2017 Instructions and Guidelines for Essay Submission

Essays must be submitted no later than February 10, 2017. Award decisions will be announced by end of March 2017.

The Palazzo Strozzi Foundation USA is proud to announce its annual Renaissance Essay Award competition for the 2016-2017 academic school year. This competition is open to all 11th grade students attending one of the participating high schools. Participants are required to select from one of the three essay topics as outlined below and develop an essay of approximately 1000 words. All three essay topics are assigned both required readings and optional readings. The readings purpose is to help students research and compose an essay addressing one of the three essay topics. Completed essays will be submitted to the participating high schools appointed staff member. Please refer to the last page for information detailing the required formatting of submitted essays.

Essays must be submitted to your school representative no later than these following dates:

New York  February 10, 2017
Los Angeles  February 10, 2017
Detroit  February 10, 2017

After submission to the appointed school staff, the essays will be reviewed and six finalists selected. These six finalists’ essays will then be reviewed and the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation USA’s Advisory Committee will conduct interviews with each of the finalists. Interviews will be conducted in person if the student attends one of the participating New York schools, or via Skype if the student attends one of the participating schools in Detroit or Los Angeles.

Award decisions will be announced by end of March 2017.

Based on the caliber of the essay and personal interviews with the Advisory committee, two students from each school will be awarded a chaperoned, all-expenses-paid, one-month academic program based in Florence, Italy during the month of July, 2017. Students will study the evolutions of Renaissance art, architecture, literature, science, and politics during their time abroad. In addition to their studies in Florence, students will participate in educational travel to Milan, Rome, Venice, and surrounding regions of Florence.

Students will also receive guidance around the writing of their College Common Application essay. At the conclusion of the program each student will return home with a completed draft of a College Common Application essay. The purpose of this award program is to expose students to the Italian Renaissance, culture, and help strengthen their college applications.

2017 Participating Schools

New York City:
  • Brooklyn School for Global Studies
  • CSI High School for International Studies, Staten Island
  • DeWitt Clinton High School, Bronx
  • Long Island City High School, Queens
  • The Facing History School, Manhattan
Los Angeles:
  • Ambassador School of Global Leadership
  • Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts
  • Cass Technical High School
  • Communication & Media Arts High SChool 

Guidelines for Essay Submission

  • Type the essay papers on a computer.
  • Double-space the text of the essay, and use a Times New Roman 12 pt. font.
  • Set the margins of the document to 1 inch on all sides.
  • In the upper right-hand corner include a header that provides: last name, followed by a space with a page number; number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (2, 3, 4, etc.). Example:

    Smith 2

  • In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list: participant's full name, participant's school name, the title of the essay topic selected and the date. Example:

    Participant's full name
    Name of participant's high school
    Title of Essay