The Gilder Lehrman Institute joins the Civil War Round Table of New York to co-sponsor an annual essay contest for Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School students. Students examine the nation’s most divisive conflict through letters, speeches, songs, photographs, newspapers, military orders, and other documents, conducting research with primary as well as secondary sources. More information may be found in the contest entry forms below.

Participation is limited to Gilder Lehrman Affiliate and Flagship School students. If you’re a student interested in participating in the contest and your school hasn’t become an Affiliate yet, print out the forms and flyer below and show them to your history teacher.

For full information, contest forms, a scoring rubric, and other important details, please download the 2013–2014 Civil War Essay Contest Forms and Information (PDF). Become an Affiliate School to participate in the Civil War Essay Contest. Please email us with any questions.


  • High School: $1,000 to the first-place student and $500 to the school; $750 to the second-place student; $500 to the third-place student; $100 to seven honorable-mention students.
  • Middle School: $300 to the first-place student; $200 to the second-place student; $100 to the third-place student.
  • In addition, the student with the top score from each school will receive a Gilder Lehrman publication to recognize their achievement.

Submission Requirements

  • The 2013–2014 contest is closed. Please check here in the fall for information on submissions for the 2014–2015 Civil War Essay Contest.