Essay Contest 2012 – Leo Tolstoy

Albany-Tula Alliance offers Capital Region students a chance to win a trip to Russia in 2012 by submitting an essay on Leo Tolstoy’s influence on modern leaders

In the interest of cultural understanding and cooperation between our sister cities, the Albany-Tula Alliance is working with the Tula State Pedagogical University to sponsor our annual essay competition in the first quarter of  2012.

Students between the ages of 16 and 18 who are enrolled in a Capital Region high school are invited to participate. You do not have to know Russian, and there is no cost to enter.  Two winning essay contestants will be selected by our reviewers in April, and will travel with an Albany-Tula Alliance chaperone to Russia for one week in September 2012.

How it Works

There will be four winners, two from the Capital Region and two from Tula.  The Capital Region winners will spend a week in Russia in mid-September 2012, during which time they will attend the “Conference on the Life and Works of Tolstoy” at the Tula State Pedagogical University. They will also tour Leo Tolstoy’s country estate and other Tula historical sites, visit with students in their schools, and meet Tula residents in their homes. They will also have an opportunity to visit Moscow with their chaperone. The Albany-Tula Alliance is responsible for cover the costs of the Capital Region winners’ international travel, insurance, and visa expenses.

Our Theme for 2012: Leo Tolstoy’s Influence

Leo Tolstoy was one of the most influential figures in 19th century Russia and remains an inspirational author to this day. He lived his latter years on his country estate Yasnaya Polyana just outside of our sister city, Tula, and the Lev Tolstoy Tula State Pedagogical University regularly hosts an international conference to discuss the significance of his ideas to modern global governance.

For this reason, we are tying this year’s conference to Leo Tolstoy’s influence on modern ideas. The theme of the essay you will write is: Citing specific examples from Leo Tolstoy’s short stories, describe his influence on the thought of world leaders. You can learn about these works through your local library.

Essay Requirements

Your essay must be typed and double-spaced on 8.5 x 11 paper and have a font size of 12 (Times New Roman or equivalent).  There should be no more than 1,500 words or the equivalent of five (5) typed pages (not including a page listing the Leo Tolstoy works you are citing.) It should be constructed as follows:

  • Introduction: A thesis statement that explains the subject matter and theme of the essay.
  • Body of Essay: Compose your arguments and support your theories with research and analysis.  Provide in-text citations, footnotes or endnotes to credit reference sources.
  • Conclusion: Summarize your research and analysis and present your conclusions.  Be sure to include how your data and conclusion support your original thesis statement.
  • Works Cited: List the Leo Tolstoy works you are citing.

Deadlines and Submissions


Video Now Available of the Free Lecture of Tolstoy's Life and Work

The free lecture, which kicked off the 3rd annual Albany-Tula Alliance Essay Contest is now available for viewing on our YOUTUBE site as well as the bottom of this page.   The topic for this year's essay is Leo Tolstoy's influence on the thought of world leaders. We are asking students to review some of Tolstoy's short stories (yes, he DID write short stories!), and cite from them to support their ideas. Albany-Tula Alliance organizes this contest during the first quarter of every year in cooperation with the Tula State Pedagogical University to sponsor our annual essay competition in the first quarter of 2012. The purpose is to promote cultural understanding and cooperation between the citizens of our sister cities, Albany (really the whole Capital Region) and Tula. For more information, call 518-768-7010 or email the Education & Culture Committee.