Oceanside Public Library is partnering with North San Diego County NAACP to sponsor a writing contest inspired by the book The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, edited by Jesmyn Ward. The book is a collection of essays written in response to James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time and features work by contemporary writers as they reflect on the past, present, and future of race in America. The book is divided into three categories that will serve as themes for the writing contest:

• Legacy (Shining Light on the Darkest Corners of Our History) - for teens (13-17 yrs.)
• Reckoning (Wrestling with Our Current Predicament) - for young adult writers (18-24 yrs.)
• Jubilee (Envisioning a Better Future) - for adults (25 yrs.+)

If you’re interested in entering the contest, the Library will provide you with a free copy of The Fire This Time, which you can pick up at Civic Center or Mission Branch Library.

Winning entries will be selected by author Kima Jones, whose poem, “Homegoing AD”, is featured in The Fire This Time.

Contest winners in each category will receive a $250 cash prize and will be invited to participate in a program hosted by the Library.

This contest is part of a Book to Action grant, awarded by the California Center for the Book.

Submitting Your Digital Content

Submission Categories

  • Legacy (Shining Light on the Darkest Corners of Our History) - for teens (13-17 yrs.)
  • Reckoning (Wrestling with Our Current Predicament) - for young adult writers (18-24 yrs.)
  • Jubilee (Envisioning a Better Future) - for adults (25 yrs.+)

Submission Guidelines

  • Submissions can be essays, letters, or poems
  • Submissions should be no longer than 500 words
  • One entry per person
  • Please include your name, email, and age as part of your submission
  • Please format your submission with 1-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font, and double spacing
  • Submit by the deadline of midnight on Friday, March 19, 2021
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