Olive Garden has announced the topic for its 14th-annual Pasta Tales essay writing contest.

Olive Garden has announced the topic for its 14th-annual Pasta Tales essay writing contest.

The topic is, “Describe a teacher who has inspired you in school and how they have impacted your life.” Students have until Dec. 11 to enter the Pasta Tales contest.

Designed for young writers first through 12th grades, the essay contest gives them the opportunity to share their stories in essays of 50 to 250 words. Pasta Tales entry forms and complete rules are available on the Olive Garden’s Web site www.olivegarden.com/company/community/pasta_tales.asp. Beginning Monday, forms will also be available at local Olive Garden restaurants.

The grand prize is a three-day trip to New York City including dinner at the Olive Garden in Times Square and a $2,500 savings bond. Winners will also be chosen in each grade category and will receive a $500 savings bond and a family dinner at their local Olive Garden restaurant.

Pasta Tales entries must include the writer’s name, complete address, phone number with area code, grade, date of birth including year and a statement that the work is their own.

Entries must be submitted either online or postmarked by Dec. 11 and sent to Pasta Tales, PMB 2000, 6278 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 33308-1916.

Submissions will be judged based on creativity, adherence to theme, organization, grammar, punctuation and spelling by the Quill and Scroll Society of the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Iowa. Finalists will be selected by Olive Garden.

For more information about Pasta Tales, contact Katie Lennon at 954-776-1999, ext. 240 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST.