HBU Academy Essay and Art Contest

The Academy at HBU invites any Houston-area student in sixth through ninth grades to submit an original essay OR an original art piece addressing the nature of friendship in literature or history.

Register for the Kick-off Event on Nov. 6, 2021

To kick off our contest, we will host a conference on November 6, 2021 with keynote speakers Dr. Lou Markos, Dr. David Davis, and Dr. Jerry Walls. This event is for the entire Houston community, not just for those participating in the contest! Registration is required to reserve your seat at this event. Current and former Academy students and their families can attend for free (but still need to register in order to reserve a seat). All other guests will need to purchase a ticket for $10.00.

Conference Schedule

9:30-10:15     Late registration, coffee, and opening remarks

10:15-11:00  Dr. David Davis

11:15-12:00  Dr. Jerry Walls

12:00-1:00     Lunch on your own (several dining options at the Pillars at HBU)

1:15-2:00       Dr. Lou Markos

Register Now!Contest Information

“When men are friends there is no need for justice,” writes Aristotle in Nicomachean Ethics, further claiming that friendship is “an absolute necessity in life.” In an age of injustice and animosity, distrust and disruption, disconnection and loneliness, finding and cultivating true friendships seems increasingly important. But what is a “true friendship”? How is friendship expressed, and what are its limitations? And where can we look for models?

These questions have animated and inspired a wide array of poets, fiction writers, literary scholars, historians, philosophers, psychologists, theologians, filmmakers, and artists. Topics could include (but are not limited to):

  • Secular friendship in Aristotle, Cicero, or other great philosophers and thinkers
  • Christian friendship in Augustine, Aquinas, Wesley, Lewis, or other great Christian thinkers
  • Examinations of significant biblical, historical, literary, or cinematic friendships
  • Non-human friendships between animals, nations, institutions, etc.

The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2022.

Grand Prize for each category (essay and art) is $150

Plus: additional prizes, including grade-level specific prizes

Please click here for essay/art guidelines and submission details.