University Libraries

PA Center for the Book seeks submissions for 2022 Wordstruck Micro Essay contest

Pennsylvania students in Grades 10-12 invited to submit essays through Dec. 17

Credit: Erica KingAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. —The Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s third annual contest, 2022 Wordstruck: Micro Essays on Literature that Redefined You, invites Pennsylvania students in Grades 10-12 to submit an essay of 300-500 words that describes how a self-selected piece of literature redefined their behavior, attitude, worldview, and/or personal perspective.

One winner will be awarded a $250 prize. Second and third place winners will receive $150 and $100, respectively. In 2021, first and second places were awarded to students from the Pennsylvania cities of Churchville and Pittsburgh for their essays in response to “Divergent” by Veronica Roth and “Call Me By Your Name” by André Aciman. Find these winning essays on the Wordstruck webpage.

A new Micro Essay Lesson Plan has also been developed by the Center’s Curriculum Specialist, Erica King, to support the development of writing concepts related to this contest, such as “precision of language” and the “recursive processes” of freewriting, review, and revision. It is designed for high school students and includes in-depth exercises for composing short form nonfiction.

Submissions for the 2022 Wordstruck contest will be accepted online only during the submission period, from now through Dec. 17. For official submission guidelines, please visit the Wordstruck section of the How to Submit page on the Pennsylvania Center for the Book website.

The Pennsylvania Center for the Book is an affiliate of the Center for the Book established in 1977 at the Library of Congress. It encourages Pennsylvania’s citizens and residents to study, honor, celebrate and promote books, reading, libraries and literacy.

In addition to administering Wordstruck, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book administers the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, the Public Poetry Project, A Baker’s Dozen: The Best Children’s Books for Family Literacy, Poems from Life, Words of Art, the interactive Literary & Cultural Heritage Maps of Pennsylvania, and Curricula & Teaching Materials. The Center’s public initiatives provide access to content that includes poetry posters, live and recorded presentations, lesson plans, reviews, and more.

For additional information about the Wordstruck contest, visit the Wordstruck: Micro Essays on Literature that Redefined You page of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book website, or contact Nicole Miyashiro, writer-in-residence, at

Last Updated November 08, 2021