Peace Essay Contest

The West Suburban Peace Coalition (WSPC) announces the 2021 Peace Essay Contest with $1,000 to be awarded for the best entry that promotes knowledge of the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact and the cause of peace. Second-place prize is $500 and third place, $300.

WSPC sponsors the contest annually as a way to commemorate and to promote awareness of the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact, the first international agreement that outlawed war. Representing their respective countries, U.S. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg and French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand signed the pact Aug. 27, 1928. A total of 63 nations joined the pact, making it the most ratified treaty in history at that time. The Pact served as the modal for war crime trials following WWII. It also ended the legality of any territory seized in illegal war.

There are no restrictions regarding the age of contestants or their country of residence.

To enter the contest:

1. Send an email by July 1, 2021, with “Peace Essay Request” in the subject box, to contest coordinator Walt Zlotow at zlotow@hotmail.com. Include your name, mailing address, email address, phone number, and age (if younger than 18). Your application acceptance as a contestant will be acknowledged in an email that contains your assigned four-digit essay number.

2. In 800 words or fewer, write an essay on “How Can We Obey the Law Against War?” Include the name(s) and position(s) of the person(s) to whom the essay will be directed; person or persons of your choice who can help promote knowledge of the Kellogg – Briand Pact and from whom you expect a response. If information is missing you will be contacted by email or phone.

Some examples of impact:

  • The President agrees to explain the limitations placed on the government by KBP.
  • A member of congress supports a resolution to make August 27 a Day of Reflection.
  • A newspaper includes a KBP story.
  • A school board revises its curriculum to expand KBP studies.
  • A religious leader calls for nonviolent actions.

3. No later than July 15, 2021, send your essay to the person(s) named in the application, with a copy to zlotow@hotmail.com.

4. Send any responses from recipient(s) of your essay as they are received.

5. Submissions will be judged on the quality of the essay. Lack of response to your essay from recipient(s) will not be factored into essay judging. However, it will help in determining the effectiveness of the Peace Essay Project.

Contest winners will be notified in early August ahead of the the 93rd anniversary of the signing of the Kellogg-Briand Peace Pact, signed on August 27, 1928. Winners will be invited to participate in our September 21st Educational Forum via Zoom. 

For information, contact: Walt Zlotow at (630) 442-3045; zlotow@hotmail.com.

WSPC is a non-profit peace organization based in Chicago’s western suburbs. WSPC promotes peace through public witness, peace education, an annual peace essay contest and lobbying for peaceful legislative initiatives.