Library of Virginia

Virginia Women in History History
2016 Student Writing Contest

Contest Overview

Virginia students in grades 6–12 are invited to honor outstanding women in Virginia history by participating in the Library of Virginia's Virginia Women in History student writing contest. Four winning essays will be chosen, two from students in grades 6–8, and two from students in grades 9–12.


“My passion for dance and culture focuses on serving the community and making our world a better place to live.”

As founder and artistic director of the Latin Ballet of Virginia, Ana Ines King shares Latin American dance and culture with students and audiences across Virginia. King refers to herself and her company as “ambassadors of dance and culture,” because along with dance technique, they also teach its history as well as the culture of Latin America. In addition, King has developed educational programs to teach students Spanish and English through dance and to use dance as therapy for children with special needs. King's work has brought access to the arts to many low-income families and the Latin Ballet of Virginia has continued to thrive.

How does Ana Ines King's story inspire you? What are you passionate about, and what does that tell others about you? Do you know of someone who, like Ana Ines King, uses his or her interests and enthusiasm to make your community a better place? Describe the person and how he or she serves others in your community.

Contest Rules

Submit your 400-word essay by Monday, February 1, 2016, for a chance to win a Kindle Fire and $250 for your school!

  • Entries must be submitted online by Monday, February 1, 2016.
  • Each entrant must be a 6th–12th grade student at a public or private school in Virginia. Homeschoolers may also apply; the $250 school award can be applied to a homeschooler association if the winner’s family has an active, dues-paying membership.
  • There will be four (4) winning essays: two (2) from students in grades 6–8, and two (2) from students in grades 9–12.
  • All entries must be original works that have not been published or submitted for publication anywhere else.
  • Entry should not exceed 400 words.
  • Entries become the property of the Library of Virginia and will not be returned.
  • The Library of Virginia reserves the right to use the winners’ names and entries for promotional purposes in all forms of media without notice, review, approval, or compensation, except where prohibited by law.


  • Deadline for entries is Monday, February 1, 2016.
  • Winners will be notified by March 1, 2016.
  • Winning essays will be posted to the Library of Virginia ( website on March 4, 2016.
  • Awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 31, 2016, in Richmond.


  • Winning students will receive a Kindle Fire.
  • Winning students’ schools will receive a cash award of $250.

Judging Criteria


Reflection of careful and thorough thought


Prompt questions answered and main idea clearly articulated


Relevant, quality details about important thoughts and concepts


Essay flows well and shows good word choice and structure


Correct use of grammar, spelling, and punctuation

Writing contest submission form.

Questions? Please call 804-692-3999 or e-mail