Students between the ages of 13-18 in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Armed Forces schools abroad, and students in United States territories are eligible to participate in the contest. The contest also includes home school students!
DO I NEED TO BUY THE BOOK TO ENTER?
Absolutely not! There is no purchase necessary. Entry is free for every eligible student (see above). The essay contest is based on the sense of adventure in the book, so it's probably a good idea to read it though. "Toward a Secret Sky" is available at libraries and bookstores everywhere. If your library doesn't have it, tell them to order it. (Nicely, with a big smile. We love librarians!)
WHY ARE YOU HOLDING THIS CONTEST?
To celebrate the paperback release of Toward a Secret Sky and to inspire the next generation of writers! When she was in school, author Heather Maclean entered every writing contest she could find, even those weird ones in the back of comic books. She probably entered 100 different contests and lost 98 percent of them. But she did win twice. The first contest she won was in 8th grade; the grand prize was $50. She used it to buy a tiny, pink TV (what every aspiring author needs, right?). The second was during her senior year in high school, and she won a trip to D.C. to meet the president. Both experiences gave Heather the idea she might like to try writing for a living. Before she wrote books, she wrote for Entertainment Weekly magazine and Disney. Every company in the world needs good writers and communicators -- just like you!
HOW DO I ENTER?
Simply write a 400-600 word essay that answers the question: "What Has Been Your Greatest Adventure?" then submit it to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org by June 15, 2018.
HOW MANY TIMES CAN I ENTER?
An individual may only submit one entry to each contest. Submitting more than one entry will disqualify you.
WHAT'S THE DEADLINE?
This essay contest will officially open for submissions on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. EST and close on Friday, June 15, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. EST. The winner of the contest will be announced on or around Monday, June 25, 2018.
WHAT ARE THE JUDGES LOOKING FOR?
Each submission must respond to the writing prompt in no more than 600 words. Judges will be looking for originality, thoughtful reflection, and a strong personal voice. All work must be original and unpublished. In addition, judges will consider grammar, organization, syntax, and clarity of content and ideas.
IF I DON'T WIN, CAN I STILL FIND OUT HOW WELL I DID?
Since we cannot anticipate the exact number of essays we will receive, unfortunately it will not be possible to give individual feedback on submissions.
WHAT IS THE PRIZE?
One Grand Prize winner will receive A $500 SCHOLARSHIP (courtesy of author Heather Maclean) to use for the educational expenses of their choosing.
The Grand Prize winner will also receive OWNERSHIP OF A PLOT OF LAND IN SCOTLAND (courtesy of Highland Titles, www.highlandtitles.com). The souvenir plot of land will consist of a 10-square-foot plot in The Mountain View Nature Reserve in Lochaber, Scotland, and a 1-square-foot plot in the Glencoe Wood Nature Reserve in Glencoe, Scotland. The location of each plot is unique. To view the plot on a map, the winner can use the free Scottish Estate Manager app, which can be downloaded from the Highland Titles website. Additionally, the plot can be viewed via the Highland Title's online land register, also available on their website.
The winner will receive a personalized certificate detailing the souvenir plot of land and the rights which may be enjoyed by the winner and their heirs. The Master Title Deed entitles the winner to adopt the title of Laird, Lord, or Lady. The prize also includes a DVD tour of the area.
As a new Laird, the winner can visit Scotland and find their plot; take a walk in the woods, take a photograph of their Estate, picnic by the river and more. The land is a nature reserve and the winner will be able to enjoy bird watching, fungi spotting, country pursuits and lots of tranquillity. The winner is welcome to plant a tree or scatter ashes. A free Meet & Greet may be arranged in advance by contacting Highland Titles. Please note: the prize does NOT include transporation to or accommodation in Scotland.
The teacher the winner designates as the person who most inspired their writing will also receive their own unique, 1-square-foot plot in the Glencoe Wood Nature Reserve in Glencoe, Scotland, and the right to be styled as the Laird, Lord, or Lady of Glencoe.
Additionally, the winner's school library, or the local library of their choosing, will receive a book prize pack worth over $400, courtesy of Blink YA Books (www.blinkyabooks.com).
HOW WILL I KNOW WHO WINS?
Around June 25, 2018, the winner will be announced here on this site. You can also follow author Heather Maclean on social media for announcements and future contests. She gave away a scholarship and a trip to London for the hardcover release of Toward a Secret Sky in 2017, and we hear she's planning another trip giveaway for the release of the sequel In the Sea of Fear in 2019. Here's how to stay in touch with her:
Twitter - @HeatherMaclean
Instagram - @HeatherMMaclean
Facebook - Author Heather Maclean
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