Essay Prompt, Requirements, Eligibility, and Awards


David Hudak First Place Prize: $3,500
Second Place Award: $3,000
Third Place Award: $2,500
Fourth Place Award: $2,000
Fifth Place Award: $1,500
Sixth Place Award: $1,000
Seventh Place Award: $750
Eighth Place Award: $500
Ninth Place Award: $400

Tenth Place Award: $300
Optional Honorable Mention(s): $200

TOPIC: "What I would like to tell my family (or friends) about my atheism or nonbelief."

PROMPT: In an essay written in the form of a letter to a religious family member, friend or teacher, etc., please tell them what you think is most important to know about why you are an atheist or otherwise reject religion.  (You may prefer to describe yourself as an agnostic, freethinker, humanist, etc.) You may wish to address common misconceptions or stereotypes about atheism, reassure them about your morality or explain why rejecting religion has improved your life.  If you choose to discuss harm caused by religion, please include one reason why you also consider religion to be untrue.
(NOTE: We are not looking for an opinion or theory about the origin of religion or why religion exists.)

ELIGIBILITY: Open only to Black, Indigenous and Students of Color ages 17-21, who are either high school seniors graduating in spring 2021 who will be attending a North American college or university in fall 2021, or who are currently enrolled in a college or university.  If you will be graduating from college in the spring or summer 2021, you remain eligible to enter this contest. This contest is offered to provide support and acknowledgment for freethinking Black, Indigenous and Students of Color, as a minority within a minority. People of Color refers to all racial groups that are not white. Specifically, any person who is not considered white, including African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans and others. FFRF offers other essay contests open to all students in your age group. Students may only enter one FFRF contest annually.

WORD LIMIT: 400-600 words.