Sunday, March 29, 2009


Essay Topic:
From the perspective of Asian Pacific Americans, why should marriage between two people of the same sex be considered a fundamental civil right (marriage equality)? You may include examples from Asian Pacific American legal history or culture to form your argument.

  • New deadline for entries: May 1, 2009, midnight Pacific Standard Time

  • Winners announced: May 27th, 2009

  1. Students must be residents of Los Angeles and Orange Counties only.

  2. There are two categories, English-language and Asian-language: papers may be written entirely in English, or papers may be written entirely in Chinese or Korean.

  3. Due to the difficulty of writing well in an Asian language, some specialized terms relating to legal and human rights in Chinese have been provided for reference. You may use that terminology in your essay.

  4. Papers must be the original work of current high school and college students who (during the time that the paper is written) will enroll part- or full-time at an accredited 2-year or 4-year college of university in the Fall of 2009.

  5. There is maximum of one entry per person, per category.

  6. Papers must not be previously published.

  7. Papers may be dual-purpose in that they satisfy a class requirement.

  8. A faculty member from the student's school must be willing to certify that the student was enrolled during the time that the paper was written, and that, to the best of their knowledge, the work is original.

    Required Format:

    • Papers should be nor more than 1,000 words (excluding citations, if any) in an easily email-shared format among Macintosh and PC software (.pdf and .doc files preferred). Word count shall appear on the cover sheet. Essays written in Chinese or Korean should be 1500 characters or less.

    • Papers must be double-spaced, in 12 pt font, with 1" margins on all sides.

    • The body of the paper must not identify the author, sponsor, or school, so that judging is performed entirely anonymously.

      Separate cover sheet is required, with the following information in English:

      Author Name
      Phone number
      Email address
      Author's School Affiliation and Status (high school senior or undergraduate year)

      Faculty Sponsor's Name
      Phone number
      Email address

      Word or Character Count

Body of essay and separate cover sheet to be sent as a single pdf file to . Contest staff will separate cover sheets from the rest of the essay.

  • Judges will be public figures in education, the arts, politics, and law, with a familiarity in Asian Pacific American, civil rights and lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer issues.

  • Judges cannot submit or sponsor papers for the Essay Contest during the year.

  • Decisions of the judges shall be final. Essay contest organizers reserve the right to withhold the prize money if submissions do not merit awards.

  • A paper may be withdrawn from the contest by the author up to one day before it is scheduled for public announcement. After that time, it may not be withdrawn.

  • API-PFLAG is not responsible for saving papers, or following up or responding to participants.

  • Entries not meeting contest requirements will not be considered.

A portion of the prize winnings were donated by the PFLAG National Diversity Outreach Chapter Assistance Program.

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