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Reading Culture: Scholarship

Competition Requirements

You can choose whether to submit an Essay or a Creative Project!

We will award three prizes. The Grand Prize is $1,000 for Best Overall submission. Two $500 prizes will be awarded, one for Best Essay and one for Best Project. The scholarships awarded this semester are for use in Fall 2023.

The reflective essay and project can be submitted to the Reading Culture Canvas Course before the presentation! (If you are not in the Canvas Course, fill out the form below!)

The Reflective Essay

The deadline for essay submission to the Canvas course is 11:59pm Tuesday November 28th.

  • Essays for consideration will be roughly 750 words.
  • Essays will use correct MLA or APA format to avoid plagiarism. This includes a Works Cited / Reference page and internal / parenthetical citations. Go here for more information:
  • Essays should include your name, student ID number, and contact information in the upper left corner of the first page.
  • Essays will be submitted to the submission box on the homepage of the Reading Culture Canvas page. If you have not registered for that page, go here and scroll down to the bottom: (You are currently on this page, so just scroll down and fill out the form to join!)
  • Two book discussions will take place online. Information to join will be posted on the Canvas homepage no later than within one hour of each event.

Students will submit a written reflection of at least 500-750 words, typed, in correct MLA or APA format. The reflection should contain the author’s name, student ID number, and contact information in the upper left corner of the first page. You will submit your reflection to Canvas any time before November 28th. Essays not submitted by 11:59 pm on Tuesday, November 28th, 2023 will not be considered.

Your reflection should be a cohesive essay that explains your new understanding of Aboriginal Australian culture based on one of the two selected texts. Your reflection should develop a thesis statement effectively, using support points that consist of evidence from multiple sections of the novels and/or Reading Culture events. This evidence will consist of specific details, quotations, and/or paraphrases that you explain/interpret/analyze adequately. It should conform to the standards of edited American English and adhere to MLA or APA guidelines for documentation.

You can use one of the following questions to guide your writing.

  • In what ways have your sense of yourself, your values, or your sense of “community” been impacted or altered by the experience of reading this novel?
  • How has the experience of reading this novel challenged any stereotypes or prejudices you might have?
  • What realizations, lessons, or insights that you have learned?
  • Will the experience of reading this novel change the way you act or think?
  • Which particular parts of the novel stood out to you? What was your favorite aspect and why? What surprised you the most?
  • Which characters did you find fascinating? What would you say if you had a chance to speak to any of the characters?
  • What is something major that you have discovered about yourself through reading the novel?
  • Now that you have read the novel, what would you like to learn more about? What one question still stands out in your mind?
  • What connections can you make between the novel and things happening in the world?

Instructions for Creative Projects

The deadline for the creative project submission to the Canvas course is 11:59pm Tuesday November 28th, 2023.

Your project should be thorough and engaging and exhibit originality, creativity, and style.

Some examples of creative projects include: Original songs, presentations, story maps, any sort of original writing readings (e.g. spoken word, poetry), drama, dance, edited videos, video essays, paintings, dioramas, and any other creative content are welcome.

  • Format: Whatever you create, your finished product must be viewable and shareable in a virtual, electronic format. Uploaded videos must be MP4 (.mp4); images must be .png, .gif, or .jpg. An Artist Statement must be included. See Artist Statement Links to the project hosted elsewhere such as OneDrive, YouTube, etc. are permitted, but make sure the permissions are set so that the Reading Culture panel can easily access your work. Broken links or inaccessible content will not be considered.
  • Video length: Between 5-10 minutes long. Ten minutes long is the maximum.
  • Content: Your project should be safe for general audiences. Make something you wouldn’t mind if your grandparents and your baby sister watched.
    • Any nudity or material deemed inappropriate or offensive by the judges will automatically disqualify the participant’s submission. Any hate speech directed towards a particular group of people, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, etc. will also disqualify the submission.
  • Please state or show your name as well as the title of the piece with your submission or at the beginning of your video so we may identify you for the scholarship.
  • Only one submission per participant. Any currently enrolled HCC student may enter that has completed the other Reading Culture requirements.
  • Artist Statement: Include an artist statement explaining your work:

The following tips on artist statement come from The Art League: (Links to an external site.)

