The Nation’s Student Essay Contest

Sponsored by the BIL Charitable Trust to recognize and reward the best in student writing and thinking.
We’re looking for original, thoughtful, provocative student voices to answer this question:
What have you learned from a personal experience that the next president should know before setting the agenda for the country?
Essays should not exceed 800 words and should be original, unpublished work that demonstrates fresh, clear thinking and superior quality of expression and craftsmanship.
We’ll select five finalists and two winners–one from college, one from high school. Each winner will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize and a Nation subscription. The winning essays will be published and/or excerpted in the magazine and featured on our website. The five finalists will be awarded $200 each and subscriptions, and their entries will be published online. Entries (only one per student) will be accepted through May 31, 2008. A winner will be announced by September 4. Please send entries to
The contest is open to all matriculating high school students and undergraduates at American schools, colleges and universities. Submissions must be original, unpublished work (the writing can have been published in a student publication). Each entrant is limited to one submission. Entries will be accepted through May 31, 2008. A winner will be announced by September 4, 2008.
Submissions can be e-mailed to Please include the essay in the body of the e-mail. All e-mailed submissions will be acknowledged. Each entry must include author’s name, address, phone number, e-mail and short biography and school affiliation – and say “student essay” in the subject line.
Please email for questions.
Habiba Alcindor
Communications Coordinator
The Nation
33 Irving Place
8th Floor
New York City 10003
(212) 209-5416
(212) 982-9000 fax