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RENEW (Reflective Essays on Nature, Earth and their Wonders)
RENEW 2022: Registration Start Date: February 1, 2022 - Registration End Date: May 15, 2022

On February 23, 2021, Delaware Interfaith Power & Light (DeIPL) welcomed Michael Nelson and Kathleen Dean Moore, co-editors of "Moral Ground; Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril," as presenters for our monthly webinar. Moral Ground, first published in 2010, is a collection of testimonial essays from over 80 visionaries around the globe—theologians and religious leaders, naturalists, scientists, elected officials, business leaders, activists, and writers.

Together they “present a compelling call to honor our individual and collective moral responsibility to the planet.” Their presentation, along with our own ongoing commitment to environmental education, inspired DeIPL to motivate and also incentivize Delaware high school students to narrate their experiences and express their opinions and perspectives by writing about climate change, its causes and effects (especially on future generations) and what the contestants believe should be done to combat it.

Contest Dates & Times :


RENEW is open to all Delaware high school students in grades nine through twelve attending public, private, parochial, or home schools. You need only an active email from your high school to register, or a personal email if you are home schooled.


  • There is no entry fee.
  • Registration is between February 1, 2022 and May 15, 2022. You must register within that period in order to participate.
  • You should have access to a computer and the internet to write the essay online on our website and submit it.
  • You must write on the specific topic assigned on the contest day of your choice.
  • Your essay can be no longer than 1,000 words.
  • Your essay must be written in the designated space on our website and submitted within the allotted 90 minutes.
  • Essays must be written in English.
  • Your essay must be original, and it must be your work.
  • You are allowed to submit only one essay. Once you press the submit button on any of the three contest days, your single entry is accepted.


Essays will be graded by a panel of judges in each county based on clarity, passion, attention to the theme, and creativity.

Each panel will choose first, second, and third place winners for each county. Once the judges have ranked the top essay in each county, one of these three will be declared the state's top winner.


  • The top three essayists in each county will be awarded $1,000 for first place, $750 for second place, and $500 for third place.
  • Delaware's best essayist will be awarded an additional $1,000.
  • Other awards and recognitions for the participants will be announced soon.


  • I can't use my school email because...can I use my email instead?
  • Yes, you can do that, but we may verify your active student status in a Delaware high school at any time.
  • Can current seniors register to participate in the contest because they would have already graduated in June?
  • Yes, they can still register and participate.
  • Can we choose a topic, or is it given to us?
  • We will give you a specific topic to write the essay on. You can't choose it. However, the topics will relate to climate justice, environmental justice, and the wonders of the earth.
  • Will it be the same topic on June 10, 14, and 19?
  • No, it will not be the same. These three days will have three different topics

Note :

  • Ownership of all works submitted belongs to, and remains with, the author. The author grants to RENEW a non-exclusive right to use and publish the essay submitted, as well as biographies and other background materials submitted to RENEW.
  • This is the inaugural year of the RENEW contest, so there may be changes. Please visit the website for updates.

  • If you are a business, a school, a government organization or a non-profit interested in co-sponsoring this initiative or partnering with us to create awareness about climate change and help us publicize the RENEW contest, please email us at