Eligibility and Rules

Participants are invited to submit an essay about an individual or identifiable group of individuals in Washington state who demonstrated civic courage on an issue of importance to the community. Essays must be submitted online between January 1 – March 15, 2017. Submissions will not be accepted after March 15, 2017.


  • Participants must be at least 13 years of age.
  • Participants must live, work or attend school in Seattle. Students who live in Seattle and attend college outside the area are eligible to participate.
  • Participants must be high school seniors or be enrolled (or have been accepted for enrollment no later than October 1, 2017) as an undergraduate student in an accredited two-or four-year college, technical school or university for the 2017-18 school year. 
  • Participants must have their own Seattle Public Library card. Get a card.

Essay Requirements

  • Essays must be a minimum of 1,500 words and no more than 2,000 words. Citations and bibliography are not included in the word count.
  • Essays must be in English.
  • Essays must be the original work of the student.
  • Essays must be double spaced. Minimum type size in 12 pt.

Source Material

Essays must include at least three sources such as newspaper articles, books, and/or personal interviews, including one primary source:

  • Essays with fewer than three listed sources will be disqualified.
  • Essays must include a bibliography and in-text citations using a standard format (for example, using the Modern Language Association [MLA] format).

Participation is subject to the Official Rules, located here.