Eligibility: All high school juniors and seniors in public, private, parochial, charter, and home schools in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Portage, Lake, Lorain, Medina and Summit Counties.

Essay Topic: "What is the value of free speech in a democratic society?" Essays can address the topic in any way that clearly addresses the theme. Maximum of 300 words.

Deadline: March 21, 2014

Criteria for Awards: Clarity of thought, quality of content, originality, and significance of the essay's ideas, all demonstrating an understanding of the contest's topic.

Winners: 20 essays will be selected by the judges who will rank the top three winners. Winners will be notified by April 15, 2014.

Awards: 1st Prize=$1,000; 2nd Prize=$750; 3rd Prize=$500; 17 Next Winners=$100 each; Teacher Awards=$250 to the teachers of the top three winners.

Top 3 winners will read their essays at a City Club Forum to be broadcasted on radio and television, YouTube and the City Club website. 20 Finalists and their guests will be invited to attend the essay competition luncheon forum and receive a one year City Club membership and a certificate of recognition.

Winning Essays will be posted on the City Club website.

Judges: A panel of judges will be selected from the City Club membership and the community.

Entries: All entries must include entrant's name, age, grade, school, home address, home telephone number, e-mail address, as well as the name, home address and e-mail address of the entrant's teacher. Entries should be submitted here: Submit Essay.

Entry to Include: A cover letter that states, "This is my original document and does not include any previous composition by another." The statement must be signed by entrant. Plagiarism of any kind will disqualify an entrant.