Louisiana Folklife

High School Essay Contest 2022-03-07T13:49:18+00:00

14th Annual NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest

The 14th annual NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest is open for submissions until June 1. 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.

The 2022 Contest theme is “Supernatural Louisiana.” Entrants are invited to address one of the following two prompts.

They can write a folk or fairy tale with a Louisiana setting. Students may make up their own tale or may base their tale upon those collected by famous tale collectors (such as the Brothers Grimm or Charles Perrault) or upon the adventures of a traditional folk or fairy tale hero such as Anansi the Spider or Momotaro. However, students should not retell stories based upon animated or live action films.

Entrants could also write a fictional or poetic text with a supernatural component in a Louisiana setting. Students may write either a short story or a poem that addresses some aspect of the supernatural in Louisiana. Possible approaches might include a ghost story set in Louisiana or a poetic description or fictional prose account of an encounter with a supernatural entity such as a feu follet, vampire, or rougarou. However, students should not base their stories or poems upon stories or poems already published in print or on the Internet, or retell a story based upon animated or live action films.

Essays should be approximately 1,000 – 2,500+ words, should have titles and should be typed (double spaced, 12-point font, standard margins). Entries should include a cover sheet with the student’s name, mailing address, phone number and e-mail address, school affiliation and the title of their entry. Entries may be submitted via e-mail to Dr. Shane Rasmussen, rasmussens@nsula.edu or mailed to the Louisiana Folklife Center, NSU Box 3663, Natchitoches, LA 71497. “2022 NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest” should be the subject line of e-mails. The deadline for contest submissions is June 1. Prize-winning students will be notified by July 15.

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 $1,600 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. Winners must 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 need to submit proof of the award. Winning essayists will be invited to read their paper at the 14th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference to be held on the NSU campus on Saturday September 17.

The top three winning entries will also be published in the Louisiana Folklife Journal. Submission of an entry to the contest entails granting permission to publish the essay in the Louisiana Folklife Journal. Entries may be subject to minor revision prior to publication. Additional information is available on the website for the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University: https://louisianafolklife.nsula.edu/.

The essay contest is sponsored by the Louisiana Folklife Center, the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies, the Office of Financial Aid, and the Office of University Recruiting at Northwestern State University.

Call for Essays

2022 NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest

The 14th annual NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest is now open for submissions until June 1, 2022.  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.

The 2022 Contest theme is “Supernatural Louisiana.” Entrants are invited to address one of the following two prompts (not both):

1) Write a folk or fairy tale with a Louisiana setting. Students may make up their own tale or may base their tale upon those collected by famous tale collectors (such as the Brothers Grimm or Charles Perrault) or upon the adventures of a traditional folk or fairy tale hero such as Anansi the Spider or Momotaro.  However, students should not retell stories based upon animated or live action films.

2) Write a fictional or poetic text with a supernatural component in a Louisiana setting.  Students may write either a short story or a poem that addresses some aspect of the supernatural in Louisiana.  Possible approaches might include a ghost story set in Louisiana or a poetic description or fictional prose account of an encounter with a supernatural entity such as a feu follet, vampire, or rougarou.  However, students should not base their stories or poems upon stories or poems already published in print or on the Internet, or retell a story based upon animated or live action films.

Essays should be approximately 1,000 – 2,500+ words, should have titles, and should be typed (double spaced, 12-point font, standard margins).  Entries should include a cover sheet with the student’s name, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address, school affiliation, and the title of their entry.  Entries may be submitted via e-mail to Dr. Shane Rasmussen, rasmussens@nsula.edu or mailed to the Louisiana Folklife Center, NSU Box 3663, Natchitoches, LA 71497.  “2022 NSU Louisiana High School Essay Contest” should be the subject line of e-mails.  The deadline for contest submissions is June 1, 2022.  Prize-winning students will be notified by July 15, 2022.

