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Kids Can Do It Essay Contest

In honor of my Mother, Betty, who taught all of her 6 children
to love reading and writing at an early age.

The Betty Award has both
a Spring & Fall contest. 
Enter now for the
Spring 2018 contest!  The
deadline for the Spring entries
is May 6, 2018.


First Place: Julia Hocker, Age 12
The Mouse in Monet's Garden
Arlington, VA

Second Place: Nina Vigil, Age 11
The Rockerfeller Adventure
Katonah, NY

Third Place: Adam Blanchard, Age 11
The Painting
Waterloo, Ontario Canada

Honorable Mention:Norah Love Boyle, Age 9
More Than an Orphan
Newton, MA

Honorable Mention: Corey Burns, Age 8
What About Me?
Iuka, MS

How to Enter the Writing Contest:

Simply download The Betty Award Entry Form, type your story and mail it to us with the Reading Fee.

Deadline for Spring 2018 Entries:

All entries must be postmarked no later than May 6, 2018. Winners will be notified by June 15, 2018.


Winning Spring 2018 entries will be published on this website
after June 15, 2018.

Reading Fee:

There is a $15 US reading fee per story.
Please make check or money order payable to
The Betty Award.

Contest Rules:

  • Stories must be submitted on the attached form.
  • Entries must be typed and in English.
  • Maximum story length is 1000 words.
  • Contest is open to all children, worldwide, ages 8-12.
  • Entries must be the original unpublished work of the child entering the contest.
  • Stories will not be returned.
  • More than one entry per child is allowed (be sure to include the $15 reading fee for each story submitted).
  • Entries are automatically disqualified if a reading fee check is returned for insufficient funds.
  • Please do not staple checks to the story or entry form.
  • Please do not send entries in over-sized envelopes.

Mail Entries & Reading Fee To:

The Betty Award
P.O. Box 1826
Oak Park, IL 60304

Many thanks to Public Communications, Inc. who assisted with the judging of the Spring 2017 contest.


Format and Submissions:

  • Students may submit two (2) different essays.
  • Word limit per essay: 700 (does not include Title)
  • Typed and double-spaced in 11- or 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Print 2 copies on white, unlined paper
  • Type the student’s Entry ID on the top of each page. This number will be found on your Entry Form Confirmation message. NO OTHER identification should appear on these pages, to ensure the judging is anonymous.

Note to Parents: Essays must be completely the work of the student entering the contest. No assistance in editing or proof reading is permissible. While we encourage students to brainstorm and discuss topic options with their parents, the construction and language of each essay should be entirely done by the student. Parents may:

  • Type essays for younger students.
  • Direct students to resources where answers can be found (e.g. suggesting a student look in a dictionary or specific book if he or she has a question about spelling a word or a specific topic).
  • Help students understand the grammar or spelling suggestions made by the Word processor.

How to Enter:

Entering is as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Fill out the Entry Form online to be issued an Entry ID number. Fill out an online Entry Form for each essay. You do not need to print this. You may also download and print an Entry Form to mail in with your essay instead of entering online. In this case, do not write any Entry ID number on your essay.

  2. On both copies of your essay, type or write your Entry ID number on the top right corner and your Age Category number on the top left corner:

  3. Mail your essay and entry fee, payable to HSLDA. Remember to include an entry fee for each essay – they may be combined onto one check. Mail to:

  4. HSLDA
    Attn: Essay Contest
    PO Box 3000
    Purcellville, VA 20134

Entry Fee:

Multiple entries may be mailed in the same envelope and the multiple entry fees may be included on one check.

Regular Entry Fee$15.00 per essay
HSLDA Member Discounted Entry Fee$10.00 per essay

Please pay via check or money order made payable to "HSLDA" with a note of "Essay Contest" in the memo line.  Foreign checks not accepted.  Contact the Contest Coordinator if you have any questions regarding payment: contests@hslda.org. 


Contest winners will receive a cash congratulations, plus a wonderful transcript booster!

1st Place$100$150$200
2nd Place$75$100$150
3rd Place$50$50$100
Honorable Mentions (2)$25$25$50

Where the Contest Profits Go

All contest profits go to our charitable arm, the Home School Foundation, which uses them to provide low-income homeschooling families with access to educational and legal resources to help them continue homeschooling.

To learn about the mission and funds of the Home School Foundation, visit their website at www.HomeSchoolFoundation.org.

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