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.
Christopher Columbus’s transatlantic voyages are largely considered the beginning of the Age of Exploration. How did Columbus’s voyages set the stage for the Age of Exploration and impact European commerce and politics?
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 March 15, 2024
- Notification: June 15, 2024 by 5:00 pm EST
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.