The Wadena VFW Post 3922 and its Auxiliary are sponsoring the annual Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy essay contests for students in Bertha-Hewitt, Sebeka, Staples-Motley, Verndale, and Wadena-Deer Creek Schools; home-school students are also invited to enter their age-appropriate contest. Entries must be submitted by Tuesday, Oct. 29.

The Patriot’s Pen essay contest encourages area seventh- and eighth-grade students to write a 300-400 word essay discussing the topic “What Makes America Great.” The top national prize is $5,000; local prizes will also be awarded at each participating school as well as by Post 3922. The Voice of Democracy audio-essay contest is open to students in grades 9-12. Entrants must prepare an audio CD or a flash drive with a three to five minute speech on the topic “What Makes America Great.” The top national prize is $30,000. Local prizes will also be awarded at each participating schools by Post 3922. Information and entry forms will be available at local schools. For more information call Ruth Clark at (218) 631-1035.