For the 24th year, all Maryland middle-school students are invited to enter a statewide writing contest focusing on the themes of peace and social justice. Seventh- and eighth-grade students enrolled in public or private schools in Maryland and to homeschooled students corresponding to the same grade levels are eligible. Four cash prizes will be awarded ranging from $350 for first place to $100 for fourth place. The winners will be honored at a special ceremony, although attendance is not required to receive an award.

To enter, students must submit an entry of up to 1,200 words on this topic: Some students have engaged in school “walkouts” to express their views on an issue on which they have a strong opinion. The “climate strikes” proposed by Greta Thunberg calling attention to the challenges posed by climate change and the “March for Our Lives” advocating gun control are examples of this tactic. School officials have responded in different ways. Some have allowed it, some have “scripted” the actions with specific guidelines and limitations, and some have declined to permit it. You are asked by your principal to serve on a committee at your school to develop a policy governing student actions on important issues such as climate change and gun control. What would be your suggestions be and why?

Entries must be accompanied by a separate cover sheet, including the student’s name; address; phone number;  email address; school’s name, address and phone number; and the name of the teacher sponsor if applicable. Entries must be postmarked no later than May 15, 2023 and mailed to Peace Writing Contest, 310 Riverview Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403-3328. Anne Arundel Peace Action and the Maryland Peace Action Education Fund are affiliated with Peace Action, the country’s largest grassroots peace and disarmament organization.

For more information, please call 410-263-7409 or email

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