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 US-based middle school and high school students and the video competition is open to US-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 8, 2019 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: While visiting Checkpoint Charlie on June 11, 1982, President Ronald Reagan was asked his impression of the Berlin Wall. He responded: “It’s as ugly as the idea behind it.” In an essay of 600-800 words, explain the ugliness of the idea of communism, and its relationship to the Berlin Wall that once divided one of the great cities of the world.
 
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. Submissions should be sent in Microsoft Word format to murray.bessette@victimsofcommunism.org by October 21, 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 8, 2019 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.
 
Video prompt: In 2019, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe. 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.
 
One video prize will be awarded.
 
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. Submissions should be sent via YouTube upload with a link sent to murray.bessette@victimsofcommunism.org by October 21, 2019. Winners will be notified at the end of October.