Finding God, Grade 7 & 8 Student Contest


Loyola Press is looking for student writings to include in the upcoming edition of Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts, Grades 7 and 8. If you are a teacher, parent, catechist, or mentor to seventh and/or eighth grade students, consider submitting your student’s written work for a chance to be featured in multimedia pieces that complement the faith formation program’s Student Edition or Leader Guide.

Read the guidelines and requirements below for how to submit content. All work must be submitted by an adult (21+ years of age) through the following email address: Entry period closes on February 5, 2021.


  • Student must be enrolled as a current seventh or eighth grader.
  • All entries must be submitted by February 5, 2021.
  • All entries must be submitted by a teacher, parent, guardian, catechist, or other adult on behalf of the student.
  • If the content is selected to appear in Finding God, a parent or guardian must submit a supplied release form.
  • Not all entries will be included in the new edition of Finding God. If your entry is selected, you will be notified by Loyola Press.

Guidelines for Finding God Student Edition Entries:

To submit an entry for use with the Finding God Student Edition, select one of the topics below and write 2-4 brief paragraphs about it. You can submit as many responses as you like, but make sure that each entry clearly addresses only one topic.

  1. Write about a non-traditional family or people you consider family but are not biologically related to you. What makes you and the family you write about a family?
  2. Write about a time when you either gave or received a meaningful gift to celebrate Christmas. This gift should be one that was not just a thing that you liked for a while then set aside, but one that is held dear and represents the Light of Christ entering the world. It may not be an object at all; it may be an experience, or something that creates a memory for you or those to whom the gift was given.
  3. Write about a time you faced temptation to do something you knew wasn’t right. Explain how you made a good decision. What did you consider? What was the outcome? The situation you write about should not be a dangerous one in which any person is in physical danger.
  4. Write about a time when you changed your mindset or attitude and how those changes freed you from fear, anger, sorrow or alienation. Explain how that changed your outlook and ability to relate to others or to be closer to God.

Requirements for Submitting an Entry for Finding God Student Edition:

  • Entries should be a minimum of two paragraphs and no more than four paragraphs (10-12 sentences long).
  • Don’t stray from the topic choices. The choices are aligned with the textbook content and need to stay on topic to bring the text to life.
  • Use the 5 Ws (Who, What, Where, When, and Why) to describe the situation you were in.
  • If the topic you write about describes a challenging time, avoid writing about dangerous situations or risky behaviors. These will not be accepted.

Helpful Hints for Writing Your Entry:

  • If your story involves other people, try not to say ‘why this person is great.’  But ‘what this person did, and how it impacted me.’  
  • Strong stories include a transformation. Tell how you were changed, and why you were changed.
  • Explain what you felt before, during, and after the change.
  • If possible, explain how the experience affected you, your outlook on life, or your situation.
  • A story can be strong without a twist (but if there is a crazy coincidence or unexplainable event be sure to include it.
  • Don’t worry about being a master storyteller; a short explanation of what happened or how you relate to a particular topic is sufficient.  
  • Use your best writing skills but know that editors review and help shape the writing to turn it into the final product.

Guidelines for Finding God Leader Guide Entries:


Hope is the theological virtue by which we place our trust in Christ's promises and rely on the grace of the Holy Spirit. The virtue of hope responds to the desire for happiness that God has placed in our hearts and that which inspires our activities. Hope keeps us from discouragement. Hope supports us when we feel alone. Hope opens our hearts to God and the needs of others. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1817, 1818)

What does hope mean to you? We want to know how you define hope as you have experienced it. You’re invited to share your personal definition of hope with us in 20 or fewer words. Here are some examples, but we want you to express it in a way that is most meaningful to you.

Hope is like a light in my window.

Hope is the empty tomb.

If your definition is selected, it will be included in a multimedia piece that will be part of the Loyola Press faith formation program Finding God, Grade 8.

Please email to submit your entries. Not all entries are guaranteed to appear in the new edition of Finding God. If your entry has been selected, you will be notified by Loyola Press.