Out of the Easy Writing Scholarship Contest: One high school senior can win $5,000

One high school senior can win $5,000 toward the college of their choice and the participating school will receive 25 Penguin books.

Entering is easy. Encourage your students to write an essay basedOut of the Easy - Ruta Sepetys on Out of the Easy referencing the following quote from Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. How does this quote relate to the journey of the characters in Out of the Easy and also to your personal journey as you prepare for college?

“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” — Charles Dickens


From The New York Times (Editor’s Choice): “Sepetys writes with rawness and palpable unease…the stakes are momentous.”

It’s 1950 and the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie Moraine wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

Download the Discussion Guide

Contest is open to all high school seniors.

No purchase necessary Open to 12th grade full-time matriculated students who are attending high schools located in the fifty United States, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories and possessions, or home-schooled students between the ages of 17-18 who are residents of the fifty United States, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories and possessions.

SUBMISSIONS Please be sure to see full details and complete Official Rules HERE.

Essays must be exactly three double-spaced pages, single or double sided pages, in 12-point Time Roman with one-inch margins all around.

Essays must be submitted by entrant’s English teacher, school librarian, guidance counselor or other college application mentor. Home-schooled students must submit their entries through their parent or legal guardian.

Uploaded entries must be received no later than May 31, 2013, 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time.

Entries may also be mailed to:

Penguin Young Readers Group
School and Library Marketing
345 Hudson Street
New York, New York 10014
Attn.: Out of the Easy College Scholarship Essay Contest

Mailed entries must be postmarked no later than May 24, 2013, and received on or by May 30, 2013.

Winners will be selected on or about July 15, 2013. Void where prohibited by law.

PRIZES One winner will receive a check in the amount of Five Thousand Dollars to be used toward winner’s college tuition made payable to the college/university that the winner will be attending (ARV = $5,000.00). The winner’s teacher or parent/legal guardian (in the case of a home-schooled winner) will receive their choice of a library of twenty-five (25) Penguin Classics for their school or local public library (ARV = $xxx.xx).

JUDGING Five (5) finalists will be selected by Sponsor, and then one out of the five will be determined to be the winning essay by a qualified panel of judges chosen by Sponsor. Entries will be judged based upon the writer’s understanding of one of the book’s central themes, the journeys of the characters and on style, content, grammar and originality.

See full contest rules

School Library Journal called Out of the Easy “a Dickensian array of characters; the mystique, ambience, and language of the French Quarter; a suspenseful, action-packed story. With dramatic and contextual flair, Sepetys introduces teens to another memorable heroine.”

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