This Years Theme is
"What are the Greatest Attributes of Our Democracy?"
- Patriot’s Pen is open to 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade
students enrolled by the Oct. 31deadline in public,
private or parochial schools in the U.S., its territories
or its possessions.
- Home-schooled students are also eligible. Although U.S.
citizenship is not required, students must be lawful U.S.
permanent residents or have applied for permanent residence
(The application which has not been denied) and intends to
become a U.S. citizen at the earliest opportunity allowed by law.
*Foreign exchange students or former winners that placed in the National contest are ineligible.


- Download and complete the Patriot's Pen entry form.

- All essays should be typed in English with no color or
graphics and 300 - 400 words in length (+ or - 5-word max).

- The essay must be the contestant’s original work and a product
of the contestant’s own thinking.

- The approach to the Patriot’s Pen theme should be positive and
clearly focused. Poetry is not acceptable.

- The body of the essay must not identify you in any way, (including,
but not limited to your name, school, city, state, race, or national origin)

- Quotations may be used sparingly if plainly identified wherever used.

- A contestant’s teacher, counselor or parent may check the essay for
punctuation, grammar and/or spelling, but the content must remain
the contestants.

- Students can ask a teacher or youth group leader to supervise
their progress in the competition. 

Applications and Downloadable Forms Below 
Patriots Pen Rules and Eligibility

2023-2024 Official Entry Form
Patriots Pen Competition

History of VFW's Patriot's Pen
Each year more than 138,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $900,000 in state and national awards. Each first place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. 

The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. 
2023-2024 Winners
  • Angela Cavuto- James Wilson Young Middle School- Bayport
  • Nolan G. Acevedo- Saxton Middle School- Patchogue 
  • Cameron Collotta- James Wilson Young Middle School- Bayport
  • Mariah Apicella- James Wilson Young Middle School- Bayport