Palazzostrozzi > Instructions


2024 Instructions and Guidelines for Essay Submission

Essays must be submitted no later than February 13, 2024. Award decisions will be announced by end March 2024.

The Palazzo Strozzi Foundation USA is proud to announce its annual Renaissance Essay Award competition for the 2023-2024 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 the following dates:

New York        February 13, 2024

Los Angeles   February 27, 2024

Detroit             February 13, 2024


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 one-to-one interviews with the finalists. Interviews will be conducted in person if the student attends one of the participating New York City schools, or remotely if the student attends one of the participating schools in Detroit and/or in Los Angeles.

Award decisions will be announced by end March 2024.

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 2024. Students will study the evolution 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.

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.
  • 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 # and Title of the Essay