2020 Polly Rosenbaum Writing Contest Winners with honored guests Alberto Rios, Christine Marsh, Deea McBride, and Matt Hesketh.

Polly Rosenbaum Writing Contest

The Polly Rosenbaum Writing Contest is named for Polly Rosenbaum, a former House Representative in the Arizona State Legislature and teacher, who passed away in 2003 at the age of 104. This writing contest is a long-standing tradition honoring Mrs. Rosenbaum, who believed Arizona’s young people are the state’s greatest resource.

2020 Winners Have Been Announced

Click here to read the press release!


Each year the Arizona Educational Foundation establishes a theme for the writing contest.

The creative writing contest is open to students in grades 7 - 12 who currently attend a public school in Arizona. Teachers submit student essays and can submit up to ten entries per grade category. A teacher can only submit one essay per student and only ten entries per grade category (i.e. a high school English teacher could submit 10 individual essays from a 9th grade class and 10 individual essays from an 11th grade class).

Entries are judged in three categories: 7th/8th Grade; 9th/10th Grade; and 11th/12th Grade.

 The prompt for 2020 is:

"What ideas do you have for citizens to actively engage in their communities?”

The deadline for submissions is December 9th, 2019.

As of 5:00pm on 12/9/19 we are no longer accepting submissions. Thank you for participating in this year's Polly Rosenbaum Writing Contest! Teachers should watch their email for announcement of winners on January 17th, 2020.



  • Entries must be an original, creative writing piece (i.e., a poem, short story, essay, play, song, etc.) – not a factual essay – based on the theme by the stated deadline.

  • 500-word limit, typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, at least 1-inch margins.

  • Student’s full name, school, grade, and teacher must be listed on the front page.



  • Teachers must submit student entry or entries ONLINE by the December 9th deadline.

  • The number of student entries submitted per teacher is limited to TEN PER CATEGORY; no more than one entry per student.

  • Save each student entry as a PDF or Word Doc with the student’s name as the file name.  Each entry must be uploaded as a PDF or Word Document file. The file size of each entry cannot exceed 10 MB.

  • If the entry or entries cannot be uploaded for submission, please complete and submit the online form but mail a copy of all contest entries to Arizona Educational Foundation, 2100 N Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004. Mailed entries must be postmarked by the deadline.



  • First, second and third place winners in each category are recognized at an event in their honor at the Arizona State Capitol’s Historic Supreme Court on Statehood Day on February 14, 2020.


  • First, second and third place winners in each category receive an award certificate.


  • First place winners receive a $50 gift certificate; second place winners receive a $25 gift certificate, and third place winners receive a $15 gift certificate.


  • First place winners are invited to read their winning submission out loud at designated events.




Online application made available online


Deadline for submiting student writing


Education and business leaders score entries

late Jan

Teachers notified and winners announced


Ceremony for first, second and third place winners

staff contact.

For questions or more information, please contact Matthew Feller at matthew@azedfoundation.org.

connect with us!
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn

Copyright © 2019 · arizona educational foundation· all rights reserved. Proudly created with Wix.com