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Common Reading Essay Contest 2021-2022

Guidelines for Writing & Submitting Your Essay

"A memoir-in-essays from disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting_pretty Rebekah Taussig, processing a lifetime of memories to paint a beautiful, nuanced portrait of a body that looks and moves differently than most." (from

This an AMAZING opportunity for you to write a reflective essay to share your story and demonstrate your writing skills.  Please consider submitting an essay.  Guidelines are listed below.

Essay Writing Guidelines & Submitting Your Essay

  1. Write an essay about how the common reading book affected you.  Be honest.
  2. Make a connection between your experiences starting college and the author's challenges, and how they overcame problems.  Share your personal stories or feelings as you explain your opinion.
  3. Please -- do NOT tell the story of the book.  The essay contest judges have read the book.  Tell how you feel about the story and the author's experience.  Remember -- we want to hear YOUR story!
  4. Follow these guidelines regarding the format of the essay:
  • On the first page provide:
    • Your name [First Name, Last Name]
    • Panther ID Number
    • FIU email address
  • No title page.  Just begin writing after providing the name/ID/email information.
  • Tell your story in your words.  Learn how to avoid Plagiarism.
  • Double-spaced lines for the text area only.
  • 1 inch margins all around, 12 pitch font.  Please use only Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri.
  • Essays less than 2 pages or more than 3 pages will not be reviewed.  Please be sure to follow this rule and allow your essay to be considered.

Contest Opens:  Monday, June 21, 2021

Contest Closes:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.

The Common Reading Essay Contest and prize monies are sponsored by the FIU University Libraries.

Prizes & Cash Awards:  1st Prize - $200  |   2nd Prize - $150   |   3rd Prize - $100
Award money will be electronically deposited into the winning students' accounts.  Winners will be notified via email.


Click here to submit your essay -- good luck!
This link is open from June 21, 2021 to March 1, 2022!

Meet Rebekah Taussig