The 2020 Paideia Institute High School Essay Contest
For High School Students — Win a Trip to Italy or Greece!
The Paideia Institute is pleased to announce its fifth annual high school essay contest for 2020. We will publish the winning essays in In Medias Res, and the winners will receive a full scholarship to either the Paideia Institute’s Living Latin in Rome High School Program or Paideia’s Living Greek in Greece High School Program.
This year’s topic is:
There are many figures in Greek and Roman literature and myth who never get a chance to speak for themselves and tell their sides of the story. In 2018 Madeline Miller wrote a novel from the otherwise unheard perspective of Circe (from the Odyssey), and Pat Barker wrote from the perspective of Briseis (from the Iliad). Imagine, as those authors did, that you are one of these unheard people from the past and write a first-person account of how things really were from your perspective. Make specific reference to the established version of the story and include quotations from ancient sources as appropriate.
There will be two prizes. If you wish to win the scholarship for the Rome program, please write from the perspective of a person known principally from Latin sources; similarly, if you wish to win the scholarship for the Greece program, please write from the perspective of a person known principally from Greek sources.
Essays are due on March 1, 2020, and should be between 500 and 1200 words. Please send all essays in .pdf format to firstname.lastname@example.org. Submissions should include the student’s name, the name of their high school, their grade level, and the name of their Latin or Greek teacher. To win the scholarship, students need to meet the prerequisites for the intended program; please see the prerequisites for the Latin program here and the Greek program here.
For examples of previous winning essays (on different topics), please look at the following links: “Agnodice, M.D.” by Gianna Beck; “Catiline — The Musical” by Annika Reff; “‘Away Hector Fled in Fear’: Homer’s Humanization of War,” by Kimberley Montpelier (2018); “The Wisdom of a Former Slave,” by Clare Pavlides (2018); “The Power of the Poet,” by Charlotte Skolasky (2017); and “On the Importance of Classics,” by Carl Anderson (2016).