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.  Winners must 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 need to submit proof of the award.  Winning essayists will be invited to read their paper at the 14th Annual Louisiana Studies Conference to be held on the NSU campus on Saturday September 17, 2022.

The top three winning entries will also be published in the Louisiana Folklife Journal.  Submission of an entry to the Contest entails granting permission to publish the essay in the Louisiana Folklife Journal.  Entries may be subject to minor revision prior to publication. Additional information is available on the website for the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University: https://louisianafolklife.nsula.edu/.

Sponsored by the Louisiana Folklife Center, the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies, the Office of Financial Aid, and the Office of Recruiting at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Essay Contest Co-chairs:

  • Dr. Lisa Abney, Faculty Facilitator for Academic Research and Community College Outreach and Professor of English
  • Jason Church, Chief, Technical Services, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
  • Dr. Rebecca Macijeski, Creative Writing Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of English
  • Dr. Shane Rasmussen, Director of the Louisiana Folklife Center and Professor of English

For more information, contact us at folklife@nsula.edu or (318) 357-4332

Contest Winners

First Place
Gabrielle Murison
Belle Chasse High School
“From On-Screen Superhero to Real-Life Superhero”

Second Place
Apryl D. Gallo
Belle Chasse High School
“Band Hero”

Third Place
Riley Leger
The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts
“Reflections on my Pawpaw, his Life, and Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus”

Honorable Mention
Cameryn Broussard
Carencro High School
“My Father”

Jeremiah Hopkins
Belle Chasse High School
“Gumbo Queen”

Keara Nelson
Natchitoches Central High School
“Gumbo and Magnolias”

First Place
LaKin Ogilvie
Simpson High School
“The Giver of Gifts”

Second Place
Julia Kapusta
Mount Carmel Academy
“Louisiana—Through the Eyes of Gloria Doran”

Third Place
Abbie Butler
Pineville High School
“Looking Back and Moving Forward”

Honorable Mention
Bailee Creasey
C.E. Byrd High School
“Expansion”

Honorable Mention
Valerie Perilloux
St. Charles Catholic High School
“Memories of a Lifetime”

Honorable Mention
Dominic Ross
LSMSA
“War and Homecoming”

First Place

Hana Le

Ruston High School

“That Gray Area: A Self Reflection on Culture and External Factors”

Second Place

Emily Savell

Grant High School

“Bayou des Glaises”

Third Place

Timmie Harris

C.E. Byrd High School

“The Dirty South”

Honorable Mention

Sydney Hedrick

Grant High School

“A Boot-Shaped Mark”

Honorable Mention

Summer Netterville

C.E. Byrd High School

“What Makes My State So Great”

First Place
Kristen Adams
Caddo Parish Magnet High School
“The Jaquedeaux”

Second Place
Natalie DuBose
Minden High School
“The Ghost of Mardi Gras”

Third Place
Jadynn Giles
Grant High School
“The Edge of the Bayou”

Honorable Mention
Peyton Harville
Airline High School
“Happily Ever After in New Orleans”

Honorable Mention
Allison Huffty
Caddo Parish Magnet High School
“Selena”

Honorable Mention
Jacob Pichon
St. Paul’s School
“The White Crawfish”

First Place

Blake Ziegler

Holy Cross School

New Orleans, LA

“Chevra Thilim”

 

Second Place

Sarah Hendrickson

Mount Carmel Academy

New Orleans, LA

“Côte des Allemands”

Third Place

Anna Goodwin

Alexandria High School

Alexandria, LA

“The Miracle at Cabrini Hospital”

 

Honorable Mention

Ashley Couget

Mount Carmel Academy

New Orleans, LA

“Refuge”

Honorable Mention

Benjamin Harris Davidson

St. Paul’s School

Covington, LA

“All Hail King Rex”

First Place
Jadynn Giles
Grant High School
Pollock, LA
“‘Ripples in the Water”

Second Place
Luke Paille
St. Paul’s School
Covington, LA
“A Boy’s Never Forgotten Experiences in Louisiana”

