The Humanist Essay Contest for young women and men of north america.

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When magazine editors make publishing decisions regarding editorial submissions, the basic criterion they apply for taking any given manuscript seriously is that it must, at the very least, "meet the current editorial needs" of the publication. Essay contests, on the other hand, particularly those geared toward helping students advance in their studies, tend to use different criteria: originality of thought, sense of emotional engagement, clarity and quality of presentation, amount of research evidenced, future promise or potential shown by the author, and so on. It was therefore the task of those recently judging contest essays to apply these latter criteria. Then, when it came time to decide which essays would be published and where in the Humanist, the former criterion was applied. As a result, we have the seemingly anomalous situation of numerous honorable mention essays appearing in print while some prizewinners don't.

We were indeed impressed by the usefulness and informative nature of many of the essays and wanted our readers to share in the bounty. But we were also impressed by the overall quality of those essays that were neither published nor granted prizes. In what these young people have shared with us, there is much ground for optimism about the future. So we extend our sincere thanks to all those who entered, those educators and others who inspired entrants, and those judges who evaluated the essays. We also invite interested parties to become cosponsors of the contest.

The 2001 Humanist Essay Contest is now underway and accepting submissions until December 1, 2001. For complete information, visit our website at www.humanist.net; phone toll-free 866-HUMANIST (486-2647);...

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