HAILEY, Idaho — The Alliance of Idaho and Sun Valley Museum of Art (SVMoA) announced the theme for this year's writing competition, "That Time I Knew I Belonged".
In its second year, the competition is open to high school students in Blaine County, completing their junior or senior years.
Participants are encouraged to write personal, autobiographical stories that address the main prompt and answer questions on community. Submissions can be written in English or Spanish, and the word count should be between 500-800 words.
"The writing competition is designed to recognize and honor the various ways people belong," the group said in a press release on Monday. "Both The Alliance and SVMoA understand that diverse communities are stronger when everyone can flourish."
The criteria for evaluating essays will be based on originality, quality of writing, humor, and emotional resonance. Students who are the first in their families to attend college are especially encouraged to participate.
"The Alliance and SVMoA have a shared interest in building and celebrating communities in their different forms – from what happens on the soccer field, to the dinner table, to the classroom, to a dance class, to a walk in the woods, to the pages of a book," the groups said.
Prizes for the competition include gift cards to any independent or university bookstore, to support a love of reading or help students afford their books for a technical school or college. Two first-place winners will be given $500 in gift certificates, with two additional winners receiving $250 gift certificates, and $100 gift certificates going to the two runners-up.
The deadline for submissions is Feb. 23, with competition winners being notified on March 18. Contest winners will also be invited to share their essays at a public presentation held in Hailey at the SVMoA on April 28, 2022.
Interested participants can go to the SVMoA website to learn more about the competition and to submit an essay.
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