The New Herald

Conversations on Politics and Culture

Essay Contest



It’s no secret: politics is not pretty in the contemporary United States. We are a house divided on issues ranging from abortion to climate change, and the data suggest that these divisions are deepening; studies indicate that these political divisions are seeping into our social, familial, and professional lives. Yet, we are not without hope. If we are to be hopeful, we must also be practical, and it is in this nexus of hope and practicality that the prompt for The New Herald’s first essay contest resides.

To enter, you must be a student at Miami University and submit an essay of roughly 750 – 1,250 words in response to the following question: What should political or public leadership look like in a polarized America? We welcome interdisciplinary answers to this question, and we encourage experimentation with form. Submitted essays will be ranked by judges from The New Herald and the Wilks Leadership Institute, with first, second, and third place winners, and the possibility of two honorable mentions. The first winner will receive $300, the second $200, the third $100, and honorable mentions will receive a $10 gift card for Kofenya. Responses must be received by Friday, February 1st.

Submissions should include a biography of approximately 50 words and be sent as Microsoft Word documents via e-mail to Please include “Contest Submission” in the subject line of your email.

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