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Essay Contest

The Essay Contest is sponsored by Optimist International to give young people the opportunity to write about their own opinions regarding the world in which they live. Young students today have so many fresh ideas about the world and their future. As Optimists, it is our goal to encourage them and do what we can to bring out the best in each of them. This gives them a wonderful opportunity to tap into their creativity and pursue possible scholarships at the same time.

The topic for 2022/23 is "Who is an Everyday Hero that Brings Out the Optimism in You"

In addition to developing skills for written expression, participants also have the opportunity to win a college scholarship!

The contest is open to students under the age of 19 who are not enrolled in a post secondary degree program.

Club level contests are held in early February. Winning essays will be advanced to the district level by Feb. 28/2022 for a chance to win a Scholarship of $2,500.


Contest Rules

1. Participants must write on the official topic.

2. Each entry must begin with a title page containing: the official topic, number of words, writer’s name, address,  phone number, name of school and date of birth.

3. At the top of page 1 should be the official topic and the number of words (penalty of 2 points for lack of topic  and 5 points for failure to identify the total number of words correctly).

4. Essays must be typewritten and double-spaced. (Deduction of 5 points)

5. Essays must contain at least 700 words but no more than 800 words. Every word of the essay is counted. This does not include the title, bibliography or footnotes. Hyphenated words count as 1 word (Deduction of 5 points for each 25 words over/under limit).

6. Each page of the essay must be numbered starting with page 1 of the essay, not the title page. The numbers must be centered at the bottom of each page.

7. Any quotations or copyrighted material used must be identified properly. For example, use of a specific writer’s format (such as MLA) may be specified by the instructor overseeing the contest. Failure to identify non-original material will result in disqualification.

8. No references can be made in the essay that identifies the student, parents, school, community, sponsoring Optimist Club or District. (Deduction of 5 points or fraction based on degree of identification)

9. An essay may be written in either English, French, or Spanish if the language used is an official language of the country in which the sponsoring Club is located.

10. The entry must be stapled together in the upper left-hand corner. Covers of any type are not accepted.


To Enter

Your Essay must be received before Feb. 7th, 2022.  Print out a copy of the Application from the above LINK. Send the Essay along with the application to the link below. You will be instructed where to drop off the original essay. 

South West Kitchener Optimist Club


Application for Essay Contest


Southwest Kitchener Optimist Club

120 Pioneer Drive, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, N2P 2C2