News Detail

"My Generation Speaks About Race" Writing Contest

Oceanside Public Library is partnering with North County San Diego 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 “My Generation Speaks About Race” 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 adults (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 libraries while supplies last. Contest winners in each category will receive a $250 cash prize and will be invited to participate in a special program hosted by the Library.

Contest Guidelines are:

  • 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
  • Submissions will be accepted beginning on February 16, 2021 and can be uploaded at
  • Submit by the deadline of midnight on Friday, March 19,2021

This contest is part of a Book to Action grant, awarded by California Center for the Book. Book to Action is a program of the California Library Association, supported in whole or in part by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian. For more information about Library programs and services visit or call (760) 435-5600.