1. SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) is accepting entries into its essay contest for high school students until February 16, 2016. The topic, Why is it important that we have news media that are independent of the government?' is both timely and near and dear to my heart. Write on, young citizens.
2. With a hefty $2,000 prize at stake, the Ayn Rand Anthem Essay Contest is open to 8th - 10th grade students. The deadline is March 25, 2016. Other essay contests related to Rand's books are also offered.
3. The 11th Annual DNA Day Essay Contest, sponsored by the American Society for Human Genetics, has set its deadline for March 11, 2016. This year, students are asked to either defend or refute the Society's position on genetic testing for adult-onset diseases and conditions.
The organization's website offers a rubric as well as pitfalls to avoid when participating in the contest.
4. Hiram College has announced its second essay writing contest. The theme is "Borders," and the contest (with cash prizes) is open to 10th and 11th graders. Entry deadline is January 7, 2016.
5. We The Students essay contest is accepting entries until February 7, 2016. Hosted by the Bill of Rights Institute, the contest is open to students ages 14-19 in grades 8 - 12.
This year, students are asked to discuss in writing to what extent, in in what ways, our government has compromised individual liberties for the sake of general security or welfare.
Speaking of writing tips, the organization posted one from JFK, circa 1955.