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Essay Competition

The Congressional Essay Competition is an opportunity for high school students to express their creative writing skills. All contestants will have their essays collected into a book for display in Rep. Phillips’s offices in Minnesota and Washington, D.C., and one winner will be selected to have their work published in a local newspaper. 


You! The contest is open to all middle and high school aged students living in or attending school in Minnesota's Third Congressional District. Applicants must be in middle or high school at the time of submission. 


  • Prompt: What does patriotism mean to you?
  • Criteria: Essays will be judged on their adherence to the prompt, logical development of ideas, persuasiveness, and utilization of facts and background information. They should be free of grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. And importantly, these essays should showcase your individual personality!
  • Formatting: Essays must follow formatting requirements to be considered.
  • Essay must be 700 words or fewer (excluding header and sources).
  • Essay must have:
    • A titled front page;
    • A header with the student’s name and school on each page;
    • Times New Roman size 12 font;
    • Double spacing;
    • Cited references;
    • No pictures, color text, or images. 


  • Deadlines for the 2024 competition have yet to be announced


  • All submissions should be emailed as a word document to with the subject line ESSAY CONTEST – FIRST NAME LAST NAME, SCHOOL NAME


Contact Johnny at (952) 656-5176 or 

Need Inspiration? 

Click here to read the winning essay from 2023, written by David Francischelli of Champlin Park High School