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CONTESTS: Our mission is to provide a venue to recognize excellence in pre-collegiate writing to help motivate and launch the next-generation of scholars who seek to pursue the humanities at the undergraduate and possibly even the graduate (Masters or PhD level) in the future. Contests provide another opportunity for students to distinguish themselves as humanities scholars.

SELECTIVITY: We receive a large volume of submissions and contest winners may be invited to apply for our Fellows Program, and we are gratified when our authors, fellows and winners and honorees are admitted to highly selective colleges and universities, many of which have made humanities-focused candidates an institutional priority in their admissions process.





Deadline: SEPTEMBER 30, 2023

Write in Categories 3, 4, or 5 (short research essay, critical essay, or literary non-fiction/memoir) about some aspect of social culture that connects to current affairs, broadly defined. This is purposefully open-ended, we want to see what you have been doing and thinking! Each category will be eligible to have a winner. You can enter multiple works in multiple categories. Word counts and details as stated in each category. Submit under Category 7 here.

CONTEST PRIZES: All finalists receive a Selection for Publication (SFP) invitation, which includes publication in The Palo Alto Scholar and The PAS Compendium of Pre-Collegiate Humanities Scholarship, which may be published as an e-book and print publication.

CONTEST RULES: ​All participants must register for the contest on the Submit Here page and receive and follow submission instructions, which includes requirements for the submitted work as well as requirements for contest winners to allow us to publish your winning entry on our site on a nonexclusive basis and use your name/likeness to publicize your winning entry.

FEE WAIVERS: There are fee waivers/reductions available, so please do not allow fees that you can't afford to be an obstacle in this process. Submit your work in Category 0 on the Submit Here page or send with your fee waiver request directly to Ability to pay is not a factor in the selection process.


OPEN ACCESS MODEL: The scholarly academic community is in a period of transition from subscription to open-access journals because the public interest in making scholarship widely available has put pressure on academic publishing interests to change their traditional subscription=based business models. In this spirit, the Institute does not believe in putting your work behind a pay-wall subsidized by subscription access. Instead we hope that you will include links to your work in your online CV and that other scholars will read your work and as appropriate reference and cite your work, as a first step in developing your scholarly relevance and reputation. Therefore, we use the open-access business model for academic publishing in which your work is made publicly available to read under copyright license and our costs are subsidized by a submission fee to ensure you are sending us your very best work for our initial review and by an APC (Article Processing Cost) if your article is selected for article processing status to continue to the final article editing and preparation for publication. The APC fee subsidizes our costs in preparing, publishing and hosting your article as part of the Journal, as well as those fees that are waived throughout the process for all fee waiver submissions and publications. There are fee waivers/reductions available, so please do not allow fees that you can't afford to be an obstacle in this process.  To read about APC fees, which are standard in the academic publishing industry for open-access journals, see for example the APC policies of PLOS and Elsevier. Our APC are substantially lower than standard APC fees; we also subsidize our costs by offering ancillary products and services apart from the Journal; these are separate and do not influence the article selection process.

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