2018-19 Optimist International Essay Contest

Ohio District of Optimist International Essay Contest Topic for the 2018-2019 School Year is:

“When All the World’s Problems are Solved, is Optimism Still Necessary?”

This contest is open to students under the age 19 as of October 1, 2018 of the current Optimist International year (October 1 – September 30) and who are not enrolled as a degree seeking student of a post-secondary institution. The student, who is educated in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean must compose a 700 to 800 word essay around a central idea. US contestants attending school on a military installation outside the country are eligible to enter in their last US home of record. The contest is designed to develop writing and critical thinking skills. One scholarship of $2,500 per District is awarded by Optimist International each year. Plus the Ohio District of Optimist International also awards a $1,000 scholarship.

For complete information on the Essay Contests, please go to www.optimist.org – click Member Resources, Programs – scroll and click Scholarship Contests. Then click on Essay Contest. You will find valuable information on this contest, including a Club Planning Guide.

Date and address you need to submit your Essay: Deadline to submit your winning essay, with all necessary paperwork, i.e. application form, copy of birth certificate, green card or passport, etc. is February 28, 2019. This means that I must have it in my hands no later than February 28, 2019. Please send the Club winning Essay and the necessary paperwork thru the United States Postal Service mail to:

Judy Martinson, Essay Contest Chair
Ohio District Optimist International
350 N. Village Drive
Centerville, Ohio, 45459

DUE DATE: February 28, 2019


  1. DO NOT send a winning Essay to me that has been marked on by your club’s judges. If this happens, the entry will be returned to the club. You cannot expect the District judges to read and judge an entry that has markings on it from a previous judge. This is not fair to the student or the District judges.
  2. The deadline listed in this letter is from Optimist International. If you need to change your meeting date to announce your winner, that is up to your club. We cannot change the date of February 28, 2019. Once again, I must have all the necessary paperwork, i.e. application form, copy of birth certificate, green card or passport, etc. in my hands by February 28, 2019.
  3. If at all possible, please DO NOT e-mail your club’s winning Essay and the necessary paperwork to me. In past years, when this was allowed some of the emailed information was not legible and some was missing. If you email your club’s entry, it is your responsibility to make sure the information is legible.
  4. Read the rules on the Essay Application form carefully and follow them.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.

Yours in Optimism,

Judy Martinson, 2018-19 Ohio District Optimist Essay Chair

350 N. Village Drive
Centerville, Ohio 45459

937-331-8429(home); 937-620-4028(cell)


DUE DATE: February 28, 2019

2 thoughts on “2018-19 Optimist International Essay Contest

  • Judy,

    Hello from the Greene Optimist Club in Beavercreek. I am our local club chairperson for the essay contest and I was looking for resources on the District website for this year’s contest and noticed that under “Youth Programs” and “Essay Contests” the information listed is for the 2017-2018 contest and not the 2018-2019 contest.

    Might you be able to direct me to a guidebook club level programs? I have the guide for the district, but not club level.

    Thanks so much!


    Deron Schwieterman

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