All You Need To Know

2018 Instructions and Guidelines for Essay Submission

Essays must be submitted no later than February 13, 2018. Award decisions will be announced by the end of March 2018

The Palazzo Strozzi Foundation USA is proud to announce its annual Renaissance Essay Award competition for the 2017-2018 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 questions as outlined below and develop an essay of approximately 1000 words. All three questions are assigned both required and optional readings. The readings purpose is to help students research and compose their essay. 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 the following dates:

New York  February 13, 2018
Los Angeles  February 13, 2018
Detroit  February 13, 2018

After submission to the appointed school staff, the essays will be reviewed and six finalists will be 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 2018.

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, 2018. 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 and culture, and help strengthen their college applications.

2018 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
  • East English Village Preparatory Academy

Essay Composition General Guidelines

  • Type the essay using a word processor (e.g. Word or Google Docs)
  • 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