Coming Out Of The Closet Essay Contest

Calling all student writers! 

America Media is proud to announce the 2018 Generation Faith Essay Contest.

America Media is seeking submissions from young writers for this year's Generation Faith Essay Contest. We want to hear from high school and college students interested in reflecting on the joys and challenges that come with living out (or struggling with) one's faith in the midst of real life. All entries should be true personal essays, between 800 and 1,200 words. 

The essays should feature strong narratives and real-life examples from the writer’s experience as a young person in the church today. Writers should think creatively and broadly about their faith experience.

The winning entry will be awarded $1,000 and will be published in America.Additional entries may be chosen for publication in America. The judging panel will consist of the editors of America and The Jesuit Post.

To be eligible, you must be enrolled as a full-time high school or college student at the time of the contest deadline. Your submission must be previously unpublished (including on personal websites) and must be original work.

You can read a previous first-place essay here. 

All entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 11.

Format

Does the 750 word count include images and their descriptions?
Yes

Are citations included in the word count?
In-text citations are included in the word count, but the reference list is not included.

Are headings/titles included in the word count?
Yes

Should everything be on one page or should references have a separate page?
The reference list will be submitted separately in the “references” section of the submission site. Everything will be included on one page once the essay is submitted.

Is there a standard font or margin size preferred?
No. Once the essay is copied and pasted into the submission site, it will be formatted to fit our standard margins and fonts.

Submission/Participation

Can I (a student) submit my essay myself?
Only teachers, administrators, or parents who teach their home-schooled child can submit an essay. While we encourage your current science teacher to submit your essay for you, your English teacher, another science teacher, or any other teacher who helped you can submit your essay.

What does it mean that only teachers can submit essays?
This means students cannot submit their essay themselves and must ask a teacher to do it for them. This is to encourage students to work with their teacher when they write their essay. Please keep in mind, though, that teachers of winners will receive a genetics materials grant and will be featured with the winning students in our announcements.

How do I submit my essay if a teacher cannot do it for me?
Try to find any other teacher who can submit for you. If this isn’t an option, please email us at dnaday@ashg.org.

Can my guidance counselor submit my essay for me?
Yes

Can I submit for my student who is currently studying abroad?
The student must be studying at the same school as the teacher who submits their essay.

Can I change information after I have submitted?
No, please make sure all information is correct before submitting because it will be final.

How does the teacher vouch for the originality of the student’s work?
Your submission represents your authentication that the essays are the original work of your students.

How do I submit more essays?
Use the submission link in the confirmation email.

I submitted late. Will my essay still be judged?
All late submissions will not be judged.

Why isn’t the submission site working?
It may be your browser. Try Firefox or Chrome.
Check your email address. Your may have entered it incorrectly.
Check your submitted information. You may not have filled in all the information required.  

Where’s the confirmation email?
It may take some time for the email to get to you. If you haven’t received it by the end of the day, either check your junk mailbox or double check that the email address you provided is correct. If neither of those options work, email dnaday@ashg.org.

Judging

Where do I find the link to volunteer as a judge?
The link was sent in the initial judge recruiting email.

What’s the judging deadline?
All judging deadlines are included in the email that was sent to you.

Can I forward this judging email to a colleague?
Please ONLY forward the judging email to colleagues who are members of ASHG.

Winners’ Site

Will I be able to read the winning essays after the competition?
Normally, we make highlights from the essay available on the winners page.

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