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Application for the 2021-2022

Shirley A. Justice Memorial Essay Contest

OFFICIAL TOPIC: Is voting a right, a privilege or a responsibility? Why?




State Zip/Postal Code

Phone # ________________________________________ Alt __________________________


Date of Birth / / Age____________

Contestant Agreement:

I have studied the rules of the contest, and I will be bound by all of the requirements.

Contestant’s Signature _________________________________________Date / /

Parent or Guardian Permission:

I give my permission for my child/ward to participate in this contest.

Signature_____________________________________________________________Date / /

Relationship ________________

I, grant the Calhoun County Democratic Executive Committee

my permission to use a picture of my son/daughter ____________________________________for their public relations

purposes. (newspaper, website, FB page)

Please use one of the following methods to download/copy the application and the rules. KEEP the rules and get the completed application AND your ESSAY to us not later than February 15th 😊 Questions? Call the contest chair at 256-282-1435

  • Download the application HERE. Download p1 of the rules HERE Download p2 of the rules HERE

  • We will email an application/rules to you - upon request to the Essay Contest Chair Sandy Stewart, email or call 256-282-1435. Please leave a message.

  • You may mail completed applications to Calhoun County Democrats, PO Box 563, Jacksonville, AL 36265.

  • You may also drop off the completed application at the Jim and Shirley Justice Center, 812 Noble Street, Anniston, AL, between 10am and 4pm on Wednesdays before February 15

  • AND you may drop off the application at HQ ON February 15th from 10 am until 4 pm.

  • You may also email a photo or PDF file of the completed form to the contest chair at

  • Questions? Call the contest chair at 256-282-1435 or email

The cash prizes will be presented on February 24th at the Jim and Shirley Justice Center, 812 Noble Street, Anniston, AL. Contestants should arrive by 6 pm.

Don't forget - the deadline to receive applications AND essays is February 15! We look forward to reading your essay!


Shirley A. Justice Memorial Essay Contest - RULES

Official Topic: Is voting a right, a privilege, or a responsibility? Why? Essay Contest Rules Each contestant must be given a copy of the rules and complete the entry form. The rules contain information about the contest, judging and awards. Section I - General Rules 1. Contestants must compose an original essay with limited guidance from others. Webster’s dictionary defines an essay as an analytic or interpretative literary composition. Works of fiction will not be accepted. 2. There must be a minimum of 3 contestants participating in order to conduct the competition.

Section II - Qualifications for Contestants The contest is open to students in grades 5 – 12, living in or attending school in Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Etowah, St Clair or Talladega counties. Homeschooled students are also invited. Section III - Contest Rules 1. Participants must write on the official topic. 2. Each entry must begin with a title page containing: the official topic, number of words, writer’s name, address, phone number, grade and name of school. 3. At the top of page 1 should be the official topic and the number of words (penalty of 2 points for lack of topic and 5 points for failure to identify the total number of words correctly). 4. Essays must be typewritten and double-spaced. (Deduction of 5 points) 5. Essays must contain at least 700 words but no more than 800 words. Every word of the essay is counted. This does not include the title, bibliography, or footnotes. 6. Hyphenated words count as 1 word (Deduction of 5 points for each 25 words over/under limit). 7. Each page of the essay must be numbered starting with page 1 of the essay, not the title page. The numbers must be centered at the bottom of each page. 8. Any quotations or copyrighted material used must be identified properly. Failure to identify non-original material will result in disqualification. 9. No reference can be made in the essay that identifies the student, parents, school or community (Deduction of 5 points or fraction, based on degree of identification) 10. The entry must be stapled together in the upper-left-hand corner. Covers of any type are not accepted

Section IV – Judging and Timing 1. Judging will be completed by a panel of three qualified judges. These judges will be selected by the Chair. 2. In an effort to conceal the identity of each contestant, each entry will be assigned a number by the Essay Contest Chair. The assigned number will be placed on the title page and page 1 of the essay. The title page will then be detached and retained by the Essay Chair. The judges will be given the essay bearing only the assigned number. 3. Judges will not discuss or compare essays being judged. 4. Only judges can assign a penalty or award points

Section V – Scoring 1. Material Organization – logical interpretation of the subject, adherence to topic: 40 points 2. Vocabulary and Style – phrasing and continuity: 30 points 3. Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling: 20 points 4. Neatness: 5 points 5. Adherence to Contest Rules – prepared in the proper format: 5 points

Section VI – Penalties 1. Failure to list official topic: 2 points 2. Failure to accurately identify total number of words: 5 points 3. Failure to type essay and double-space: 5 points 4. Failure to stay within the 700-800 word limit: 5 points for each 25 words over/under limit 5. Self-identification: 5 points or fraction of based on the degree of identification

Section VII – Awards 1. 1st place winner receives $250; 2nd place receives $125; and 3rd place receives $50. 2. All entrants will receive a certificate.



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