12th Annual NGWSD Essay Contest

The NGWSD Essay Contest provides a creative outlet for female authors grades K-12 to express how sport has impacted their lives and communities. Writers should select from the following themes this year:

  1. It Takes a Team – When you play on a team, you look out for and help each other. During the pandemic, you probably made a different team with your family or friends in your neighborhood. Write about your new team and how you helped each other.
  2. Did you Miss Me? – They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Since March, lots of sports were limited or shut down. Write about what you missed most about sport, playing, and other physical activity.
  3. Use your Voice – Many professional athletes have used their voices this year to share their thoughts on how to make a better world. If you had the platform of a professional athlete, what message would you share?

Based on age of author, the following guidelines are provided:

Grades K, 1, 2

Draw a picture, then have an adult narrate your picture in 75 to 100 words. Winner will be awarded 2 passes to The Strong Museum of Play.

Grades 3, 4, 5

100 to 200 words in the essay. Winner will select a $30 gift card to Barnes & Noble or Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Grades 6, 7, 8

200 to 300 words in the essay. Winner will select a $40 gift card to Barnes & Noble or Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Grades 9 – 12

300 to 500 words in the essay. Winner will select a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble or Dick’s Sporting Goods.

There will be one winner selected for each category.

Entries can be hand-written or typed. By submitting an essay, a parent or teacher of the author certifies that the essay represents the independent work of the child. Once submitted, the essay becomes the property of the SJFC, NGWSD Committee.

Completed essays need to include the following information.
1. Title of the essay
2. Full name and grade level of the author
3. Address of home and/or name of teacher and school
4. Email address of contact (if available)


Via Mail:
Dr. Emily Dane-Staples, SJFC
NGWSD – Essay Contest
3690 East Avenue
Rochester, NY 14618

Via Email:
Attach a file to an email sent to ngwsd@sjfc.edu. Do not share a file through Google or another sharing app as there are issues with being able to access the file. If using Google, please follow their directions to download a PDF or Word file to be submitted.

All questions can be submitted to ngwsd@sjfc.edu.

Please download a copy of our flier by clicking here

2 thoughts on “Essay Contest Guidelines

    1. Dear Katie,

      Yes! We will release the writing themes for 2021 in early November of this year.

      Thanks for your interest!

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