Who: Youth under the age of 19 who have not yet graduated from high school or the equivalent.
To Enter: Interested students must contact their local Optimist Club.
They need to submit an essay on the pre-assigned topic. To find out a contact,
please e-mail the Programs Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Essay Contest planning pages are intended for use by Optimist Clubs
in organizing and conducting a contest in their Club. They contain no information
on entering the contest and are of no use to students wishing to enter the
contest. Students must contact their local Optimist Club.
Students All Club-level contests are held by early February. Student submissions will not be accepted after the Club-level contests have closed. Please contact your District Chair for more information.
Clubs and Districts
The deadline for Clubs to submit their winning essay to the District Chair
is February 28, 2014. The deadline for Districts to submit their winner’s
information to Optimist International is April 15, 2014.
For an application with contest rules, please click here. The application must be submitted to the sponsoring Optimist Club.
The Essay Contest is sponsored by Optimist International to give young people
the opportunity to write about their own opinions regarding the world in
which they live. The approach can encompass a young person’s personal
experience, the experience of their country or a more historical perspective.
In additional to developing skills for written expression, participants
also have the opportunity to win a college scholarship!
The guidelines require that contestants be under age 19 have not yet graduated from high school or the equivalent. Club winners advance to the District contest
to compete for a $2,500 college scholarship. The District-level scholarships are funded by the Optimist International Foundations.
Information for Optimist Members planning the
All Members can now view and conveniently print planning pages for any International
Program from your home computer. Click
here to view the 2013-2014 Club Essay Contest planning pages. Click
here to view the 2013-2014 District Essay Contest planning pages. To
view the planning pages for any of the International Programs and Community
Activities, please visit the Planning
Essay Contest Package - A Program Package
for the Essay Contest is available on the Package Programs page of the website.
On that page, Clubs can find useful materials to help them get started with
a new Essay Contest program.
Support merchandise for this program can be ordered through Optimist Supply for US and Caribbean Clubs and from OptiPromo for Canadian Clubs. Contact information for both supply companies can be found here.
To enter, you must
contact your local Optimist Club!
For additional information, please contact Optimist International Programs
Department by e-mail at email@example.com,
or call (800) 500-8130.
Publicize the Essay Contest
Optimist International has developed a series of news releases that Clubs
and Districts can use in connection with their participation in international
programs. Below are sample news releases that Clubs and Districts can use
to promote their Essay Contests. Please note that the .doc version enables
users to type their information into fields*, while the .pdf files are for
*If your Optimist Club or District wishes to use
its own letterhead, you can remove the Optimist International logo in the
document by opening up the Word document, going to “View,” then
“Toolbars” and selecting “Forms.” When the “Forms”
toolbar appears, click on the padlock, then click on the Optimist logo and
delete it. For those using Microsoft Office 2007, click on the Microsoft
Office button in the upper left corner, go to “Word options”
and then select the box next to “Show the Developer tab in the Ribbon”
and click “OK.” Above the document, click the “Developer”
tab and then click on the “Protect Document” drop-down menu.
Click on “Restrict Formatting and Editing.” At the bottom of
the new window to the right, click the “Stop Protection” button.