Hill Country Optimist Club

Essay Contest

Official 2017 Topic
“Chasing Optimism in the Face of Challenges”

Due Date February 22, 2017

The Hill Country Optimist club is encouraging area students to contemplate the phrase “Chasing Optimism in the Face of Challenges” as part of the Optimist International Essay Contest for 2017.

The Optimist Club will judge the local students’ essays, based on the theme of “Chasing Optimism in the Face of Challenges” and determine the top winners. Winners will receive awards and the winning essays will be sent to the district level where college scholarships are available for top

“Young students today have so many fresh ideas about the world and their future,” Club President McNeal said. “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.”

Essay 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 nonoriginal material will result in
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.

How to submit your essay:

Please scan your essay if handwritten or send word document, as well as a filled out Essay Application and email to:


Download: Optimist Essay Application 2017

The essay application may be filled out digitally or printed and scanned before sending. You will receive a confirmation email.

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