How To Start A Diversity Essay Contest

Tell us why in 300 words or less and you could win a spot in an exclusive reception sponsored by We Need Diverse Books!

TTBF and WNDB invite teens from diverse backgrounds (people of color, Native voices, people with disabilities, people from the LGBTQIAP+ community or other underrepresented groups) to tell us why diverse books matter. We will select 25 respondents to attend an exclusive event at the festival on October 7th where authors, booksellers, and other front line members of the book industry will share advice and insight into the opportunities and possibilities that exist for book lovers of all backgrounds to forge a future in the world of books and publishing. Winners will also be invited to live blog their experience at the event and have their work published on the TTBF website. The book world needs all voices, and this is a great chance to find out how to get involved!


Please read all the guidelines below before submitting your entry.


Eligibility Requirements

  • The WNDB Essay Contest is open to Texas residents aged 11-18 years.
    (To be eligible, you must be 11 to 18 years old at the time of the deadline.)
  • You must be a Texas resident to be eligible for this contest.
  • This is an essay contest. Entries must be non-fiction essays.
  • Entry is limited to one per person.
  • Only single author entries qualify (no co-authors).
  • Writing must be author’s original work and creation.

Submission Requirements

  • To qualify, each entry must be submitted along with a fully completed entry form (linked below).
  • The writer’s name should not appear anywhere within the document or in the document title.
  • Each entry is limited to 300 words.
  • No specific format is required.
    • Acceptable file formats: .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf
  • Save your electronic file using the following naming conventions:
    • TitleofEssay_YourInitials
      • Example: DiverseVoices_SJM

All submissions must be received by 11:59pm on September 1, 2017.

Still have a question about the contest? Email us

Winners will be notified on September 7 and will be invited to participate in the 2017 Texas Teen Book Festival on October 7, 2017 at St. Edward’s University.

Ready to submit your entry?

Click here to access the 2017 Entry and Submission Form


An invitation to an exclusive event at the Texas Teen Book Festival on October 7th.

An invitation to interview authors and have your work published on the TTBF website.

Contest Judges

WNDB representatives along with the TTBF Programming committee consisting of booksellers, librarians, and book enthusiasts.





The 2017 contest will remain open through February 28, 2017. There will be two winning entries selected, and the winners will be notified by email by March 5, 2017.

To enter the contest, send your completed essay and a picture of you and your team. You must submit your entry via email to [email protected]. Any other form of entry will not be accepted.

Please note-- DO NOT begin filling out the essay submission form until you save it to your computer. Open the form that is saved on your computer and start typing your answers in the fields. Remember to continue to save your form to your computer.

Completed entries must include the following:

  • Applicant’s name
  • School or team name
  • Grade in school
  • Contact information (phone number, e-mail and home address)
  • Team photo
  • If the applicant is under 18 years of age, he or she must include the name of a coach or parent and contact information for that individual (phone number, e-mail and home address).

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