Current Contest – Old


This essay contest is in honor of President David O. McKay, created to encourage a search for the high ideals contained in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to encourage the application of those principles in everyday life.



  • The Restored Gospel and Applied Christianity
    (Personal essays should stress the application of gospel ideals in daily living.)


  • All full-time students at Brigham Young University. Entries will be accepted in two divisions: Undergraduate Students and Graduate Students.


  • Entries must be received by Friday, February 15, 2019, at 5:00 pm.


  • First Prize $1,200
  • Second Prize $1,000
  • Third Prize $700
  • At the discretion of the judges, additional prizes of $450 and $300 may also be awarded. The judges reserve the right to withhold any award if entries do not merit the ratings established.
    Brigham Young University reserves the right to publish all winning essays. No entries will be published anonymously.


  • Essays are to be approximately 2,000 to 5,000 words; they will be judged on the basis of content, organization, clarity, and suitability for publication to an LDS audience. Entries must be typed and double-spaced, original and unpublished. Submit two stapled copies of your essay with a single cover sheet attached with a paper clip. Proper MLA formatting necessary, including citing all outside sources in text and creating a correctly formatted Works Cited page. Entries will not be returned. The cover sheet must include your name, division (Undergraduate or Graduate), student I.D. number, mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number, and title of entry. Also include the title on the actual essay. Your name should not appear on other pages of the essay. Winners will be notified by April.

Methods of Submission:

  • Send entries by mail (or hand deliver) toDavid O. McKay Essay Contest
    English Department
    4198 JFSB
    Provo, UT 84602If you have questions, contact the Center for the Study of Christian Values in Literature, 3184 JFSB, BYU.

    This contest is funded by a gift from Obert C. and Grace Tanner


Click here to read prize-winning essays from last year’s winners!