Announcing the 2021 Fracchia Prize

SF City Guides and The San Francisco Historical Society are excited to announce the third annual Fracchia Prize. It is open to any student attending a high school in San Francisco. Interested candidates are required to submit an original and properly cited written work consisting of between 1,200 and 1,600 words, based on one of the two prompts below.  The work can include up to three high definition photos that support the text.

Civic Monuments—How Should We View Them?

Choose a San Francisco monument that commemorates a person or an event that’s significant in our city’s history and also represents a controversy. Write an essay about the monument that answers these questions:

  • Why is this person or event important to San Francisco’s history?
  • What controversy exists about the person or event?
  • In your opinion, should the monument be removed? Should it be left as-is? Should a plaque or narrative be added to tell a more complete story?
  • What can we learn from the controversy?

Civic Monuments—Who’s Been Left Out?

San Francisco has hundreds of monuments honoring people who influenced our city’s history. Think of a person who is important to San Francisco’s history for whom a monument does not yet exist. Write an essay explaining why that person should be honored with a monument. Answer these questions:

  • Why is this individual important in our city’s history?
  • Why should he or she be honored with a monument?
  • Where might the monument be placed?
  • What would the monument be like–What features does it have? What’s special about it?

(For the purposes of this essay, a monument is defined as a statue of a person or event.)


First Place – $2,500 and publication of the work in The Argonaut
Second Place – $1,500 and publication of the work in Panorama
Third Place – $1,000 and publication of the work in Panorama

Deadline for Submission: April 15, DEADLINE EXTENDED July 15, 2021

All entries will be judged by a panel looking for strong writing skills, well-chosen monuments, accurate information, proper citations, and the possible use of primary and secondary sources.

Winners will attend a special ceremony to receive their awards.

Please download and fill out the Fracchia Prize 2021 Entry Form (pdf).
You must be a resident of San Francisco to apply.
Deadline for Submission is April 15, DEADLINE EXTENDED July 15, 2021
Please submit by email along with your article to:

For full details, please visit the San Francisco Historical Society Fracchia Prize page.

San Francisco Historical Society