Third Place
Bryce Moulton
Louisiana School of Math, Science, and the Arts
Natchitoches, LA
“I AM FROM” and “What Goes On In My Back Yard”

Honorable Mention
Robert Kyte
Ruston High School
Ruston, LA
“Swimming in Louisiana”

Alena Noakes
Grant High School
Dry Prong, LA
“My Poetic Soul and Its Muse”

Kelly O’Neal
Cedar Creek High School
Choudrant, LA
“The World of Cowboys”

First Place

Brant Guerin

Redemptorist High School

Greenwell Springs, LA

“‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich”

 

Second place

Chelsea Franklin

Crowley High School

Crowley, LA

“The Mysteries of Huey Long”

Third place

Andrea Bradley

Westminster Christian Academy

Ville Platte, LA

“A Talk with the Madam”

First Place

Angelle Nicole Williams

St. Amant High School

St. Amant, LA

“I Am Proud To Be Louisianan.”

 

Second place

Jacquelyn Clark

St. Mary’s High School

Natchitoches, LA

“Fact vs. Fiction: My Louisiana and the Media’s Louisiana”

Third place

Alex Thomas

Cedar Creek High School

Ruston, LA

“A Bowlful of Culture.”

Honorable Mention

Mazie DuBois

St. Mary’s High School

Natchitoches, LA

“What is Louisiana Really Like?”

Regan Edwards

Glenbrook School

Minden, LA

“More than Bonnie and Clyde”

Nathaniel Gardner

St. Mary’s High School

Natchitoches, LA

“The Mass Media’s Erroneous Portrayal of Louisiana.”

First Place

Anne Mertens

Home Study

Natchitoches, LA

“A New Life”

Second Place

Brent Charles Alexander

River Oaks School

Monroe, LA

“Cultural and Heritage Preservation and Genealogy and Ancestry Awareness”

Third Place

Ryan Moore

River Oaks School

Monroe, LA

“Preserving Louisiana Wildlife”

First Place

Saraf Ahmed

Cedar Creek School

Ruston, Louisiana

“Spider Web”

Second Place

 

Madeline Wagnon

Captain Shreve High School

Shreveport, Louisiana

“The Journey of a Character”

Third Place

Molly Mitchell

Cedar Creek School

Ruston, Louisiana

“An Interconnected Heartbeat”

Creative Non-fiction Category

Shelby Elise Paine

Captain Shreve High School

Shreveport, Louisiana

“Visions of Home, Louisiana, as Seen From My Childhood”

Poetry Category

Josh Farr

Saint Paul’s School

Mandeville, Louisiana

“Crawfish” and “Gumbo”

Poetry Category: Honorable Mention

Meredith McManus

Atlanta High School

Atlanta, Louisiana

“Marie Laveau”

Fiction Category

Michael Burke

Saint Paul’s School

Mandeville, Louisiana

“The Rumble”

First Place

Morgan Bollich

“Inspiration: The Beauty Within”

Eunice, Louisiana

Second Place

Savannah Kate Bridges

“Tabasco Veins, Zydeco Heartbeat”

Rayville, Louisiana

Third Place

Chuhyun Kim

“Louisiana: My Inspiration”

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Honorable Mention

Lyle Manion

“A New World”

Covington, Louisiana

Honorable Mention

Michael Sitarz

“Environmental Inspiration”

Madisonville, Louisiana

Honorable Mention

Laramie Williams

“Through the Storm, We Stood”

Natchitoches, Louisiana

1st Place – Morgan Bulliard “Mais Sha, I’m Cajun!”

2nd Place – Heath McDaniel “Live in the Sportsman’s Paradise”

3rd Place – Maria Hefte “A Diverse Heritage”

Runners Up

1st Runner Up – Kim Bassemier “Louisiana Cuisine”

2nd Runner Up – Jennifer Grunder “My Louisiana Sky”

3rd Runner Up – Duyen Tran “In Which There is a Realization of Importance”