This Essay Contest is sponsored by the Patagonia Regional Times, 
the Patagonia Creative Arts Center and Borderlands Restoration

Essay Topics:

Grades 6 – 8:

  • If it were up to you to choose one item from your community to place in a time capsule for future generations, what would you choose? Use specific reasons and examples to support your choice, explaining both the item’s significance and the reasons why it embodies the culture of your community.

Grades 9 – 12:

  • Some people are actively involved in promoting and supporting a cause, such as fighting for racial equity or protecting the environment from climate change. Is there a cause you actively support? Write an essay convincing readers to support that cause.

Submission Dates: October 15 – December 15, 2020

Essay Contest Guidelines:

1: Essays must include a cover sheet containing the following information: 

Essay Title

Student’s Name 

Student’s mailing address 

Telephone number 

Email address 

Date of Birth 

Grade level 


Signature attesting that the essay is entirely your own work with no adult involvement.

Parent’s signature

2: The student’s name should appear only on the cover page and not on any of the essay pages. The title and page number must appear on each page of the essay

3: Word length: Between 300 and 500 words (does not include Cover Sheet or Title)

4: Essays should be typed in 12 point font and double spaced. If essay needs to be handwritten, write legibly and skip every other line.

5: Only one essay per student may be submitted. 

6: Essays may be turned into your teacher for submission, submitted by email to, or by U.S. Mail to Patagonia Regional Times, PO Box 1073, Patagonia, AZ 85624. If submitting by U.S. mail, Entries must be postmarked on/before December 15, 2020. If submitting by email, entries must be received by December 15, 2020. 

7: By submitting an essay, you are attesting that the work is entirely your original research and writing. By submitting an essay, you also agree that your essay will become the property of the Patagonia Regional Times and will not be returned. The Patagonia Regional Times reserves the right to print and display the essays and photographs of the contest winners.

Prizes and Recognition:

There will be two divisions, with first place, second place and honorable mention awarded in each: 

Middle School (grades 6 – 8) and High School (grades 9 – 12)

First Place: $50 Gift Card, essay published in The Patagonia Regional Times and on the PRT website.

Second Place: $25 Gift Card, essay published in The Patagonia Regional Times and on the PRT website.

Honorable Mention: $20 Gift Card. Essay published on the Patagonia Regional Times website.

Certificate of Participation: All Participants whose essays are submitted to The Patagonia Regional Times will receive a Certificate of Participation.