Student Essay & Video Competition

Announcing the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Student Essay and Video Competitions, with a top prize of $2,000! The essay competition is open to U.S.-based middle school and high school students and the video competition is open to U.S.-based high school and college students.

Essay Competition

The authors of the winning essays will each receive $2,000 and an invitation to attend the Victims of Communism Triumph of Liberty Conference and Gala Dinner to be held on November 19, 2020 in the main hall of Union Station in Washington, DC. Travel and accommodations for each winner and one parental chaperone are included in the prize.

One essay prize will be awarded at both the middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12) levels.

Essay prompt: In August of 1920, a multinational army led by Poland’s Marshal Piłsudski successfully halted the Bolshevik effort to extend its communist revolution into Western Europe by routing Lenin’s army in the Battle of Warsaw. In an essay of 600-800 words, explain the significance of this victory and how subsequent history might have been different had Lenin prevailed.

The Foundation will appoint a committee of judges to select the winning essays. Prizes will not be awarded if, in the exclusive opinion of the judges, submitted essays or videos are of insufficient quality. Essays that are, in the exclusive opinion of the judges, of publishable quality will, with the consent of the author, be eligible for publication on the Foundation’s new website, Dissident.

Prior to the awarding of cash prizes, winners will be required to verify their eligibility, and to attest to the fact that the winning essay is wholly their own. Any amount of plagiarism will result in disqualification.

Essays should be between 600 and 800 words. Submission email should include the following information: student name, age, grade, school, complete contact information for parent or guardian, and should be sent in Microsoft Word format to murray.bessette@victimsofcommunism.org by October 1, 2019. Winners will be notified at the end of October.

Video Competition

The winning director will receive $2,000 and an invitation to attend the Victims of Communism Triumph of Liberty Conference and Gala Dinner to be held on November 19, 2020 in the Main Hall of Union Station in Washington, D.C. Travel and accommodations for the winner and one parental chaperone are included in the prize.

One video prize will be awarded at the middle school (grades 6-8) level, and another will be awarded at the high school (grades 9-12) and college level (undergraduate and graduate).

Video prompt: In 2020, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the victory over Lenin and his Bolshevik army in the Battle of Warsaw. In a video of 60-90 seconds, explain the lesson(s) we should learn from that moment in history.

The Foundation will appoint a committee of judges to select the winning video. A prize will not be awarded if, in the exclusive opinion of the judges, submitted videos are of insufficient quality. A video that is, in the exclusive opinion of the judges, of sufficient quality will, with the consent of the director, be eligible to be screened at the Triumph of Liberty Conference.

Prior to the awarding of cash prizes, winners will be required to verify their eligibility, and to attest to the fact that the winning video is wholly their own. Any amount of plagiarism will result in disqualification.

Videos should be between 60 and 90 seconds in length. Submission email should include the following information: student name, age, grade/year, school, complete contact information for parent or guardian (or student if at the college level), and should be sent via YouTube upload with a link sent to murray.bessette@victimsofcommunism.org by October 1, 2019. Winners will be notified at the end of October.