Each year more than 111,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest for a chance to win their share of more than $900,000 in state and national awards. Each first-place state winner receives a minimum of $500 at the national level, and the national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. 


The essay contest encourages young minds to examine America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society, by drafting a 300- to 400-word essay, expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. Want to apply? Read the rules and eligibility requirements.

Post Level, District Level, and Department Level Awards Presented dependent upon Ranking.

The 2022 - 2023 Patriots Pen Theme is;

"How are you Inspired by America"

Deadline to Post 31 October, to District 15 November

2023 - 2024 Patriots Pen Entry Form

2023 - 2024 Patriots Pen Rules and Eligibility

PP Score Sheet 

PP / VOD Chairman's Manual