What [good] artist statements do:

      • Keep it short.
      • Grab the reader’s interest with the first sentence.
      • Introduce the author’s personality and enthusiasm.
      • Give a hint about the why of the artwork.
      • Use the first person (I, me, mine — This is not a strict rule, but it does seem to help the author write a more straightforward, readable statement).

Some questions to answer when writing/presenting your statement:

      • What motivated you to choose this medium for your presentation/project?
      • What part of the book inspired your particular piece?
      • What connections can we see between the story and your presentation/project?

Academic Integrity

All work you submit must be your own. The point of this is not to present a research paper on the novel, so limit your use of sources to the novel you read and the events you attended. When you use the novel and events to enhance your writing or presentation, you must clearly distinguish between your words and ideas and theirs at all times, making sure to cite appropriately in the text.

All written work, including the essay and the event summaries, will be submitted to through the Canvas shell. Any written work demonstrating evidence of plagiarism will be disqualified.



Important: you must use your HCC email address to request access to the Canvas Course!

Scholarships Available!

Currently registered students who read one of the two books, participate in at least two qualifying, cultural events, submit two written reflections about them, and write an essay or produce a creative project have the chance to win a scholarship! Three scholarships are available: one for $1,000 and two for $500 each. The scholarships awarded this semester are for use in Spring 2024.

Past Reading Culture winners’ eligibility for future prizes in the program will resume after one academic year.

Fall 2022 Winners

Congratulations to the Fall 2022 winners!

  • Phuong Nguyen
  • Braden Franco
  • Alexia Robert

Fall 2021 Winners

Congratulations to the Fall 2021 Winners!

  • 1st place: Jin Suk Yoo
  • 2nd place: Nguwasen Miriam Tor
  • 3rd place: Cecia Dominguez-Marquez

Spring 2021 Scholarship Finalists

Congratulations to the Spring 2021 Winners!

  • 1st place, $1000: Chinyavu Mvoyi
  • 2nd place, $500: Abron Lewis
  • 3rd place, $500: Diana Gonzalez

Fall 2020 Finalists

Congratulations to the Fall 2020 Scholarship competition finalists!

  • Kofoworola Stanely-Obinna
  • Rasha Issa
  • Xueru Li

Spring 2020 Finalists

Congratulations to the Spring 2020 Scholarship competition finalists!

1st place, $1000 prize: Afaf Mirza

2nd place, $500 prize: Jin Suk Yoo

3rd place, $500 prize: Maria Guzman Gutierrez

Fall 2019 Finalists

Congratulations to the Fall 2019 Scholarship competition finalists!

  • Shamaila Chaklashia
  • Delia Legier
  • Alanna Caren Carneiro
  • Chidimma Ebubedike
  • Olukemi Ekundayo
  • Khadija Jibril
  • Ghazala Haj Khalil
  • Zahraa Tamimie
  • Seda Yilmaz

Spring 2019 Finalists

Congratulations to the Spring 2019 Scholarship competition finalists!

  • Aminat Adeyinka
  • Silvia Comsa
  • Ipek Ilker Elci
  • Daniel Jibunor
  • Lara Mahmoud
  • Anushka Mandot
  • Hong Nguyen

Fall 2018 Scholarship Finalists

Congratulations to the Fall 2018 Scholarship Essay Finalists

  • Kimberly Amaro

  • Amanda Dupre

  • Vinh Le

  • Junaid Mahmoud

Spring 2018 Scholarship Finalists

Congratulations to the Spring 2018 Scholarship Essay Finalists

  • Noelia Alvarez

  • Huy Nguyen

  • Jonathan Raj

  • Namita Singh

  • Natalia Correa Usubillaga

Fall 2017 Scholarship Finalists

Fall 2017 Scholarship Essay Finalists

  • Nhi Bui

  • Anjelique Duplechin

  • Kendra Minoza

  • Alexis Sorto

Spring 2017 Scholarship Finalists

Spring 2017 Scholarship Essay Finalists

Alphabetical by last name

  • Mariana Cruz

  • Tien Le

  • Kendra Minoza

  • Yu Ying Weng


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