This Is Our City Essay Contest


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Tempe Community Writing Contest & Cover Design Contest

Submissions open 1/8/2018 to 2/19/2018 

a publication of creative writing from the Tempe community
Sponsored by Tempe Public Library and Arizona State University

The Tempe Community Writing Contest accepts submissions of original works of fiction, creative nonfiction (including memoirs and essays) or poetry for the Tempe Writer's Forum. The writings of high school students, college students, and adults will be represented.

Both contests are open to Tempe residents, Tempe Public Library cardholders, high school students and ASU students.

Writing Contest entries are judged by members of ASU’s creative writing community.

Cover Contest entries are judged by members of ASU and Tempe Public Library graphic design departments.

Hear testimonials from our previous nominees and winners.

2018 Submission Guidelines


General Criteria:

  • One entry per person
  • Open to Tempe residents, Tempe Public Library cardholders, high school students and ASU students.  
  • Prior winners must wait three (3) years before being eligible to win again.
  • City of Tempe and Arizona State employees, families, and affiliates are not eligible to participate.

Writing Contest Submission Criteria:

  • Genres:
    • Poetry – a poem up to 100 lines
    • Fiction – a short story up to 3500 words
    • Creative Nonfiction – a work of creative nonfiction up to 3500 words (including essay, memoir, and literary journalism)
  • Categories – High School Student, College Student, Adult
  • Please double space, use 12 point Times New Roman font, and number the pages.

    IMPORTANT: Please do not include your name in the manuscript as entries will be read anonymously.

Cover Design Contest Specifications

  • Submit entries to
  • The cover design must include the following title, subtitle, volume, and date information:
    • Tempe Writers Forum (The title should fill 20% of the cover space)
    • Volume 4
    • April 2018
    • Writing From the Tempe Community
  • Submit as an EPS file (convert fonts to outlines and save as a legacy file for CS5) or high resolution JPEG, at least 300 ppi.
  • 9.5”h x 6.5”w (vertical) color design. Please note that the journals will be spiral bound on the left. Take this into consideration when creating your design.
  • Text must be within the safety line, at least .25” from the top, bottom and right edges, and .75” from left edge.
  • If design covers entire page, you must provide .25” bleed, meaning your design must actually be 10”h x 7”w so it can be cut to 9.5”h x 6.5”w.
  • Copyright note: If art or photography is used on the cover design, it MUST be the original work of the entrant or entrant must have documented permission from the creator.
  • Download specifications here

Cover Design Specifications Diagram
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Bloomington, Ind - The City of Bloomington Black History Month Committee announced that the 2018 theme for its annual Black History Month essay contest is From Protest to Progress: Unmasking the Movement.

“The essay contest theme is intended to inspire our next generation of leaders about the value of protest. From Protest to Progress encourages discussions about the ways African-Americans have unmasked the movement in the past and present by utilizing speeches, writings, songs, religious beliefs, the law, politics and much more,” commented Black History Month Committee chairperson Maqubé Reese.

First, second and third place prizes will be awarded in each of three categories: Elementary (grades 4-6), Middle (grades 7-8) and High School (grades 9-12). Homeschooled students are eligible to participate as well. First place winners will receive a 16GB iPad, second place winners will receive a $100 cash award, and third place winners will receive a $75 cash award.

All essays must be submitted on the Black History Month celebration website at by January 17, 2018. Winners will be honored at a reception on February 8, 2018 as a part of the City’s Black History Month celebration.

More information about the 2018 Essay Contest and Black History Month is available online.

The City of Bloomington Black History Month Essay Contest is sponsored by Indiana University Credit Union, Prince Hall Mason’s Stone City Lodge #54 and Order of the Eastern Star, South Star #50.


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