2016 NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest


The 2016 Contest theme is “Louisiana Inspirations.” Students are invited to explore the following question in their essays: “What experience in Louisiana has inspired you the most?”


Personal reflections and experiences are perfectly valid as part of the essay content. Essays may be in narrative form if the student so chooses.


Length: Approximately 1,000 – 2,500 words. All entries should have titles and should be typed (double spaced, 12 point font, standard margins). Deadline: May 16, 2016.


The essay contest is open to all Louisiana students in grades 9-12 regardless of type of school institution, including students in all types of private educational environments, as well as home schooled students.


All entries should be sent as e-mail attachments to Dr. Shane Rasmussen, rasmussens@nsula.edu or by mail to the Louisiana Folklife Center, NSU Box 3663, Natchitoches, LA 71497. Please include a separate cover page with your name, school affiliation, mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, and the title of your entry. “2016 NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest” should be the subject line of e-mails. Prize winning students will be notified by July 15, 2016.


The prizes for the contest winners are: 1st place – $150; 2nd place – $100; and 3rd place – $50. In addition, essay contest winners will receive a $200/per semester NSU scholarship with a value up to $1600 if they attend NSU for four years. This award is in addition to other scholarship awards that the student may receive from Northwestern State University. To be eligible, essay winners must submit a complete scholarship application packet to the university by December 1 of their Senior Year. Winners must also have at least a 20 ACT composite or 950 on the SAT, as well as at least a 2.0 GPA to be eligible. Essay winners also need to submit proof of the award.


The three prize winning entries will be published in the Louisiana Folklife Journal, an academic journal produced by the Louisiana Folklife Center, Northwestern State University, General Editor, Dr. Shane Rasmussen. (Entries may be subject to minor revision before publication.) Submission to the contest entails granting permission to publish the entry in the Louisiana Folklife Journal. The three prize winning students will also be invited to present their essay at the 8th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference held at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, on Saturday September 17, 2016.


Additional information is available on the website for the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University: https://louisianafolklife.nsula.edu/.


Essay Contest Co-chairs:


Dr. Lisa Abney, Professor of English


Jason Church, Materials Conservator, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training


Lisa Davis, National Writing Project Director and Instructor of English and Education


Dr. Shane Rasmussen, Director of the Louisiana Folklife Center and Associate Professor of English


Sponsored by the Louisiana Folklife Center, the NSU Writing Project, the College of Arts, Sciences, Graduate Studies and Research, the Office of Financial Aid, and the Office of Recruiting at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.