Essay Contest

Attention New Mexico’s kids!

The Department of Game and Fish is inviting students of all ages to participate in an essay writing contest. Winners will receive a bag of cool prizes you can use on your next trip outdoors. Winning essays will be published in an upcoming issue of New Mexico Wildlife or a monthly update and shared on the Department’s social media pages.

Essay Contest Flier 2020

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is pleased to announce the winners of the Department’s Essay Contest for Kids and Young Adults.

“We were thrilled with the number of essays we received from kids across our state,” said Alexa Henry, essay contest coordinator. “The Department’s mission is to conserve our state’s wildlife for future generations. The thoughtfulness of these essays clearly demonstrates that our next generation also believes in the importance of wildlife conservation.”

In addition, the Department would also like to take this opportunity to thank the parents and guardians of our writers for encouraging their child’s interest in the outdoors and conservation. The Department understands and appreciates that so many of you have taken on the additional duty of facilitating distance education for their children during the pandemic.

Winners will be published in upcoming issues of New Mexico Wildlife magazine or the Department’s Monthly Update e-newsletter.

How to Submit an Entry

Please select the appropriate submission group based on the grade you will enter in August 2020. Then, select one of the two topics. Only one entry per participant is permitted.

Elementary students (Grades K-6)
200-word essay
– My favorite hunting or fishing trip.
– My wild backyard. Describe the amazing animals and plants in your backyard.

Middle school students (7-8)
300-word essay.
-Why is conservation important to you? Describe three things you would like to do to protect New Mexico’s wildlife.
-Why should you hunt or fish? Pretend you have a new friend who has neve been hunting or fishing before. Tell them why they should join you on a hunting or fishing trip.

High school students (9-12):
500-word essay.
– Why is hunting important for wildlife conservation. 500-word essay.
-What is your favorite place to go fishing in New Mexico, and why? Share a fond memory of fishing at this place and why you would recommend it to others.


Judging Criteria

The essays will be judged by the Department of Game and Fish communications team. Winning essays will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Presentation. Is your essay double-spaced and free of spelling errors? Is there an introduction, body and conclusion? Did you include a title? Please avoid using hard-to-read and/or colorful fonts and formats.
  • Information. Teach us something new about hunting, fishing, wildlife and conservation. Share interesting information about conservation – and, don’t forget to include your sources.
  • Originality. Tell us a great story we’ll remember.
  • Pictures. Each entry must include 3-5 pictures that you took, or that were taken of you, relating to your article.


Contest Rules

  • 1. Submissions must be sent to:, email subject 2020 essay contest, and must include:
    a. Essays must be submitted as Microsoft Word documents, double-spaced. The Department will not accept essays via email or text.
    b. Pictures must be submitted in low resolution .jpg format.
    c. Essays must include the author’s name, school, grade and email address. Parent/guardian(s) contact and mailing address information must also be provided
  • 2. All content must be original. Plagiarized content will be disqualified. We will check!
  • 3. All submissions are due by June 30 July 10, 2020 by 5 p.m. Winning announcements will be made on July 17, 2020.

For questions, please contact New Mexico Wildlife’s editor Alexa Henry at or (505) 476-8007.

Essays and photos will become property of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish for the purposes of sharing on social media, promoting fishing in the state of New Mexico, the essay contest and any other agency publications. All content submitted to the Department of Game and Fish will become public domain.