Peace Essay Contest

Congratulations to the 2016 Peace Essay Contest Winners! 

About 350 students from all over Virginia entered this year’s Peace Essay Contest, writing essays about:  “What lessons about cooperation and peacemaking could humans learn from nature?”

Read the work of our 2016 winners here:

Primary Grade Winners

Elementary Grade Winners

Middle School Winners

High School Winners


We valued every essay that was submitted and appreciate all who participated!


Calling All Students!  Tell Us a Story …

Each year, the Peace Essay Contest encourages young people to elaborate, clarify, and organize their thought about a critical topic related to peace.  The specific writing prompt changes each year.  By participating, these young peace champions are able to grow and expand their own views on peace and justice.  The contest is open to any elementary, middle or high school student in Virginia and prizes are awarded in four grade divisions:  K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.

How the Contest Works

Each year the essay contest is managed by a committee comprised of Peace Center volunteers and board members.  The committee selects the prompt, recruits judges and prepares entries for judging.  Once the essays are submitted, volunteer judges read and score the entries.  Each entry is read by at least three judges and scored based using a standard system.

This program is supported by the Doherty Family Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia.  If you’d like to volunteer to help with next year’s contest, please contact us at