Dia de los Muertos Essay Competition

2021 El Dia de los Muertos/The Day of the Dead Writing Contest

On the Day of the Dead (el Día de Los Muertos), loved ones who have passed on are remembered and honored with altars, music, food, and celebration. While the holiday's origins go back thousands of years, the tradition is still very much alive in both Mexico and the United States.

To celebrate this year, the City of Garland invites students to participate in a Day of the Dead writing contest by contributing short original essays on the theme "Why is el Día de Los Muertos/ Day of the Dead important to me today?" Entries can be in English or Spanish, and winners will be recognized on the Garland Arts website and have an opportunity to read their pieces as part of the El Dia de Los Muertos festival on Monday evening, November 1 in the Downtown Square.


The writing contest is open to students in grades 3-12 who live in the city of Garland or are enrolled in GISD. There are three grade-level categories: 

  • Grades 3-5: maximum length 350 words 
  • Grade 6-9: maximum length 400 words 
  • Grades 10-12: maximum length 450 


The entries will be evaluated on a point system, with the following criteria considered: creativity, clarity, originality, storytelling, and overall interpretation of the theme. 

Correct usage of basic grammar and writing skills will also be considered. We recommend utilizing the resources of GISD school libraries and the Garland Public Libraries. 


First, second, and third prize winners will receive certificates and have their works featured on the Garland Arts webpage. First prize winners in each age group will win a special Garland-themed prize pack, a gift card to a downtown business, and be invited to read their essays live at the Día De Los Muertos festival on November 1st.

All entries must be submitted to THIS LINK (ESSAY COMPETITION REGISTRATION) by 5 p.m. on Monday, October 11, 2021. 


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact David Fisher, Cultural Arts Director, at 972-205-2789, dfisher@garlandtx.gov

This event is a collaboration between the City of Garland Cultural Arts, Library and Special Events Departments.

Click the image below to submit your essay!

Essay Competition