Pink Ink 2017–18

The QF's Annual High School Seniors English Essay Contest

Application Deadline: February 14, 2018

Instructions for Completing Your Scholarship Application
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To promote effective writing by, about, and/or for queer youth, Queer Foundation offers to the winners of the 2017–18 high school seniors English essay contest $1,000 scholarships to attend the U.S. college or university of their choice in the 2018–19 academic year to study queer theory or related fields. Examples of related fields are queer medical, legal, or social issues.


The theme of the contest is pink ink ("We write not only about different things; we also write differently"—Brecht).

The following approaches are suggestions only (be creative and have fun with your topic).

  1. We're Here and We're Queer: Interviews with Queer Teenagers and Their Friends

  2. Living Healthy Lives as Queer Teenagers

  3. Queer Youth around the World

  4. Getting Smart: Education Issues of Queer Teenagers

Contest Rules


The contest is open only to students aged 18 and under who have not yet graduated from high school. You must affirm that you are not a high school graduate (as of the date you submit your essay).

In addition you must affirm that the essay you submit has not been submitted elsewhere—e.g., for a class assignment or another contest; as part of a college or job application; or for a scholarship, prize, or grant.

All entries become the property of Queer Foundation. Winners must agree to the use by Queer Foundation of their names, images, and biographical information in promotional efforts related to the Queer Foundation Effective Writing and Scholarships Program.

Evaluation Criteria

Your essay should be 3–5 pages long, 10 pages max. Be creative. Links to essays from previous years' contests are online at

Judges will award points based on

HINT: Use spellcheck, and remember that it does not identify all errors. Be sure to reread several times, and have another read your essay as well to catch mistakes you as the author can't see. Pay special attention to sentence fragments, run-on sentences, needing a new paragraph, etc. If your essay contains numerous spelling and writing errors, it cannot win.

How Are Queer Scholars Selected?

Successful gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals and their friends volunteering their time identify and coach talented and academically gifted queer youth in writing an essay dealing with the announced theme. Their friends can also submit essays. A panel of judges will evaluate the essays. Authors of winning essays will, upon passing an interview and reference check, be awarded $1,000 scholarships to the U.S. college or university of their choice.

What Support Do Queer Scholars Receive and What Is Expected of Them?

Queer Scholars receive, as needed, mentoring, academic advising, and tutoring to enable them to succeed in their studies. In return they are expected to (a) maintain a suitable grade point average as determined by the college or university, (b) practice self care, and (c) give back to the community through doing community service, authoring queer studies papers, and/or mentoring high school or other college students. There is, however, no required check-in or report back.


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