Essay Contest

Each year, the Common Reading Experience Essay Contest honors excellent writing that addresses our book's themes. The winners are recognized at an awards ceremony.

Essay deadline: Friday, Nov. 5 at midnight

Awards ceremony: Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 3:30 p.m.


You can enter if you're enrolled in one of the following courses, or will be enrolled in the spring:

  • ENGL 103P
  • ENGL 103
  • ENGL 103ESL
  • ENGL 203
  • ENGL 203ESL
  • ENGL 204
  • ENGL 451
  • ENGL 452
  • ENGL 453
  • UNIV 101

Submission Guidelines

Your essay should address the themes of social justice, institutional racism, discrimination, identity and others raised in "Born a Crime." For a list of themes, visit the current book page.

The first page of your essay should be a cover sheet that includes the following:

  • Name.
  • Z-ID number.
  • Campus address, email address and phone number.
  • ENGL or UNIV course, instructor and section number.
Save your essay as a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx). Email it to Ellen Franklin at by the specified deadline.

Contact Us

Common Reading Experience

Orientation and First Year Programs
Holmes Student Center 250

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