2024-2025 Theme: "?"



Conducted nationwide, this VFW-sponsored youth essay competition encourages students to use their minds and knowledge of America’s history and their experience of today’s American society to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. We invite you to join more than 120,000 students who participated last year in this contests.


Patriot’s Pen gives 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students the opportunity to express their opinion on a patriotic theme and improve their writing skills, while they compete for awards and prizes. The awards from all levels of the competition total $1.2 million each year. The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on their National Advisory List of Contests for participation.  The contest is open to all students in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades in public, private, parochial schools, as well as home-schooled children in the United States and its territories or its possessions and dependents of U.S. military or civilian personnel in overseas schools. Former first place state winners are not eligible to compete again. Foreign exchange students and adults are not eligible to compete. Although permanent residence (the application cannot have been denied) and intends to become a U.S. citizen at the earliest opportunity allowed by law. 


Brochures on the program were mailed to all Post Commanders and Auxiliary Presidents. Schools should be contacted as soon as they open for the current year in order that the teachers can include the contest in the lesson plans. Posts are responsible for giving their area schools Patriot’s Pen pamphlets. You can check the program on the web at to see requirements and print the entry forms.



· Must be TYPED in English, BLACK INK ONLY

· Must be 300-400 words in length. Word count does NOT include the title or footnotes.

· NO Graphics allowed

· Contestants will NOT identify themselves within their essay to include, but not limited to, their name, school, city, state, race, or national origin.

· Official entry form included with Essay. Form may be printed online at

· Three typed copies of the Essay



PATRIOT’S PEN Deadlines:

Midnight, October 31, Entries to the Post



Patriots Pen Requirements:  Rules / Eligibility