Common Reading Scholarship Contest

Current freshmen have the opportunity to submit entries in an essay contest and/or a work of art (visual, audio, etc.) for a chance to win one of two, $500 Common Reading Scholarships (awarded for Spring 2015). Each Category will include two honorable mention awards ($50 gift certificate); all three winning entries in each category will be published in The Forge next spring.

Deadlines for submissions: November 19th, 2014
How to submit your entries:
  • Email digital file entries on or before that date to
  • Hand-deliver non-digital entries to McFarland 213 (Academic Affairs)

Essay Contest Guidelines

Respond to a particular passage, or chapter, of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, in a 400-600 word essay. The essay should react to something specific in the book that the writer found personally intriguing, revelatory, or insightful.
  • Use standard essay form, including a short introduction leading to a thesis that directs the essay, appropriate academic prose (complete sentences, developed paragraphs, appropriate punctuation and mechanics, correct spelling). First-person is acceptable.
  • The passage chosen should reflect in some way a major theme of the book (so some effort should be made to connect the passage to theme in the thesis).
  • Paragraph support should come in the form of actual quotes from the text/passage chosen (and be cited properly—feel free to ask a professor, or to consult the Learning Center, for guidance).
  • Essays should be single-spaced, in normal font (Times New Roman, 12 pt), and submitted electronically to as an attachment, for distribution to the judging panel.
  • The name of the author should be left off of the attachment, as essays will be judged blindly, but essays should include an intriguing title to start off the submission.

Performing/Visual Arts Scholarship Contest Guidelines

Submit original art inspired by, based upon, or reflecting on any part of the book or the issues it raises. All works must be a student’s original creation. Examples of acceptable submissions include, but are not limited to:
  • Photographs, Digital Artwork
  • Short films/Digital shorts
  • Music composition,
  • Music video
  • Sculptures
  • Paintings
  • Drawings
  • Visual art must be no larger than 40”x 40”x2”
  • Sculptures should be no larger than 36”x 48”
  • Performances, videos and compositions should be no longer than 5 minutes, and should be hosted on YouTube. (Submit URL and descriptive statement via email to
  • Each work should include a descriptive statement demonstrating the work’s correlation to the book.
  • Works should demonstrate a visual or conceptual connection to the book.
  • Works will be evaluated based on their originality, quality, technique (if applicable), and substantive reflection of the book.
Questions? Please contact one of the following professors: James Adams, Lee Kruger, Armando Ramos, or Margaret Dahlberg.