Essay Contests

Essay Contests

Run in conjunction with our biannual major conferences, winners of each essay contest receive the Newman Forum Writer’s Prize, and are celebrated at a banquet at the end of each calendar year.

Submission Rules:
  • Write an essay (750-1000 words) on one of the topics below.
  • Submit your essay via email to as an attached Word Doc (NOT a Google Doc!)
  • Your submitted document should indicate, either in the heading or elsewhere, that it is a submission for “Essay Contest Prompt #__”
  • Please make sure your name is NOT on the document itself! You may include your name in the body of the email.
    • *Note: Essay contest prompts are always based on the content of our biannual conferences. While not required, attendance of the corresponding conference will undoubtedly enrich submissions. We encourage you to attend if possible, to give a clearer picture of the conversation your entry is entering into!
  • Please submit using an email you will have access to for the duration of the calendar year. 
Essay Contest Topics:

Prompt #1: Which saint or figure from Scripture do you think is the most compelling example of leaving home? Research their story and make an argument relating their life to the themes discussed in the conference. We encourage you to choose someone not mentioned during the event.

Prompt #2: Using what you heard in the lectures, choose a time in your life, either past or present, wherein you’ve had to discern a major decision to go somewhere or leave somewhere. Describe this “leaving home” experience to us narratively: What was it like? How does the conference content relate to or clarify your discernment experience?

Submissions are due by January 31st, 2022