98th Annual Oratorical Contest

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HEROINES & HELL-RAISERS: Trailblazing Texas Women.

Contest History

Held annually since 1926, the Battle of Flowers® Oratorical Contest is the oldest continuous university and college-level forensic competition in the state of Texas. The competition’s purpose is to perpetuate appreciation of the history of Texas. Every year, the event awards generous monetary prizes to its five (5) top finalists and to the department of each top three (3) winners’ university advisor.

2023 Oratorical Contest

In accordance with the mission of the Battle of Flowers Association, the 98th Annual Oratorical Contest Committee invited Texas collegiate students to select, research and prepare a speech on a Trailblazing Texas Woman, according to the Contest Rules and Topic Guidelines, whose life/accomplishments impacted the history of our state. The speeches will be presented on Friday, February 24, 2023, at the Witte Museum in San Antonio.

To participate in the Oratorical Contest is a prestigious honor for students, and offers a great opportunity to celebrate the unique history and culture of Texas. More than $10,000 in monetary awards will be distributed among the top five (5) winning student finalists, including $5,000 for first place. In addition, the university department of each of the top three (3) winning students’ Faculty Advisor will receive monetary awards.

Click here to view the full list of benefits for student contestants and finalists, finalists and universities.

The application deadline closed November 1, 2022, and we eagerly anticipate the opportunity to hear our contestants address the histories of the chosen Heroines and Hell-raisers: Trailblazing Texas Women! The competition is open to the public. Consider joining us for the 98th Annual Battle of Flowers Oratorical Contest on February 24th.

Additional information on the speech requirements and rules are available to contestants:

Please feel free to email Melissa Chapman, University Liaison, with any questions.


Your support of our contest enables the significant prize money made available to winning students. Please email here to get information on how to donate.

Past Contests

Click here to view our 2022 winners.

Watch the first-place speech from our 2022 Oratorical Contest