Patriot's Pen

Each year more than 132,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The national first-place winner wins $5,000. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $55,000, with the first-place winner of each state receiving a minimum of $500. 

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, then download and complete the current year's entry form. All student entries must be submitted to a sponsoring local VFW Post by midnight, Oct. 31

About the 2022-23 winners ...

To learn about the national winners of the above two programs, click here.