E.B. Henderson Dear Editor Contest

E.B. Henderson Dear Editor Contest

Contest Information

What It Is:  

“Dear Editor” is an opportunity to engage students to think critically and write persuasively, responding to news media regarding the topic of social justice and civil rights.

Who Can Enter:

The “Dear Editor” contest is open to Northern Virginia middle and high school students, including age-appropriate home schooled children.

How to Enter:

Write a “letter to the editor” of 250 words or less that responds to an article, a photograph, or another “letter to the editor” published in a local or national newspaper, magazine or internet news source.  Each student may submit only one letter per year.  Letters must be addressed to “Dear Editor” and signed by the student.

The news article selected by a student should relate either:

  • To a denial of civil rights 

OR

  • To an acceptance of multicultural differences and how this has improved life in a community.

Your “Dear Editor” letter should:

  • Express your thoughts on civil rights or multicultural relations, 
  • Explain how the newspaper item relates to a denial of civil rights or acceptance of cultural differences,
  • Tell how your position affects the denial of civil rights or acceptance of cultural differences.

Letters will be judged on:

  • clarity,
  • relevance to civil rights or acceptances of cultural differences,
  • persuasiveness,
  • “Dear Editor” letter format
  • How well the letter responds to the news article

When to Submit:

Diener & Associates must receive the application package by 5 PM on April 30th.  Award Recipients are expected to attend the Tinner Hill Blues Festival on Saturday June 11th, to receive their monetary awards.

Cash Prizes

Sr. High 9-12    

  • 1st prize - $100       
  • 2nd prize - $50       
  • 3rd prize - $25  

Middle Sch 6-8  

  • 1st prize- $100        
  • 2nd prize - $50
  • 3rd prize - $25

To learn more about the contest and enter, download the Dear Editor Contest information and submission form. (PDF)