East Brunswick Memorial VFW Post 133 - Honoring the Dead by Helping the Living
Patriots Pen Essay Contest
WHAT IS THE PATRIOTS PEN PROGRAM? - Conducted nationwide, this VFW sponsored youth essay competition gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on democracy.

This year's theme is: ?
WHY SHOULD I ENTER? - The top 45 national winners all receive at least a $1,000 savings bond. The first-place award is currently a $10,000 savings bond plus an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the winner and a parent or guardian.
Who can enter? - Patriot's Pen is open to 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade students enrolled in public, private or parochial schools in the U.S., its territories or its possessions. Home-schooled students also are eligible. Dependents of U.S. military or civilian personnel in overseas schools can participate too. (Foreign exchange students and former winners that placed in the National finals are excluded from the contest.)
What do I need to enter? - All essays should be typewritten in English with no color or graphics and cannot be less than 300 words or greater than 400 words in length. (Essays under or over these word amounts will be eliminated.) Every word is counted regardless of length. The essay title (theme) or added footnotes do not contribute to the word count.
In no way may contestants identify themselves in their essay. Do not put your name on your essay. The entry form is your essay's cover sheet. Secure the Official Student Entry Form with a staple or other fastener on top of your essay. Essays must be written exclusively for this competition. Use of the same essay for other competitions will result in disqualification. Contestants are allowed to enter only once (one Post competition). Contestants found in violation of this rule will face elimination from the competition and will be required to return any and all prize money awarded or received. The essay must be a contestant's original work and a product of the contestant's own thinking. The approach to the Patriot's Pen theme should be positive and clearly focused. Poetry is not acceptable. Quotations may be used sparingly if plainly identified wherever used. A contestant's teacher, counselor or parent may check the essay for punctuation, grammar and/or spelling, but the content must remain the contestant's. Contestants will be judged on the basis of their essay alone and are not required to present the essay orally. All essays become the property of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The VFW retains non-exclusive rights to use your essay and likeness in the promotion and execution of the organization?s programs and activities.
Where do I submit my entry? - To advance to the next level, all entries must be judged at the VFW Post level. VFW Post winners compete at the VFW District level.
What is the deadline for my entry? - All entries competing at the Post level must be in the hands of that VFW Post by midnight, Nov. 1, 2011. It is the responsibility of the student to meet this deadline by submitting their entry to the proper location. If you have difficulty identifying a sponsoring Post in your area, call the Patriot's Pen national office at: (816) 756-3390, ext. 220 or e-mail: swilson@vfw.org.
HOW AM I JUDGED? - You will be judged on how well you understand, develop and present the theme. A positive approach is recommended to express your viewpoint.
Knowledge of the theme is worth 30 points:
You must show a thorough knowledge of the them in your work. Demonstrate you have researched the issue extensively.
Theme development is worth 35 points:
Answer all relevant facts about the theme such as the who, what, where, when and why. Relate the theme to your own experiences.
Clarity of ideas is worth 35 points:
Write your essay in an easy-to-understand format. Leave your reader with a clear understanding of your explanation of the theme.
GOOD LUCK - East Brunswick Memorial Post 133 and Auxiliary Officers and Members
Know of a veteran or family of an active duty service member who is in need? Contact us via email at: goff46@msn.com, or call us at (732) 254-9674.
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