Essay Topics

2024-2025 School Year

Select a location below to view your topic:

  • Brightwater | Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Cascades Verdae | Greenville, SC
  • The Charlotte | Charlotte, NC
  • Evergreen Woods | North Branford, CT
  • Homestead Hills | Winston-Salem, NC
  • The Lakes at Litchfield | Pawleys Island, SC
  • Marsh’s Edge | St. Simons Island, GA
  • Osprey Village | Amelia Island, FL
  • RidgeCrest | Mount Airy, NC
  • Summit Hills | Spartanburg, SC
  • The Stratford | Carmel, IN
  • Wildewood Downs | Columbia, SC
  • Wellmore of Daniel Island | Daniel Island, SC
  • Wellmore of Lexington | Lexington, SC
  • Wellmore of Tega Cay | Tega Cay, SC

Essay Rules

Essays which do not meet the following guidelines will be disqualified:

  • Essay must be at least 1000 words excluding cover page and works cited.
  • Essay must be double spaced.
  • Essay must be submitted before deadline.
  • Essay must be the applicant’s original work.
  • Essay must follow the prompt given.

Silver Pen Basics

  • The Silver Pen Writing Competition started in 2012 as a way to bridge the communication gap between high school seniors and our members.
  • Each community chooses an essay topic this year’s competition. Topics will not be released until the day Silver Pen is released to schools.
  • Members at each community will select three winners.
  • Winners will receive their awards at a special Silver Pen Ceremony.


Submissions Start: TBA
Applications Due: TBA
Winners Announced: TBA


1st Place$2,500
2nd Place$750
3rd Place$500

Am I Eligible?

Silver Pen is open to:

  • All high school seniors who live or attend school within 25 miles of the community they are applying to
  • Community employees and children of employees
  • Residents limited families – grand (great grand) children, nieces and nephews (grand nieces and nephews)

Frequently Asked Questions

Step 1: Home Office

Each application is received at the Home Office (of Senior Living Communities and Wellmore) in Charlotte, NC. The applications are carefully sorted into their respective communities. All personal identifiers (name, school, contact info, etc.) are removed from the applications. Instead, each application is given a unique number. The applications are sent to the participating locations for judging.

Step 2: Participating Locations

At the participating locations, the judges, who are members at the retirement community, read and select the winners. The judges will read all the essays without knowing the applicants’ names. This means that the winners are selected based on the quality and strength of their essay alone. Each community has different metrics for judging the essays. If a member has a family member who is submitting an essay, they are not allowed to be a judge.

Our judges are looking for:
  • Research, insight and perspective.
  • Theme development.
  • Inspirational quality.
  • Meaningful personal connection.
  • Creativity.
  • Clarity of ideas.

When you click the submit, you will see a green bar appear under the submit button that says your application submission was successful.

If your essay, transcript or any other files are larger than the attachment size limit (5mb), please email them to She will ensure that the attachments are placed in your application file.

Yes. If your school has a policy against releasing transcripts to students, the school can mail the transcript to Aimee Simmons.

3530 Toringdon Way
Suite 204
Charlotte, NC 28277

Sorry, this scholarship opportunity is only open to high school seniors. The good news is that juniors can apply next year.


No. Each applicant is limited to one application.

No. Even if an applicant is close to two communities, they can only submit one application.

Stats at a Glance


Total scholarship money awarded since 2012


Total Scholarships Winners


Participating Locations


Winners selected last year


Average applications per community


Scholarship money awarded per community


Total applications received in 2022-2023

Apply Now

Applications Due: Feb 15, 2024

Required Documents
  • Essay
  • Transcript

    Basic Info:


    Home Address:

    Check box if mailing address is different from home address

    Mailing Address:

    School Info:

    Submit Application:

    5MB limit - Image, PDF, DOC, or DOCX
    Naming format: FirstName_LastName_Transcript.pdf
    5MB limit - DOC or DOCX
    Naming format: FirstName_LastName_Essay.docx
    5MB limit - Image, PDF, DOC, or DOCX