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2021 Pacific Islands Essay Contest

The Center for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies announces the 2021 Pacific Islands Essay Contest for high school students living in the Pacific Islands. Students will be asked to write about their cultural treasures and explain how others can benefit from them. The top three 1000 word essays will be published on the center’s webpage. Below are the details.


The contest is open to students currently in grades 10 through 12 residing in American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Marianas Islands, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, the Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The cover sheet, essay and entry form must be submitted via email and received by Noon EST, October 15, 2021.

The essay must respond to the prompt. The essay must be the original work of the person submitting the essay.

The Prompt

Think about your culture. There are many things to be treasured in your culture. Think about one or two of those cultural treasures that you most value. What are they? How could those cultural treasures be used by other people around the world to help make the world a better place?

In 1000 words identify your culture, describe one or two cultural treasures and then explain how and why those treasures are important in making the world a better place.

An essay may not exceed 1,000 words. Citations and cover page information are excluded from the word count.

Sponsoring Teacher
For the essay to be considered students are required to obtain the sponsorship of one of their school teachers. In sponsoring the student, a teacher agrees to advise the student in the preparation of the essay. Be sure to supply the teacher’s name and obtain their signature on the contest entry form.

Essay Format
(1) Essays must be typed and submitted as a pdf file.
(2) Essays must be double-spaced.
(3) Essays must be in 12 pt. Times New Roman or Arial font.
(4) Your essay should contain a cover page that includes your name and the name of your school. The name of the student not appear anywhere except on the cover page.
(5) Citations must be placed in footnotes, endnotes, or bibliographies.
(6) Students may submit only one essay.

What to include with your submission
(1) The completed contest entry form completed;
(2) An essay cover page (with only the full name of the student, the name of the school and the word count), and
(3) The essay.

How to submit your essay
Email your submission (entry form, essay cover page and essay) to canzps@georgetown.edu. The subject line for your submission must read: “ESSAY SUBMISSION [your last name, your first name]”. All submissions must be in pdf format and must be received no later than 12PM (EST), October 15, 2021. Your essay will not be accepted if you deviate from the instructions.  Click here for the contest entry form.

Assessment Criteria
(1) Clarity/Effectiveness of expressing the theme;
(2) Grammar, spelling, and composition; and
(3) Originality.

Fr. Fran Hezel, S.J.
Rep. Amata Radewagen, (R-American Samoa)
Prof. Alan Tidwell, Georgetown University

The first, second and third place winners will be announced on or about November 12, 2021. The winning essays will be published on the website of the Center for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Island Studies.

If you have questions please email canzps@georgetown.edu