JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest

JFK Essay ContestProfile in Courage Essay Contest

Deadline: Postmarked by January 4, 2018

Eligibility: Grades 9-12

Entry Fee: None

Topic: Describe and analyze an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1917, the year John F. Kennedy was born. Include an analysis of the obstacles, risks, and consequences associated with the act. The essay may concern an issue at the local, state, national, or international level.


  • 700 – 1,000 words
  • At least 5 varied sources such as government documents, letters, newspaper articles, books, and/or personal interviews
  • Demonstrate an understanding of political courage as described by John F. Kennedy in PROFILES OF COURAGE.
  • Include registration form
  • Bibliography with proper citations

Role of Nominating Teacher:

  • Provide students with support and advice during the writing of their essay.
  • Make suggestions for improvement before essays are submitted to the contest.
  • Review essays for syntax, grammatical, typographical and spelling errors and ensure the essay meets the contest requirements listed above.

Award: Ceremony at John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

Website: jfklibrary.org

Poetry Society of America Student Award

PSA Student AwardLouise Louis / Emily F. Bourne PSA Student Award

Deadline: December 22, 2017
Eligibility: Grades 9-12
Entry Fee: $5 if submitted by student. $20 for an unlimited number if submitted by teacher. Checks made payable to Poetry Society of America. (Membership not required).
Award: One of the most prestigious awards available to poets. $250.
Submit: One unpublished poem
2018 Judges: Meena Alexander, Daniel Borzutzky, Eduardo C. Corral, Donika Kelly, Dorianne Laux, Lynn Melnick, Dean Rader, Paisley Rekdal, Maggie Smith, Jillian Weise, and Mark Wunderlich.
Previous Winners: See winning poems here.
Website:  poetrysociety.org


Endowed under the wills of Louise Louis Whitbread and Ruth M. Bourne, this prize is awarded for the best unpublished poem by a student in grades 9 through 12 from the United States. Teachers or administrators may submit an unlimited number of their students’ poems, one submission per student.


•  Only one entry per student.
•  Previous PSA winners cannot be re-submitted.
•  Previously published work cannot be submitted.
•  No translations.
•  No poems by multiple authors.
•  Entry must have 1 cover page and 2 collated copies of your poem.

Cover Page:

Email (if available)
Name of the Award
Title and First Line of first poem in submission
Your name should not appear anywhere else besides this cover sheet.

Cover Sheet Template: It’s not a requirement, but you might find it helpful to use our cover sheet template.

Mailing Address:

Poetry Society of America
Annual Award Submission
15 Gramercy Park
New York, NY 10003