ESSAY CONTEST RULES

All essays should specifically address the Essay Topic, which is:

Natural disasters often bring people together, as they undertake rescue operations and work to rebuild their communities. People outside the affected communities usually offer additional support. But what about those that see a disaster as a way to make money? Watch John Stossel's video about "price gouging" and write a 500-1000 word essay, arguing for or against laws that prohibit price “gouging" during an emergency. How do such laws affect disaster victims? How do they change the incentives of potential suppliers?

Tips for Essay Writers

We recommend all students read our list of Tips for Essay Writers. This will help you avoid common mistakes that could cost you prize money!

Eligibility

The contest is open to writers aged 12-18 at some point during the contest period (Nov. 13, 2017-Feb. 16, 2018). However, all entries must be submitted by a teacher, parent, or legal guardian. Teachers, parents, and guardians may submit unlimited entries, but not more than one for the same essay writer. Writers must be located in North America or Hawaii, and all submissions should be in English. Employees of Stossel in the Classroom, Fox News, Fox Business, and their immediate family members are not eligible for this contest. Previous winners of a Stossel in the Classroom prize trip are not eligible for prizes in our subsequent contests.

Essay Length

Essays should be 500-1000 words in length. Submissions that do not meet this requirement, or that exceed it, will be disqualified.

Deadline

Essays must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Time, February 16, 2018.

Plagiarism

All essays must be the original work of the student whose name is listed on the submission form. Plagiarism will result in immediate disqualification.

Taxes

Winners will be solely responsible for any federal, state, or local taxes on winnings.

Chaperones

Chaperones chosen to accompany First and Second Place Winners on their trip to New York City must be the student's parent, legal guardian, or another adult chosen with the approval of the student's parents/guardian.

Judges

Essays will be judged on their ability to answer the topic question in an articulate, clear, and organized manner, using examples from Mr. Stossel's video to support their analysis. Stossel in the Classroom will evaluate essay submissions in a fair and unbiased four-round judging system, where judges will all use the same criteria. Judges will be selected by Stossel in the Classroom based on their backgrounds and expertise in education, writing, and the subject matter. Decisions of the judges are final.

Ownership and Use

The ownership of any submission remains the property of the writer, but entry into the competition constitutes the entrant's permission and consent, without compensation, with or without attribution, for Stossel in the Classroom to use, reproduce, transmit, post, distribute, adapt, edit, and/or display the submission.