Since 1996, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) has joined with the National Christopher Columbus Association to sponsor an annual national essay contest on Christopher Columbus. The contest is open to students in grades 9 through 12 in public, private, or parochial schools, or to those who are home-schooled. This contest is conducted without regard to race, religion, gender, or national origin.
Since Columbus’s first voyage 528 years ago, a variety of societal factors have influenced how Columbus’s voyages are interpreted through a contemporary lens. How did the voyages of Christopher Columbus express the general political, social and scientific outlook of the fifteenth century? Why is it important to remember these factors when reflecting on Christopher Columbus as a historical figure?
Essays must have a word count between 800-1,200 words and will be judged for historical accuracy, adherence to topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness. In addition to the required length, students must include the following elements in their essay:
- A title page with an original title, name, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, school, grade, and word count
- MLA formatted citations and bibliography
- 3 number of print/non-internet sources
- All submissions must be sent via e-mail to [email protected] by the deadline below for consideration.
- Deadline: 11:59 PM EST January 1, 2021
- Notification: June 15, 2021 by 5:00 pm
First, second and third-place national winners are selected after judging on a national level. To qualify for first place, the winner must be able to go to Washington, D.C. to read his or her winning essay at the Christopher Columbus Celebration. The first-place national winner will receive a $1,200 prize in addition to paid lodging and transportation to Washington, D.C. in October for the winner and one parent or guardian to attend the NCCA’s annual Columbus Day Celebration and read their essay. The second place national winner receives $500, and the third-place winner receives $300.