Entries being accepted for NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest


The 13th annual NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest is open for submissions until June 1.  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, as well as home schooled students.

The 2021 Contest theme is “Louisiana Heroes.”  Entrants are invited to explore the following questions in their essays: “Who is a Louisianan you greatly admire?  How has this person’s example benefitted you?”  Students may be acquainted or even related to the person they discuss, and the person may be living or deceased.  Personal reflections and experiences are perfectly valid as part of the essay content.  Essays may be in narrative form if the student so chooses.

Essays should be approximately 1,000 – 2,500+ words, should have titles and should be typed (double spaced, 12-point font, standard margins).  Entries should include a cover sheet with the student’s name, school affiliation, entrant’s mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address and the title of their entry.  Entries may be submitted via e-mail to Dr. Shane Rasmussen, rasmussens@nsula.edu or mailed to the Louisiana Folklife Center, NSU Box 3663, Natchitoches, LA 71497.  “2021 NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest” should be the subject line of e-mails. Prize-winning students will be notified by July 15.

The prizes for the contest winners are: $150 for first; $100 for second and $50 for third. Essay contest winners will receive a $200/per semester NSU scholarship with a value up to $1,600 if they attend NSU for four years.  This award is in addition to other scholarship awards that the student may receive from Northwestern State.  Winners must have at least a 20 ACT composite or 950 on the SAT, as well as at least a 2.0 GPA to be eligible.  Essay winners need to submit proof of the award.

Winning essayists will be invited to read their paper at the 13th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference to be held virtually via Microsoft Teams on Saturday Sept. 25.  The top three winning entries will also be published in the Louisiana Folklife Journal.  Submission of an entry to the Contest entails granting permission to publish the essay in the Louisiana Folklife Journal.  Entries may be subject to minor revision prior to publication.  Additional information is available on the website for the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State: https://louisianafolklife.nsula.edu/.

The contest is sponsored by the Louisiana Folklife Center, the NSU Writing Project, the College of Arts, Sciences, Graduate Studies and Research, the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies, the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of University Recruiting at Northwestern State.