Writing Competition

The Center for Constitutional Government announces the 2017 Peterson Prize National Writing Competition on the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution for Professors and Scholars.


The paper shall address one or more issues, historic or contemporary, involving the principles underlying the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Examples include principles and/or application of federalism, the allocation of powers and responsibilities between the states, the federal government and the people, or other aspects of state and federal relations in the American democratic experiment. The competition seeks papers with diverse and unique perspectives on federalism, broadly conceived.


The contest is open to scholars and professors of law, history, political science or related disciplines. All entries must be the original, unpublished work of the applicant, but may have been prepared in connection with ongoing or prior research, including a presentation at a scholarly conference. By submitting an entry, the applicant agrees to the terms of the competition and to publication of the paper in the Willamette Law Review if selected as a finalist (right of first refusal resting with the Willamette Law Review). The applicant agrees not to submit the paper for publication by any journal or review until the completion of the competition. Entries written by multiple authors are acceptable and are governed by the same rules of eligibility.


  • First place: $5,000
  • Second place: $3,000
  • Third place: $2,000


The applicant must submit one printed copy of the paper with a removable cover sheet as described below. In addition, the applicant must submit one electronic copy of the paper on disk (either in Microsoft Word or WordPerfect format).

The cover page of the paper shall include the title of the paper, the author's name and title, the author's institutional affiliation, the author's signature, the author's current mailing address and phone number. The author's name (and other identifying data) should appear only on the cover page of the paper. The title of the paper and page numbering should appear at the top of every page. (Copies of the paper will go to the judges who will not know the names or schools of the entrants). The paper should also include an abstract at the beginning of the paper.

The paper must be printed on 8½x11" white paper, double-spaced, one inch margins, and with at least 12 point type. The font shall be Times Roman or Times New Roman. Citations must be in footnote form, single-spaced, with at least 10-point type and in accord with the current edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. Papers shall not exceed 75 pages in length.

Any violation of the rules in this section or elsewhere in this notice is grounds for disqualification. Entry constitutes certification by the applicant that the applicant is eligible to participate and that the paper conforms to the rules of the competition.

Judging and Judging Criteria

Entries will be blind-judged by a panel of judges appointed by the Willamette Center for Constitutional Government. The Center for Constitutional Government invites papers from all viewpoints. Papers will be judged for their scholarly content not any particular political or partisan position. Papers will be evaluated based on the following criteria: depth and rigor of the analysis and reasoning; quality and clarity of writing, and originality. The determination of the judges' panel is final. The Center for Constitutional Government reserves the right to decline making award(s) in this competition should none of the entries merit the award.

All entrants will be notified of the results by mail by September 15, 2017.

Deadline and Submission of Entries

The deadline for submission is March 31, 2017. Entries postmarked after the deadline will not be considered.

Entries should be mailed to:

Willamette University College of Law
Center for Constitutional Government
245 Winter Street SE, Salem, OR 97301

Submissions will not be returned to the authors. The Willamette Center for Constitutional Government has permission to copy, reprint or print all papers submitted.


Questions may be directed to Marisa Walker at (503) 370-6046 or by email to mwalker@willamette.edu

About the Willamette Center for Constitutional Government

The Willamette Center for Constitutional Government was established in 2002. The Center promotes the nonpartisan study and understanding of federal-state and government citizen relations in the United States. Among other functions, the Center sponsors academic symposia and conferences, sponsors programs of training and orientation for public and elected officials, and holds a national essay competition on the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Professor Norman R. Williams serves as the director.