The Gilder Lehrman Institute presents an annual essay contest for Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School students in grades 6–12. Students examine the nation’s most divisive conflict through letters, speeches, songs, photographs, newspapers, military orders, and other documents, conducting research in primary as well as secondary sources.

Prizes

High School

  • First Place: $1,000 to the student and $500 to the school
  • Second Place: $750 to the student
  • Third Place: $500 to the student
  • Honorable Mention: $100 to seven honorable mention students
  • In addition, the student with the top entry from each school will receive a Gilder Lehrman publication to recognize their achievement. The school with the most entries and the school with the highest average judges’ score (minimum 10 entries) will each receive a special certificate and pack of materials.

Middle School

  • First Place: $300 to the student
  • Second Place: $200 to the student
  • Third Place: $100 to the student
  • In addition, the student with the top entry from each school will receive a Gilder Lehrman publication to recognize their achievement. The school with the most entries and the school with the highest average judges score (minimum 10 entries) will each receive a special certificate and pack of materials.

Submission Requirements

The 2016–2017 Civil War Essay Contest is now open; please click here to submit your entry for the contest. Submissions will be accepted until Monday, February 27, 2017, at 5:00 p.m. Additional information, contest forms, a scoring rubric, and other important details on submissions can be found in the 20162017 Civil War Essay Contest information packet.