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DEADLINE extended to Friday, October 16th @ 12 noon!

Persisterhood Essay Contest 2020

Celebrating 100 Years: Women Get the Vote Essay Contest 

  • Open to students grades 6-12 and college undergraduates
  • $200 winners’ prizes;  $50 honorable mentions
  • Top entries published online

Rolling Hills Library is partnering with Persisterhood of Saint Joseph to sponsor an essay contest to celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage.  This November, we will observe 100 years of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which gave women the right to vote in the United States.

The contest will run from Saturday, August 1st to Monday, October 12th.  Entries will be anonymously judged by a panel of writers, teachers, and community leaders.  Winners in each entry group will get $200 prizes, with $50 to honorable mentions in each group as well.  Winning essays will be published on the library's web site, the Persisterhood Facebook page, and elsewhere.  Winners will be notified on Friday, October 23rd.  Winners and their teachers (if identified in their entries) will be featured at Persisterhood's Wednesday, October 28th ZOOM meeting, where portions of their writing will be shared aloud.

Entry Groups

Middle School -- Any student enrolled in a middle school or junior high.

High School -- Anyone entering or finishing high school in the 2020-21 school year, grades 9-12.

College (Undergraduate) -- Anyone of any age enrolled part-time or full-time at a post-secondary institution in an undergraduate program.

Essay Prompt

Please use the following prompt to begin your essay.

What obstacles did suffragists--such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Alice Paul, Ida B. Wells, or Carrie Chapman Catt--overcome in getting the 19th amendment passed, giving women the right to vote in November 1920? Why should women today play active roles in politics?

Essay Resource Guide (click to open)

The writing should be a wholly original work of 500-750 words, using hyperlinks or a references list (which is not included in your total word count) to cite sources when applicable.  Use the link below to complete the contest entry form and upload a typed PDF, TXT, or DOC version of your essay. If you are unable to upload, you can email your entry to after filling out the entry form.

Persisterhood Essay Contest Entry

Complete your contest ENTRY FORM and upload your completed essay -- Click Here

Deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October 12, 2020

Download and print the contest poster HERE to post at your school and share.

*Thank you to Judy VanVickle for our poster image design.