Essay Competition

The Office of Congressman Dean Phillips is pleased to announce this amazing opportunity for student writers in Minnesota’s Third District!

Essay Topic:
Reflect on an unsung hero (living or dead) with a connection to Minnesota who made a positive impact on the lives of others. How did their work impact their community, and why should other people know their story?

The essay competition is open to students in 6th – 12th grade living or attending school in Minnesota’s Third Congressional District.

Postmarked or email time-stamped by February 17, 2020.

The Office of Congressman Dean Phillips will select one winner from each of the following age groups:

  • 6th-8th grade students
  • 9th-12th grade students

Winners will have the opportunity to present their essays to Congressman Phillips and will receive assistance in submitting their pieces for publication in local newspapers.

Essay Format:

  • Cover page with student’s name, address, school, grade, and email address
  • 600 words or less (excluding header and sources)
    • Essays over 600 words are ineligible for publication in local newspapers
  • Header with the student’s name and school on each page
  • Times New Roman size 12 font
  • Double spaced
  • Please do not include pictures, color text, or images

If submitting by email, essays should be in PDF or Word Document format. The document should be sent to and titled as follows: Name.SchoolName.MN03EssaySubmission

If submitting by mail, essays should be sent to:

Office of Congressman Dean Phillips
13911 Ridgedale Drive, Suite 200
Minnetonka, MN, 55305

Judging Criteria:

1. Content – 25%

  1. Adherence to topic
  2. Information gathered through research
  3. Logical development of ideas

2. Form - 25%

  1. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  2. Word choice, vocabulary
  3. Essay length (600 word maximum)

3. Individuality - 50%

  1. Writing skill or flair
  2. Use of comparative facts and background information
  3. Persuasiveness
  4. Individuality – Use of voice