The DNCC kicked off its “Write to Lead” essay competition today. It is open to students in grades 6 through 11. Here are the essay topics:

Grades 6-8: What qualities make a great leader? How could one exhibit those traits in everyday life?

Grades 9-11: Looking to the future, what do you see for our country? What qualities does a leader need to take our country forward?

Two first place winners will be chosen. They will receive passes to the Democratic National Convention in August. And a laptop.

[T]wo Presidential Winners will be invited to attend the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. Travel and accommodations will be provided for the Presidential Winners and their guardians. In addition, each Presidential Winner will be awarded a laptop computer to aid with future writing projects and have his or her essay published in full.

Parents: need more motivation to get your kid writing? The winners get to bring an adult with them.

Finalists serve as Ambassadors to the state delegations during the summer.

Entries must be postmarked by Friday, April 18, 2008. Winners will be announced in mid-May. You can find the rules and guidelines here.