FFRF William J. Schulz Memorial High School Seniors Essay Contest

20th Annual High School Seniors Essay Contest 2014

Send both by email and mail, no later than June 1, 2014. Email your essay no later than midnight, June 1, 2014, to: [email protected].

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First Place: William J. Schulz Memorial Award — $3,000

Second Place — $2,000

Third Place — $1,000

Fourth Place — $75o

Fifth Place — $500

Sixth Place — $400

Honorable Mention(s) — $200


Eligibility: North American high school senior who graduates in spring 2014, going to college in fall 2014.

Topic: Write from a personal perspective about your activism or include memorable challenges you’ve faced as a nonbelieving teenager, in your family, your high school or community. Explain how and why you’ve spoken up for freethought and/or secular government in the classroom, at school events, in government or your personal life. Include at least some intellectual analysis of what led you to reject religion and/or why you care about keeping religion out of public schools/ government.

Length: 500 to 700 words. Include word count. Submit typed, double-spaced essay with standard margins.

Other Requirements: Choose your own title. Do not include a resumé. Please staple. Place your name and essay title on each page. Include a separate paragraph identifying your age, birthdate, hometown, the college or university you will be attending in the fall, intended major and interests or high school achievements. 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). 

Dean & Dorea Schramm, FFRF members, are offering a $100 bonus to any student winner who is a member of FFRF, a secular student club or the Secular Student Alliance, at the time the essay is submitted. Join SSA free online at: www.secularstudents.org, under donate. To be eligible for the bonus, be sure to specify in your bio whether you belong to FFRF, a secular student club (please name) or have joined SSA online.

By entering contest, you 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 promptly 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: Postmarked no later than June 1, 2014. Winners announced in August.

Mailing specifications: Send both by email and mail, no later than June 1, 2014. Email your essay no later than midnight, June 1, 2014, to: [email protected]. Use the word “essay” and your first and last name in the subject heading. Example: Essay: (Your full name). Also mail, postmarked no later than June 1, 2014 to:

High School Essay Contest


PO Box 750

Madison WI 53701

About William J. Schulz: This competition is endowed by William J. Schulz, a member of FFRF who died at 57, was a farm boy who became a chemical engineer and built paper-producing mills around the world. He cared deeply about FFRF’s work.

Freedom From Religion Foundation