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Deadline: Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. CST on May 13, 2024.

Rules: Arkansas students in grades 9-12 are eligible. There should be only one entry per student. There are two methods of entry:

  • Essays must be no more than 750 words and should be typed.
  • Art, music, poetry, and other forms of expression entries: For art submissions, please submit a photograph of the artwork. For digital art, music, poetry, and other recorded entries, acceptable file formats include .jpg, .png, .mp3, and .mp4. Recorded submissions must not exceed five (5) minutes in length.
  • Submissions must be the student's original work and may not have been previously published or won any awards.
  • All submissions will be judged on soundness of reasoning, clarity of ideas, and understanding of the subject matter. Submissions will not be judged based on viewpoint.
  • We welcome diverse perspectives and encourage submissions that reflect the variety of experiences and backgrounds of Arkansans.
  • MLA format is not required.


  • 1st Place: $500
  • 2nd Place: $300
  • 3rd Place: $100

Each entry must include: 1) complete name, 2) mailing address, 3) phone number, 4) grade, 5) school name and 6) e-mail address for student and parent/guardian. 


The ACLU of Arkansas is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the civil liberties and civil rights guaranteed to all Arkansans by the U.S. and Arkansas Constitutions and civil rights laws. The ACLU dares to create a more perfect union for all in Arkansas and America — beyond one person, party, or side.

The ACLU of Arkansas works in our courts, legislatures, and community on a multitude of issues including Voting Rights, Reproductive Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Women’s Rights, Criminal Justice, Disabilities, Equal Rights, Free Speech, HIV/AIDS, Immigrants’ Rights, Juvenile Justice, National Security, Prisoner’s Rights, Privacy, Racial Justice, Religion and Belief, Students’ Rights and Technology and Freedom.

While considering the work that the ACLU does, and the rights and people for which the ACLU stands, how would YOU achieve a more perfect Arkansas?

Before you begin to create your piece, consider:

  • What are some of the biggest civil rights or civil liberties issues facing us today?
  • How can we advance civil rights and civil liberties in new or different ways?
  • What would be the impact of your ideas being implemented and successful?
  • How would this make for a better Arkansas or nation?

Submit entries here

Winners will be announced by May 31, 2024. The winners’ names and submissions will be available to local and statewide newspapers, radio, and television stations.

Submission of entries indicates consent by students and parents or guardians to allow non-exclusive publishing rights for the ACLU of Arkansas and ACLU National.

For more information, contact us at (501) 374-2842 or email [email protected].

Submit entries here