I’M INSPIRED! – 2023 Asian-Themed Book Essay Contest

We are organizing the I’M INSPIRED — 2023 Asian Themed Book Review Contest to help our community’s students learn more about the history, customs, achievements, and cultural contributions of Asian Americans through reading. Through the event we hope to encourage inter-cultural dialogue and to nurture mutual understanding and respect.  All K-12 students in Middle Tennessee are eligible to participate.  

The rules are simple: read a book written by an author of the AAPI community or featuring Asian or Asian American history, customs, achievements, or cultural contributions. Then write an essay or book review answering the following questions:  

  • How does the book inspire you? How do you think it will inspire others?
  • How does the book impact your perspective? 

You can submit your essay via Google Forms at the link below. In addition to the essay itself, you will be required to provide your name contact information, the school you attend, a word count for your essay, and other information. NOTE: Applicants 13 and under must have a parent or guardian to submit the entry on their behalf.

Content and Format Guidelines

  • All K-12 students in Middle Tennessee are eligible to participate. 
  • To be eligible for the contest, the book must be related to the AAPI experience, their cultural traditions, or authors of API descent. A suggested list of books is available on the websites of the host organizations; this list includes books we are recommending to school libraries when using their funds.
  • The book review must be written in English.
  • Each contestant is entitled to one book review submission only.  
  • While parent support is welcomed, essays must be composed by the contestant and reflect their original thinking.  
  • Below are the word count ranges for each group (excluding title and references):
    • Primary (grades K-2): 50-100 words
    • Intermediate (grades 3-5): 100-200 words
    • Middle School (grades 6-8): 200-400 words
    • High School (grades 9-12): 350-600 words
  • All references and any quotations or copyrighted materials used in the essay must be identified properly; failure to do so will result in disqualification. Plagiarism of any kind is strictly banned.  
  • All entries must be submitted no later than 5:00 PM CST on June 30, 2023 (based on the timestamp given by Google Forms). 

Judging and Awards

A panel of judges of from throughout the community will review entries in four groups based on grade level:

  • Primary (grades K-2) 
  • Intermediate (grades 3-5) 
  • Middle School (grades 6-8) 
  • High School (grades 9-12) 

Finalists and winners will be selected and notified by mid-May 2023. Winners in each group will be awarded with bookstore gift cards and have their reviews featured on the organizing partners’ websites:

  • First Prize: $100 (1 winner per category) 
  • Second Prize: $50 (3 winners per category) 
  • Third Prize: $25 (6 winners per category) 

The award ceremony will be held in May as part of the API Heritage Month Celebration Gala. In addition, all participants will receive certificates and souvenirs (e.g. bookmarks).

If you have any questions about the contest or experience trouble submitting your essay, please contact us at info@gncamembers.com.