National Writing Competition

DEADLINE: The competition will close on Thursday, February 1, 2024 at midnight EST. Submissions will not be considered after this deadline.

This national academic event is intended to foster debate, analysis, and examination of state alcohol regulation in the 21st Century.  Each year, students and professionals are encouraged to participate in this significant effort to bring attention to state alcohol regulation, its complexities and many successes. 1st – 3rd place recipients have a chance to win $5,000, $2,500, or $1,000 respectively. Up to three winners will be selected.

TOPIC: “90 years ago, this nation undertook a raw exercise of political power only done 26 other times in our country’s 235 year constitutional history. The 21st Amendment was passed in 1933 and it performed two critically important actions. First, it repealed National Prohibition caused by the 18th Amendment. Second, the 21st Amendment put regulation of alcohol primarily in the control of the states.

Fast forward 90 years and reflect, does the 21st Amendment work? Has it achieved what it set out to do: provide for an orderly marketplace, prevent abuse of the product, and protect public health and safety?”


  • A wide range of submission formats are eligible and encouraged, such as formal law review articles or graduate school academic papers.  
  • Any form of citations is acceptable, as long as the format is consistent throughout the submission. 
  • The entry should be submitted double spaced with at least 12-point font in Times New Roman format and should not exceed 25 pages in length, exclusive of endnotes.  
  • Submissions that have been published previously or accepted for publication may be considered only if the author has secured consent from the other journal for the Center for Alcohol Policy to post the winning publication on its website with an appropriate note about the other publication.
  • All work submitted must be the author’s own work product.  

JUDGING PROCESS: All submissions will go through an initial screening process. Finalists from this process then will be given to a panel of judges who review the following for each entry: 

  • Analysis of the question and the depth of this analysis; 
  • Readiness of the submission for publication; 
  • Quality of the writing, the originality of the topic and the analysis used; 
  • Thoroughness of the research and its overall ability to creatively and effectively discuss regulation of the alcohol industry. 

AWARDS: Cash prizes will be awarded as follows:  

  • 1st place – $5,000 
  • 2nd place – $2,500 
  • 3rd place – $1,000 

All entries become the property of the Center for Alcohol Policy. The winning entries will be posted to our website and highlighted across additional platforms. 

Please be sure you have carefully reviewed these guidelines before making a submission.  

In 2019 we celebrated 10 years of this successful and educational activity by comprising a collection of these essays written by the our previous 1st place recipients from 2008 – 2018.

We hope that this collection of work, including future work that the Center receives through this event is a valuable resource for all who are interested and an opportunity to learn more about the intricacies of alcohol regulation. Several topics available to explore here include:

  • History and importance of the 21st Amendment
  • Recommendations on state-level regulation & policy proposals
  • Alcohol on college campuses
  • The three-tier system
  • Orderly alcohol markets
  • Redefining temperance
  • And more!

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Center for Alcohol Policy
277 S. Washington Street Suite 500-A Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 519-3090