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Elie Wiesel Essay Contest 2014 Guidelines

The Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics

Submission site (click here)



  • First Prize - $ 5,000
  • Second Prize - $ 2,500
  • Second Prize - $ 1,000
  • Two Honorable Mentions - $ 500 each


  • Registered undergraduate full-time juniors or seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities in the United States during the fall 2012 semester.

Suggested Essay Topic

  • Articulate with clarity an ethical issue that you have encountered and analyze what it has taught you about ethics and yourself.

What the Readers Look For

  • Clear articulation and genuine grappling with an ethical dilemma
  • Adherence to guidelines and carefully proofread essays
  • Observation of rules for Standard English usage (grammar, punctuation, mechanics) in writing and revising your work
  • Thoroughly thought-out, tightly focused essays
  • Originality and imagination
  • Eloquence of writing style
  • Intensity and unity in the essay

Essay Format

  • In 3,000 to 4,000 words, students are encouraged to raise questions, single out issues and identify dilemmas.
  • Essays may be written in the formal or informal voice, but most importantly, an individual voice should be evident.
  • The essay should be developed from your point of view and may take the form of an analysis that is biographical, historical, literary, philosophical, psychological, sociological or theological.
  • Essay must be the original, unpublished work of one student. Only one essay per student per year may be submitted.
  • All essays must have a title.
  • All essays must be written in English.
  • Essay should be titled, typed in 12-point font easily readable font (such as Times New Roman), double-spaced with 1" margins and numbered pages.
  • Submissions will be judged anonymously. Hence, no name or identifying references (i.e. your name, school, or professor) should appear on the title page or in the document. Our office will put a code on your essay.

Faculty Sponsor

  • Any interested professor at the student's school may act as a Faculty Sponsor.
  • Students entering the contest are required to have a Faculty Sponsor review and electronically verify their essay.
  • Your Faculty Sponsor will need to verify online that your essay meets the content standards in order for your essay to be judged.
  • All essays must be verified by the deadline on December 2, 2013 at 5pm PST in order to be judged.
  • Upon submitting your entry online, your reported Faculty Sponsor will be emailed with a link to review and verify your submission online.
  • If your Faculty Sponsor declines your submission or does not verify your essay by the deadline, it is disqualified.
  • Please work with your Faculty Sponsor on any necessary edits to your essay before you upload and submit online.
  • Your Faculty Sponsor will be reminded by email in the event your submission is not reviewed near to the deadline, but please check on the status of your submission independently, and work with your sponsor to ensure timely verifications.
  • Faculty members should only endorse thought-provoking, well-written essays that fall within the contest guidelines.

Enrollment Verification

  • The Foundation requires an official letter from your Registrar on your institution's letterhead, or from the National Student Clearing House verifying

Submission of Materials

  • Entries must be submitted online through a submission system.
  • Essays will be uploaded as a PDF (.pdf).
  • Enrollment verification must be uploaded as a PDF file.
  • Your Faculty Sponsor's name and contact information, including email, must be provided.
  • You may edit your unfinished submission at any time but once submitted, you will not be able to edit your entry.
  • You must submit to generate the email to your Faculty Sponsor.
  • All essays must be verified by the Faculty Sponsor by the deadline on December 5, 2011 at 5pm PST in order to be judged.
  • Please note that due to the volume of entries, no materials will be critiqued or returned.
  • No paper or hard-copy submissions will be accepted.

Please Enter Online at WWW.ETHICSPRIZE.ORG

The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
555 Madison Avenue – 20th Floor
New York, NY 10022

Telephone: 212-490-7788

Last Updated: 9/23/13