Eighth Grade Creative Writing Contest

Since 1979, the Respect Life Apostolate has sponsored an annual writing competition for 8th grade students planning to attend a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program. (Catholic students entering a public high school are also encouraged to enter as they're still eligible for an honorable mention prize). 

 

About the Contest 

Students write about the virtue of chastity and how this virtue leads to a healthy, happy, and holy life which helps prevent abortion. The RLA feels it is very important for young people to understand this virtue, especially in light of the often casual attitude toward sexual relationships in our society today.

Each year, the RLA receives approximately 1,100 entries from students representing 60-plus Catholic day schools, PRS programs, and Catholic home schools. Finalists and scholarship winners are honored at a spring awards ceremony with Archbishop Robert Carlson.

Interested in entering the contest? Take a look at the official guildelines.

 

Scholarship Awards

Partial, one-time scholarships are available to the winning writers:

  • One (1) Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell Scholarship honoring a student from a Catholic elementary school entering a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program.
  • One (1) Mary Forrestal-Hennessey Scholarship awarded to a student who participates in a parish PSR program (including home school students) and is planning to attend a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program.
  • Two (2) Mr. and Mrs. George Kletzker Scholarships awarded to students planning to attend a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program.
  • One (1) Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship awarded a student from a Catholic elementary school, PSR student, or home school student planning to attend a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program.
  • One (1) St. Joseph Evangelization Network Scholarship honor a student from a Catholic elementary school, PSR student, or home school student planning to attend a Catholic high school or accredited Catholic home school program. This award was added in 2017.

The O’Donnell and Forrestal Hennessey 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 two Kletzker scholarships, the Knights of Columbus scholarship (2014), and the St. Joseph Evangelization Network scholarship (2017) were endowed more recently with the same intention.  

The RLA also selects four to eight honorable mention awards. In addition, all scholarship and honorable mention winners and their parents receive four tickets to the annual Respect Life Convention Keynote and Awards banquet.

2018 Winners and Essays

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

  • Bishop Edward J. O'Donnell Scholarship: Emmeline Roseberry (St. Margaret of Scotland Grade School and Parish) will be attending Nerinx Hall
  • Mary Forrestal Hennessey Scholarship: Meghan Meehan (home school, St. Dominic Savio Parish) will be attending Bishop DuBourg High School
  • Mr. & Mrs George Kletzker Scholarships: Leah Anderson (St. Joseph of Imperial Grade School and Parish) will be attending Ursuline Academy, and Olivia Knobbe (St. Joseph-Josephville Grade School and Parish) will be attending St. Dominic High School
  • Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship: John Paul Vlahutin (Annunziata Grade School and Holy Trinity Parish) will be attending Chaminade College Preparatory School
  • St. Joseph Evangelization Network Scholarship: Carlotta Croak (Holy Infant Grade School and Parish) will be attending Villa Duchesne

Honorable Mentions

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  • Alexander Rodriguez (Holy Trinity Grade School, Our Lady of the Presentation Parish), will be attending DeSmet Jesuit High School

  • Amy Lien Stukenholtz (Sacred Heart-Valley Park Grade School and Parish), will be attending Cor Jesu Academy  

  • Eric Piening (St. Monica Grade School and Parish), will be attending St. Louis University High School

  • Matilda Killeen (St. Margaret of Scotland Grade School and Parish), will be attending  Visitation Academy

  • Gabriel Chase Lancia (Holy Cross Academy, Our Lady of Providence Parish), will be attending St. Pius X High School  

  • Hannah Lifka (St. Peter Grade School, St. Joseph-Imperial Parish), will be attending Lindbergh High School  

  • Hannah King (St. John Paul II Preparatory School, Queen of All Saints Parish) will be continuing her high school education at St. John Paul II  

  • Hope Dery (homeschool, St. Joseph-Cottleville Parish), will be attending St. John Paul II Preparatory School