UPDATE: This contest is now closed. Thank you to all who entered!
“On Betty’s Journey, I have learned something I had not known: I am very strong, strong enough to stay, strong enough to go when the time comes. I am staying not to cling on, but because sometime, at least once, everyone should see someone through. All the way home.” – George Hodgman, “Bettyville”
In this year’s One Read selection, George Hodgman tells the story of returning to Paris, Missouri after working for years in New York City and finding both his hometown and his mother in extreme decline. The book is full of stories from his childhood, woven among his present-day struggles and triumphs as his mother’s caregiver – memories, events and conversations that formed the man he now is.
Taking inspiration from “Bettyville,” we invite you to write a personal essay of 250 words or less – a mini memoir – that recalls a pivotal event or interaction that significantly shaped your personality, crystalized your worldview, or otherwise echoed through the years of your life. The memory you choose may be a monumental moment – like the birth of a child or loss of a loved one – or seemingly small, but it should be a moment that stands for something important and from which you learned something about yourself.
Starting September 1, entries may be submitted using this form, mailed or dropped off at any library or bookmobile. (See full rules below for details.) Winning entries and honorable mentions will be published on this site and in the Columbia Missourian (online and in print). Winners will receive a $25 book store gift card.
Entries are due by September 26. Participants must be age 16 or older and residents of Boone or Callaway Counties. Read on for complete contest rules.
- The contest is open to those 16 years of age and older.
- Participants must reside within the DBRL service area (Boone or Callaway County, Missouri).
- Entries will be accepted through September 26, 2016. (Mailed entries must be postmarked by that date.)
Submission Requirements and Guidelines
- One entry per individual.
- Submissions must be 250 words or less in length.
- Submissions must be in English.
- Submissions must include writer’s name, age, address and email address or phone number for eligibility verification and contact purposes.
- Entries must be in text format and typed.
- Entries may be submitted through the online form or by mail (DBRL, ATTN: Kat/One Read Writing Contest, PO Box 1267, Columbia, MO 65205), or dropped off at a DBRL location.
- Submissions must be original, unpublished works.
- Each participant must be the sole author and exclusive owner of all right, title and interest in and to his or her submission.
- DBRL’s and the Columbia Missourian’s publication and use of the submission in accordance with the terms set out herein will not infringe or violate the rights of any third party (including copyright), or require any payment to or consent/permission from any third party.
- The submission must not contain any material that is inappropriate, indecent, profane, obscene, hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous.
- The submission must not contain any material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
- The submission must not contain any material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the submission is created.
- The submission must not contain any commercial content that promotes any product or service of the sponsor or any third party.
- Entries will be evaluated and the winners chosen based on vivid language, grammar, effectiveness of details chosen, and emotion evoked by the writing, as well as adherence to the guidelines outlined above.
- Two winners will be announced by October 12.
- Winning entries and those receiving honorable mentions will appear on the One Read website and in the Columbia Missourian (online and in print).
- Winners will be notified by phone or email and will each receive a $25 bookstore gift certificate.