Eighth Grade Creative Writing Contest

Since 1979, the Respect Life Apostolate (RLA) and archdiocesan Office of Education and Formation has sponsored an annual writing competition for eighth grade students in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. 

About the Contest

The contest gives eighth grade students an opportunity to reflect, pray, research and write about the Gospel of Life including how to build a Culture of Life, the virtue of chastity, how to prevent abortion, walking with pregnant and parenting moms in their community, etc. Each year, the Archdiocese of St. Louis receives hundreds of entries from students from Catholic day schools, PRS programs, and Catholic home schools. Archdiocesan finalists and scholarship winners are honored at a spring Archdiocesan awards ceremony, at the annual Respect Life Convention and by their own parish/school community.

Click here for the results of the 2023 contest. To read the winning entries, scroll down. Early in 2024, applications and guidelines for next year's contest will be made available to each parish religious educator director/coordinator, Catholic school or Catholic home school association/co-op through which students enter the contest. To learn more, please contact [email protected] or 314.792.7555. 

Contest Scholarships & Awards

Students compete for finalist prizes, awards to the annual Steubenville St. Louis Mid-American Catholic Youth Conference in July, and scholarships towards their freshman year tuition at a Catholic high school within the Archdiocese. 

  • Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell Scholarship
  • Mary Forrestal Hennessey/Mr. and Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarship
  • Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship
  • Respect Life Apostolate Scholarship

The Bishop O’Donnell and Forrestal Hennessey/Kletzker 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 Knights of Columbus (2014), and Respect Life Apostolate (2020) scholarships were established more recently with the same intention. 

2023 Scholarship Winners & Essays

Click on the individual's name to read the winning essay (PDF file). Click here for the full list of Archdiocesan finalists. 

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Scholarship Winners: 

  • Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell Scholarship: Dominic K (St. Margaret of Scotland Parish/St. John Paul II Preparatory) will be attending St. John Paul II Preparatory
  • Mary Forrestal Hennessey/Mr. & Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarship: Eleanor H (Sacred Heart Parish & School [Valley Park]) will be attending Cor Jesus High School 
  • Knights of Columubs Missouri State Council Scholarship: Leila P (St. Joan of Arc Parish/South City Catholic Academy) will be attending Nerinx Hall
  • Respect Life Apostolate Scholarship: Sydney G (St. Joseph Parish [Cottleville]/ The St. Austin School) will be attending St. Dominic High School

Stuebenville Catholic Youth Conference Winners: 

  • Matalyn B (St. Cletus Parish & School) will be attending St. Charles High School 
  • Gianna H (Epiphany of our Lord Parish/St. John Paul II Preparatory) will be attending Chesterton Academy of St. Louis
  • Patrick M (St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish &School) will be attending St. Louis University High School 

RespectLifeEssayContestWinners

 

2022 Scholarship Winners & Essays 

Click on the individual's name to read the winning essay (PDF file).

Scholarship Winners

  • Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell Scholarship: Henry R (St. Clement of Rome Parish & School) will be attending De Smet Jesuit High School
  • Mary Forrestal Hennessey Scholarship: George V (St. Francis Borgia Parish School of Religion) will be attending St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
  • Mr. and Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarship: Isaac A (St. Frances Cabrini Academy/St. Cecilia Parish) will be attending St. Louis University High School
  • Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship: Isabella H (Holy Infant Parish & School), will be attending St. Joseph Academy
  • Respect Life Apostolate Scholarship: Sera J S (The St. Austin School/Oratory of Ss. Gregory & Augustine) will be attending Cor Jesu Academy

 Generation Life Pilgrimage/Steubenville Catholic Youth Conference Winners

  • Veronica G (St. Gianna Parish) will be attending the Griesbauer Home School
  • Maura N (St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Parish) will be attending Seton Home Study School
  • Chidube N (Holy Infant Parish & School) will be attending St. Louis University High School
  • Josie O (St. Gerard Majella Parish & School), will be attending Cor Jesu Academy
  • John S (St. Paul Parish & School [St. Paul]), will be attending St. Dominic High School 

Finalists

 

2021 Scholarship Winners & Essays

Click on the individual's name to read the winning essay (PDF file).

  • Bishop Edward O'Donnell Scholarship: Lily H (Holy Infant) will be attending St. Joseph Academy
  • Mr. & Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarships:
    • Avery E (Ascension - Chesterfield) will be attending St. Joseph Academy
    • William O (Ascension - Chesterfield) will be attending De Smet Jesuit High School
  • Respect Life Apostolate Scholarship: Bella E (St. Alban Roe) will be attending St. Joseph Academy  

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