Each year more than 165,400 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $1.4 million in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000!
The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements, and download and complete the 2021-2022 Patriot's Pen entry form as all student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31.
The 2021-22 theme is:
How Can I Be a Good American?
About the 2020-2021 winner ...
Wyatt Perkins, a sixth grade home school student from Mayville, North Dakota, was named the 2020-2021 Patriot's Pen first place winner. His essay on the theme, "What is Patriotism to Me?" won him a $5,000 award. Wyatt was sponsored by VFW Post 4221 in Portland, North Dakota.
Watch as Wyatt delivered his winning essay, during the VFW's first-ever virtual Parade of Winners streamed live on Facebook, or see the complete list of 2021 national winners.