Annual 8th Grade Creative Writing Contest

8th Grade Creative Writing Contest

The RLA sponsors an annual writing competition for 8th grade students planning to attend a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program.  Five scholarships are available to the winning writers:

  • One (1) Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell Scholarship honors a student from a Catholic elementary school entering a Catholic high school or accedited Catholic home school program.
  • One (1) Mary Forrestal-Hennessey Scholarship awards a student who participates in a parish PSR program (including home school students) and is planning to attend a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program.
  • Two (2) Mr. and Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarships award students planning to attend a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program.
  • One (1) Knights of Columbus Missouri State Counsil Scholarship awards a student from a Catholic elementary school, PSR student, or home school student planning to attend a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program.

The O’Donnell and Forrestal Hennessey scholarships were founded in the 1970s to encourage students to examine the facts regarding abortion and chastity, and especially how these issues impact their own lives. The two Kletzker scholarships and the Knights of Columbus scholarship were endowed more recently with the same intention.  

2014 Creative Writing Contest FinalistsStudents write about the virtue of chastity and how this virtue relates to abortion. The RLA feels it is very important for young people to understand this virtue, especially in light of the often casual attitude toward sexual relationships in our society today.

Nearly 100 schools and PSR programs participate, with more than 1,200 students submitting an entry. Finalists and scholarship winners are honored at a spring awards ceremony. 

2015 Creative Writing Contest Winners
  • Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell Scholarship
    Moira Healy, St. Francis Assisi (Notre Dame High School)
  • Mary Forrestal Hennessey Scholarship
    Caroline Cross, St. Gerard Majella PSR (Cor Jesu Academy)
  • Mr. & Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarships
    Andrew Chapman,
    St. Joseph - Imperial (St. John Vianney High School)
    Grace Hughes
    , Holy Infant - Ballwin (Cor Jesu Academy)
  • Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship
    Anthony Anger, St. Rose Philippine Duchesne (Trinity Catholic High School) 
  • Honorable Mention Winners
    Kathryn Echele, Sacred Heart - Valley Park (Cor Jesu Academy) 
    Grace Koeller, Holy Cross Academy [Seven Holy Founders Parish] (St. Dominic High School)
    McKinleigh Nelson, Homeschool [St. Gianna Parish] (St. John Paul II Prep)
    Cooper Ruhl, Most Sacred Heart - Eureka (Eureka High School)
    Gianna Zuniga, St. John Paul II Prep (St. John Paul II Prep) 


    Past Winners & Essays  

    2014 

    • Bishop Edward O'Donnell Scholarship
      Daniel Reardon, St. Clement of Rome (DeSmet Jesuit High School)
    • Mary Forrestal Hennessy Scholarship
      Dakota Nelson, St. Gianna Home School Co-op (John Paul II Preparatory School)
    • Mr. & Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarship
      Larissa O'Shea, St. Monica (St. Joseph's Academy) 
      Keith Beckmann, St. Cletus (St. Dominic High School)
    • Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship
      Hector Rivera, Christ Light of the Nations [Our Lady of the Rosary Parish] (Chaminade)
    • Honorable Mention 
      Sydney England, St. Paul Fenton School (Cor Jesu Academy)
      Addison Estes, John Paul II Prep [St. Alban Roe Parish] (John Paul II Prep)
      Isabelle Honigfort, John Paul II Prep [St. Stephen Parish - Richwood, MO] (John Paul II Prep)
      Daniel Newman, St. Charles Borromeo School (St. Charles West or CBC) 
      Elise Olwig, St. Gabriel the Archangel School (Nerinx Hall) 

    2013

    • Bishop Edward O'Donnell Scholarship
      Michael Geer, Immaculate Conception (CBC)
    • Mary Forrestal Hennessy Scholarship
      Clare Holman, Homeschool [Cure of Ars Parish] (Cor Jesu)
    • Mr. & Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarship
      Kristin Meyer, St. Charles Borromeo (Barat Academy)
      Michael Novak, Holy Trinity (Chaminade College Prep) 
    • Honorable Mention
      Connor Osthoff, St. Cletus School (Duchesne High School)
      Natalie Schroeder, St. Cletus School (Duchesne High School)
      Jessica Squellati, Wildhorse Elemntary (St. Joseph Academy)
      Sarah Walker, Holy Infant (Kennedy Catholic High School)