SPJ high school essay contest

High school students in central Ohio are invited to participate in an essay contest that could earn them a cash prize along with a college scholarship.

The Society of Professional Journalists and the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation are sponsoring the contest, which asks students in grades 9-12 to write on the topic: “Why is it important that we have news media that is independent of the government?”

The entries must be between 300 and 500 words, and may be typed or handwritten, but must be double-spaced. Students in private and public schools are eligible as well as those who are home-schooled.

Entries must be postmarked by March 8 and must include a form signed by the student’s teacher verifying that the student is submitting original work.

The local chapter will judge entries from the central Ohio area, choose a winner and forward it for consideration in the national competition. The local chapter will award a $150 prize to the top winner from central Ohio.

Prizes in the national competition are a $1,000 scholarship for the first-place winner, a $500 prize for the second-place winner and a $300 scholarship for the third-place winner.

Entries must be sent to: SPJ High School Essay Contest, in care of Barbara James, The Columbus Dispatch, 34 S. Third St., Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Those with questions may contact national SPJ awards coordinator Lauren Rochester at 317-927-8000, ext. 210.

Download the entry form