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Chemeketa Reads Essay Contest 2019: Chemeketa Community College Library Guides

Chemeketa Reads Essay Contest 2019 -- Deadline to Enter is April 30th

In the book, Born a Crime: Stories from an African Childhood, Trevor Noah describes a stormy childhood and adolescence as he navigates  a world that viewed his very existence as a problem. Noah survives and thrives in spite of the abuses of racism and the hardships of poverty largely due to the unshakable (and tough) love of his mother. He further illustrates how his sense of humor, imagination, and resourcefulness helped him navigate the most common teenage difficulties as well as the unique challenges of living as a biracial person in a racist society. 

Now it's your turn. Choose an essay prompt then share your story. The author of the winning entry will receive a $500 award, and the top three runners-up will receive $100 each.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Answer either Essay Prompt One or Essay Prompt Two (see below)
  • Narrate in your essay a specific event with rich details so that the reader can visualize the time, place, people, and their actions
  • Submit an essay that is clear and well written
  • Be sure that the essay is at least 500 words and no more than 750 words in length (essays that fall outside of the 500-750 word count will not be considered)
  • Complete the Chemeketa Reads Essay Contest Form and upload your essay. Note: essays that are not submitted via the instructions on the form and in the requested format will not be considered. You will need your K-number, your Chemeketa email address, and the word count of your essay
  • Submit your essay on or before the April 30th deadline!

Essay Prompt One

In a 500-750 word essay, illustrate a time from your life when humor, imagination, or resourcefulness allowed you to overcome hardship. 

Essay Prompt Two

In a 500-750 word essay, describe your fiercest advocate and how that individual supported you through troubled times. 


About the Chemeketa Reads Essay Contest

Chemeketa Reads is a collaborative project between the Reading and Writing programs, the Library, and the Diversity and Equity Office. The project enjoys generous sponsorship from Atala Consulting.

Questions? Need help?

If you have questions or need help submitting your essay, please contact Michele Burke at 503.365-4711 or via email at


Michele Burke's picture
Michele Burke
Chemeketa Community College Library
4000 Lancaster Dr NE
Salem, OR 97305