The contest was sponsored by the Folklife Society of Louisiana, the Louisiana Folklife Center, the Northwestern State University Office of the Provost, the NSU Office of Recruiting, the NSU Writing Project and the College of Arts, Letters, Graduate Studies and Research.
Entrants wrote on the subject “Fact vs. Fictions,” addressing the prompt “How does the Louisiana that you know compare to the depictions of Louisiana in the mass media?” The first, second, and third prize winners each received a $200 per semester NSU scholarship with a value up to $1,600 for four years. All of the contest winners will receive a cash prize in honor of their accomplishment. The essay contest is open to all Louisiana students in grades 9 – 12 regardless of type of school institution, including students in all types of private educational environments and home schooled students.
“This year’s winning essays correct many of the widespread misconceptions about Louisiana, and in doing so they simultaneously illustrate the vitality of Louisiana’s culture and people,” said Dr. Shane Rasmussen, director of the Louisiana Folklife Center and co-chair of the contest. “These essays are inspiring because they raise our awareness that the real Louisiana is even more exciting, interesting, and wonderful than any fabricated depiction of the state and its people might hope to convey.”
Contest winners have been invited to attend the sixth annual Louisiana Studies Conference at Northwestern State on Saturday, Sept. 20 to read their essays to conference participants prior to having their essays published in the Louisiana Folklife Journal,published by the Louisiana Folklife Center. This year’s Conference theme is “Louisiana Realities.” Attendance at the conference is free and open to the public.
The theme for the next Louisiana High School Essay Contest will be announced in the spring of 2015. For information contact Rasmussen, NSU Box 3663, Natchitoches, Louisiana, 71497, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (318) 357-4332.