For Graduate Students or any Student Age 25 or Older
First Place: Brian Bolton Award — $3,000
Second Place — $2,000
Third Place — $1,000
Fourth Place — $500
Fifth Place — $300
Honorable Mention(s) — $200
“WHY GOD AND GOVERNMENT ARE A DANGEROUS MIX — ESPECIALLY IN AN ELECTION YEAR”
Eligibility: Currently-enrolled graduate student of any age, or any currently-enrolled undergraduate age 25 or older, attending a North American college or university at least through December 2012. (Undergraduates under age 25: please enter the FFRF Youth College Essay Competition.)
Topic: “Why God and Government Are a Dangerous Mix — Especially in an Election Year.” In this election year, write a persuasive or advocacy essay about why we need separation between religion and politics/government. Please analyze current examples of religious pandering, church politicking or political religious litmus tests that concern you and threaten the Establishment Clause. You may wish to use examples of the harm created by religion in politics and government from a personal, legal, topical and/or historical perspective.
Length: 850-1,000 words. Include word count. Submit typed, double-spaced essay with standard margins.
Other Requirements: Choose your own title. Do not include a resume. Please staple and place your name and essay title on each page. Include a separate paragraph biography identifying your age, birthdate, hometown, college or university, year in school or degree being earned, previous degree(s) earned, major and interests. Include your name, mailing address, phone number(s), and e-mail address. Winners may be asked to send verification of student enrollment. Essay must be submitted both by mail and e-mail by deadline (see below).
By entering contest, students agree to have winning essays printed in full or in part in Freethought Today, FFRF’s newspaper, and later posted online at FFRF’s website. Winners agree to provide a photograph suitable for reproduction with their essay. Winners will receive a school-year subscription to Freethought Today. All eligible non-winning students will be offered a subscription or a freethought book. Note: FFRF monitors for plagiarism.
Deadline: July 15, 2012. Winners will be announced by September.
Mailing specifications: Send both by email (see below) and mail. Mail postmarked no later than July 15, 2012, to:
Graduate/Mature Student Essay Competition
PO Box 750
Madison WI 53701
About Brian Bolton: He is a retired psychologist, humanist minister and university professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas.