What if tomorrow someone told you they would move you and your family anywhere in the world and get you a beautiful home with plenty of land for gardening and growing irises? Think about that dream opportunity and then sit down and write an essay for the 2019 Ackerman Youth Essay Contest. Do not wait for school to start! You will be busy studying and doing your homework then. Use a quiet summer day to dream up your answers and write out your essay. Get out your pen and paper and lay in the grass or fire up your computer and brainstorm ideas inside to beat that summer heat! Do some research about which irises can grow where you would want to live, or where you could move to better grow the types of irises you love best. Think about a plan and design for your garden that could make it an iris paradise for visitors to learn from. Then begin your writing! You can do it!!!

The 2019 Ackerman Youth Essay Contest Theme is:

“If you could plant an iris garden anywhere in the world, where would it be, which irises would you choose to plant, and what would you like visitors to your garden to learn?”

The American Iris Society and The American Iris Society Foundation sponsor this writing opportunity for AIS Youth Members. We hope all of our AIS youth members will take a little time to think about where you would like to live and which irises you would like to grow and then write an essay from your heart. Write about experiences that come into your mind when you think about where in the world you would most like to live. Think about your favorite irises, the ones that grow the best, or maybe new ones you’ve seen that you would like to grow. Think about the way you might plant them, so your garden visitors could learn something about irises. As you write, explain your reasons for choosing not only the place to live, but why you chose the irises you did. Paint a picture with your words as you tell us why you would like to live there, why you would pick those irises, and how visitors will be able to learn in your garden. Be careful to not just create a list of your reasons, remember this is an essay, so write details with creativity and explain your choices.

This year brings another change to the Ackerman program, thanks to The American Iris Society Foundation board. Last year was my first year in charge of the essay contest, and after reading all of the wonderful entries, I realized that in some cases our youngest AIS members were competing in the same age group as students four or more years older than them. So, I asked the AIS Foundation Board to approve adding another age group to the essay contest! They agreed and the 2019 Youth Essay Contest will now have three age groups, therefore awarding three 1st, three 2nd, and three 3rd place prizes; one in each age group! The new age groups are 9 and Under, 10-12, and 13 and Over. All three age groups will receive: $100 for First Place, $50 for Second Place and $25 for Third Place, courtesy of The American Iris Society Foundation. And of course, there are some other rules:

  • Students should brainstorm and write their own essays.
  • Essays should written in 500 words or less.
  • The deadline for getting the essay finished and sent in to me is February 17, 2019.

Mail your essay to:

Debbie Strauss
2213 Hereford Blvd
Midland, TX 79707
Email: debbie@loveirises.com

Or send as an attachment to me at debbie@loveirises.com. If you have any questions, please email or call me!