Detailed Rules and Guidelines


Students must write about the following topics:

Brothers Grimm

The Brothers Grimm published their first collection of fairy tales 210 year ago. Since then the stories have spread around the world and have been retold countless times. You may have already heard of Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty, and Little Red Riding Hood, to name a few. Some of the most popular retellings are very different from the original fairy tales and many people do not know the stories originated in Germany. Do you know any of the fairy tales that the Brothers Grimm collected and published? If so, how did you learn about them? Are the versions you know different than the original versions of the stories? If so, what is different? Which version do you like better?


Marshall Plan

75 years ago Secretary of State George C. Marshall announced a plan for a comprehensive program to rebuild Europe after the devastation of World War II. It became commonly known as the Marshall Plan and was the key to the economic recovery of Europe and unprecedented growth in the postwar years. Why was the reconstruction of Europe, particularly Germany, important to the United States? How was the aid divided amongst and used by the various countries? Did the United States achieve its goals with foreign aid?


Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program

For the past 40 years the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program has focused on strengthening ties between Germany and the United States through citizen diplomacy. Over 26,000 students have participated and each year another 350 will start their journey as exchange students. The students participating in the exchange program have a unique role to fill by adapting to a new culture and language while also representing their home country at the same time. Can you picture yourself as an exchange student? Where would you like to go? What would you be most excited about learning during your exchange? What is something about your country and culture that you think is important for others to know?

* Essays must be in English.

* 300 words or fewer for Grades 3-5; 500 words for Grades 6-12. (Note: More does not mean better! Focus on quality, not quantity.)

* Students may submit only one essay per person.

* Submit entries as .doc (Microsoft Word), .pdf (Adobe Acrobat), .odt (OpenOffice), scanned-in graphic files (jpg, etc.) or .txt (Simple Text) files only.

* Email your essay to Jennifer Clardy Chalmers (Jennifer.Clardy-Chalmers[at]opendiplo.de). *Entry must include the author’s name, grade level, school name and school address at the beginning of the essay.

* Please note: due to the high number of entries, it is not possible to send out an email confirmation for every entry. Should you wish to inquire about whether or not your entry was received, send a separate email to the entry address.


All students enrolled in 3rd through 12th grade in the U.S.A. are eligible. Seniors graduating in 2022 are eligible. Students enrolled in DoDDS schools or schools in American overseas territories with APO mailing addresses are eligible. Homeschooled students are also eligible.

Each essay must be the sole work of the author.

Entries may be submitted by individual writers or by their teachers.

Entries must include the name of the student & teacher/advisor, the grade level of student, the email address of student & teacher, and a postal address for the student & teacher. This information enables the German Embassy to quickly award prizes and prize packages. No personal or contact information will be handed over to a third party.

Only electronically submitted essays will be accepted.

Entries must be 300 words or fewer for elementary students; 500 words or less for middle and high school students.

Submitted entries will become the property of the German Embassy Washington; they may appear online or in print in associated publications.

The decision of the panel of judges from German Embassy Washington is final.

Students are encouraged to review spelling, grammar and punctuation.

DEADLINE for entries is April 30, 2022. Winners will be notified by May 31, 2022.

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