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 Council 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. 

The 2016 Contest deadline is Feburary 19, 2016. Download the application form and instructions by clicking here. For more information, contact Maureen at 314-792-7559 or mkane@archstl.org.

2016 Creative Writing Contest Winners

  • Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell Scholarship: Maria Klassen, St. Joseph Grade School in Cottleville (St. Dominic High School)
  • Mary Forrestal Hennessey Scholarship: Daniel Vaporean, Home School [St. Joseph Parish in Manchester] (Home School)
  • Mr. & Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarships Madeline Derleth, St. Joseph Grade School in Cottleville (Barat Academy) and Elle Reardon, St. Clement of Rome (Villa Duchesne)
  • Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship: Eric Meyer, St. Charles Borromeo Grade School (Chaminade College Prep)
  • Honorable Mention Winners:
    • Brianna Dierks, St. Patrick Grade School in Wentzville (Liberty High School)
    • Taylor Elmore, Home School [St. Bridget of Kildare Parish] (St. Francis Borgia High School)
    • Sara Franke, Queen of All Saints Grade School (Nerinx Hall)
    • Patrick Meehan, Home School [St. Dominic Savio Parish] (Bishop DuBourg)
    • Peter Francis Montgomery, St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Home School [St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Parish] (St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Home School)
    • Harrison Petty, St. Clement of Rome Grade School (Saint Louis University High School)

Past Winners & Essays  

2015

  • Bishop Edward O'Donnell Scholarship
    Moira Healy, St. Francis of Assisi Grade School (Notre Dame High School)
  • Mary Forrestal Hennessy Scholarship
    Caroline Cross, St. Gerard Majella PSR (Cor Jesu Academy)
  • Mr. & Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarship
    Andrew Chapman, St. Joseph Grade School in Imperial (St. John Vianney High School)

    Grace Hughes, Holy Infant Grade School (Cor Jesu Academy)
  • Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship
    Anthony Anger, St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Grade School (Trinity Catholic High School
  • Honorable Mention 
    Kathryn Eschle, Sacred Heart Grade School in Valley Park (Cor Jesu Academy)

    Grace Koeller, Holy Cross Academy [Seven Holy Founders Parish] (St. Dominic High School)
    McKinleigh Nelson, Home School [St. Gianna Parish] (St. John Paul II Prep)
    Cooper Ruhl, Most Sacred Heart Grade School in Eureka (Eureka High School)
    Gianna Zuniga, St. John Paul II Prep (St. John Paul II Prep)

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)