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 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 Information

The 2015 Creative Writing Contest is now open!

  • All 8th grade students from Archdiocesan elementary schools, parish schools of religion, and home school programs are eligible to submit an entry.  
  • Entries must address the topic: "Explain why living the virtue of chastity protects us from abortion and blesses us with true holiness, health, and happiness."
  • Entries must be accompanied by the completed application
  • Entries must be postmarked by February 18, 2015 to be considered.
  • Please download the Guidelines and Application Form for complete information on the contest and submission requirements.  In addition, a list of pro-life resources meant to aid students is may be downloaded here.
  • Finalists will be notified in late March and will be invited to attend the Awards Assembly on April 22, 2015 with their parents.  The winners of the partial scholarships will be announced at the Assembly.


Past Winners & Essays  

2014 

  • Bishop Edward O'Donnell Scholarship
    Daniel Reardon, St. Clement of Rome (DeSmet Jesuit High School)
  • Mary Forrestal Hennesy 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 Hennesy 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) 

2012

  • Bishop Edward O'Donnell Scholarship
    Elizabeth Hayes, St. Monica (St. Joseph Academy)
  • Mary Forrestal Hennesy Scholarship
    Benjamin Krapu, St. Catherine Laboure PSR (St. Louis University High School)
  • Mr. & Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarship
    Shelby Warden, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (Trinity Catholic High School)
    Matthew Frein, St. Gerard Majella (St. Louis University High School) 
  • Honorable Mention
    Jessica Bromeier, Most Sacred Heart (St. Francis Borgia) 
    Christian Ferguson, St. Patrick (Holt High School)
    Colleen Gosser, St. Peter-Kirkwood PSR (Bishop DuBourg High School) 
    Louis Hancock, Holy Trinity (Ritenour High School)
    Devin Nelson, St. Gianna PSR (St. Dominic High School)
    Joshua Skaggs, Our Lady - Festus (St. Pius X High School)