with a completed entry form - Click here for mail-in details (PDF Format). For questions, call 215.525.1776 or email us at info@TheConstitutional.com.

Deadline for entries is Friday, October 13, 2017.

A Smart, Catholic Take on Faith and Culture

America Media is the leading provider of news and analysis for thinking Catholics and those who want to know what Catholics are thinking. We are known across the Catholic world for our unique brand of excellent, relevant and accessible coverage. From theology and spirituality to politics, international relations, arts and letters, and the economy and social justice, our coverage spans the globe. America, our flagship print magazine has been published continuously since 1909. America Media is sponsored by the Jesuit Conference of the United States and Canada.

What is America looking for?

  • Pitches for feature-length reported pieces, essays and analysis. Feature-length pieces should be approved as a pitch and discussed with editors before a full manuscript is prepared and submitted.

  • “Faith in Focus” essays starting from personal faith experience

  • "Faith & Reason" essays, more scholarly treatments of theological or philosophical topics. 

  • “Short Take” opinion essays

  • Short poems of thirty or fewer lines

Scroll to the category links below for more details.

Guidelines for All Submissions

America Media accepts select unsolicited, unpublished content for dissemination in print, web and/or other digital formats. All submissions must be made through this web site. America Media does not accept submissions by U.S.P.S. or email, nor do we consider content submitted simultaneously to other publications or media. America Media is solely responsible for the manner, platform (digital, print, etc.) and timing of publication/production.

Content Areas: America Media's location at the intersection of the church and the world informs our content decisions. We seek to examine ideas and events at the crossroads, where insight from religious belief casts new light on an issue of the day, or where events in the world make the challenges of the Gospel more evident.

Our coverage includes:

  • Ideas and events within the secular world but of universal interest to the Catholic conscience or imagination. (i.e. war and peace; economic and social justice issues; migration and immigration; social ethics; artistic/cultural phenomena).    

  • Ideas and events at the intersection of the church and the world. (i.e. the church's role in a conflict; an episcopal pronouncement on public policy; a Catholic response to a political or social problem or movement; a historical, cultural or artistic event that speaks to the relationship between faith and politics/culture).

  • Ideas and events within the church but of universal interest to Catholics. (i.e. theology and spirituality; marriage and family life; church governance; liturgical change; Catholic education; vocations; magisterial teaching; catechesis; religious life and formation).

Audience: Most but not all of our audience is Catholic. More than two-thirds of them are laypeople, not clergy. Almost all of them have a college degree, and two-thirds have graduate degrees. Most of our audience members, however, are not specialists.

Content Standards: Successful submissions demonstrate rigor, order and discipline of thought, as well as honesty and sympathy. The style, prose and analysis should also demonstrate originality, intelligence and imagination. Even when the opposing viewpoint is not explicitly accounted for in the text, contributors should sincerely consider it. Polemics, ideologically-driven arguments, partisan political considerations and facile logic must be avoided. Above all, the submission should say something new.

Original Content/Conflicts of Interest: All submissions to America Media must be the original, unpublished/unproduced work of the author/artist. An author/artist must also disclose any possible conflict of interest—for example, if he or she has received compensation from a third party for writing an article, or if the author is acting as an agent (lawyer, press agent, public relations agent, consultant, etc.) for any person or institution mentioned in the article.

Length of Submissions: Length of submissions varies depending on the platform and department. See individual departments below for specific guidelines.

Style: America Media uses The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage and the Catholic News Service Stylebook on Religion. We do not use footnotes or parenthetical citations.

Payment:Competitive rates, paid on acceptance.

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