Women and the Vote Essay Contest

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote.

2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote. The year is also the centennial of the founding of the League of Women Voters. In recognition of these events, the League of Women Voters of Lane County and Wordcrafters in Eugene are co-sponsoring an essay contest for high school students in Lane County on the topic of Women and the Vote.

Writers of first-, second-, and third-place essays will be presented a certificate acknowledging their achievement plus a cash award of $250, $150, and $100, respectively, and will be invited to submit their essay for publication in the LWVLC newsletter, The Argus. Honorable mention winners will each receive a certificate acknowledging their achievement.

All high school students are invited to write a 500-750-word essay.


The essay must address some aspect of women and the right to vote. Some potential questions the students could address are:

  • What is the history of women and the right to vote?
  • How did the effort to give women the vote start and why?
  • Who were the individuals who led the effort to give women the right to vote and what were their roles?
  • Why were women of color omitted from the 19th amendment?
  • How significant are women voters in today’s elections?
  • Who was Abigail Scott Duniway and why is she significant in women getting the right to vote in Oregon?


  • Essays must be between 500-750 words in length. Submissions that do not meet the minimum number of words or exceed it will be disqualified.
  • Essays submitted must be entrant’s original work.
  • Only one essay per person is allowed.
  • Entrants must be a student in 9th-12th grades who is currently attending public or private high school or is home schooled in Lane County, Oregon.
  • All entries must be submitted electronically via the submission form below.*

*If the entrant does not personally have internet access, the local library may offer this service. If that doesn’t not resolve the problem, please contact the LWVLC office at 541-343-7917 for assistance. NOTE: The submission deadline will not be extended while the entrant looks for internet access.


  • Submissions NOW OPEN.
  • Submission must be received by 11:59 pm PST on March 12, 2020.
  • Judging March-April 2020.
  • Finalists notified May 10, 2020.
  • Celebratory event (tentatively) May 28, 2020.

JUDGING CRITERIA                                                                                                         

LWVLC and Wordcrafters will select judges based on their expertise in education, writing, subject matter, and/or diversity. All essays will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Addresses some aspect of “Women and the Vote” in an articulate and orderly manner
  • Informs readers and makes them think
  • Attracts and keeps the reader’s attention
  • Coveys a novel, creative, and/or fresh point of view
  • Is clear, grammatical, and well organized
  • Is free of everyday clichés and slang

Interested in being a judge for Women and the Vote? Check out our volunteer form here: https://wordcraftersineugene.org/volunteer/

Enter the Contest

Contest submissions are now open through March 12, 2020.

Trouble with the form? Please email bewriting@wordcraftersineugene.org.