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Rules & Guidelines

Section I – General Rules

  1. Contestants must compose an original essay with limited guidance from others.
  2. Judson Press, American Baptist Women’s Ministry, and BillieMCook.com will have the right to edit, publish or otherwise duplicate any essay entered into the contest without payment to the author.

Section II – Qualifications for Contestants

  1. The contest is open to American Baptist women between the ages of 17 and 35.


Section III – Contest Rules

  1. Participants must write on the official contest topic.
  2. Each entry must begin with a title page containing: topic, writer’s name, address, and age.
  3. At the top of page 1 should be the official topic
  4. Essays must be type-written and double-spaced or it will be disqualified.
  5. Essays must be 200 words or less.
  6. Each page of the essay must be numbered starting with page 1, not the title page.
  7. Essay must be written in English

Section IV – Judging

  1. Judging will be completed by a panel of qualified judges who are not acquainted with the contestants.
  2. In an effort to conceal the identity of each contestant, each entry will be assigned a number by the Essay Contest Chair. The assigned number will be placed on the title page and page 1 of the essay. The title page will then be detached and retained by the Essay Contest Chair. The judges will be given the essays bearing only the assigned numbers.
  3. Judges will not discuss or compare essays being judged.
  4. Only judges can assign a penalty or award points.

Section V – Scoring of Contest

  1. Content: 30 points
  2. Interpretation (Logical interpretation of the subject, adherence to topic): 30 points
  3. Vocabulary and Style (Phrasing and continuity): 20 points
  4. Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling: 20 points


Section VI –Awards

  1. There will be two awards given to a winner and runner-up. The winner will receive the Elva S. Riggins Scholarship award for $1000. This scholarship is named in honor of the mother of Aidsand Wright-Riggins III, Executive Director of American Baptist Home Mission Societies. Elva S. Riggins was an educator who spent her career in inner city schools encouraging and empowering youth. A lay person, Elva Riggins embraced the idea of ministry of the laity in the work place and dedicated her life to public school education, especially focusing on youth who needed to see themselves as lovable and capable and destined for great things. Having spent 40 plus years in the Compton Unified School District in southern California, Elva Stoke Riggins was known for her service with preciously incarcerated youth and teen age parents.
  2. The runner-up will be given a $500 scholarship.
  3. All awards contain a prerequisite for use in higher education or leadership development training.

8 thoughts on “Rules & Guidelines

  1. Good afternoon, I would like to take part in the essay contest. How would I go about submitting an essay? Do I email it in, or mail it? Do you need to read the book to participate, or will watching the trailer give enough info about the essay topic?


  2. Hello Erin,
    Thank you for your inquiry. You can submit an essay through this site using ‘Online submission’ or by emailing promotions@judsonpress.com. We encourage you to purchase the book; however, a purchase is not required to enter the contest. Watching the book trailer will provide additional insight into the theme.


  3. Hello, I tried to submit my entry but when I tried to do so, the date of birth option wouldn’t go past 2005 so I couldn’t submit it online.


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