‘Indiana’s Great Outdoors’ Statehood Day essay contest now accepting submissions

The Indiana Center for the Book is hosting an essay competition to commemorate Indiana’s 205th Statehood Day. This year’s theme is “Indiana’s Great Outdoors.” The Statehood Day Essay Contest takes place annually in the fall and is open to all Indiana fourth graders. The essays are judged by a panel of Indiana State Library staff and volunteer educators.

Essays should be well organized and reflective of the theme “Indiana’s Great Outdoors.” Judges are looking forward to seeing students’ interpretation of the theme. Some ideas to help them include: Why is nature important? How do you enjoy nature in Indiana? Why are water and other natural resources important? What outdoor recreational spots in Indiana are special to you? Why is nature important to a great state?

Winners of the essay contest will be honored on Friday, Dec. 10 in a ceremony that may be in-person or may be virtual. The winners will be expected to record their essays for a virtual ceremony. In-person ceremonies may take place at the Indiana Statehouse or other locations, pandemic permitting.

The first-place winner receives a CollegeChoice 529 deposit of $250, while the second, third and fourth-place winners receive CollegeChoice deposits of $150.

Essay Contest Rules

  • The competition is open to any Indiana fourth grade public, private or homeschooled student in the 2021-22 school year.
  • A panel of judges will choose the first, second, third, and fourth place winners.
    Essays must range from 100 to 300 words; handwritten or typed.
  • Essays must be submitted with an entry form.
  • Individual entries should use the 2021 Individual Entry Form.
  • Class sets should use the 2021 Group Entry Form. The following information should be included on each essay for class sets: student name, teacher name and school name.
  • All entries may be mailed or emailed.
  • Mailed entry forms can be sent to: Indiana Center for the Book Indiana State Library 140 N. Senate Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46204.
  • Mailed essays must be postmarked by Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.
  • Emailed entry forms can be sent to this email address as an attachment.
  • Emailed entries must be received by Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.
  • Click here for additional information about the 2021 Statehood Day essay contest, including lesson plans for teachers, and to view the 2020 winning essays.

Please contact Suzanne Walker, Indiana Center for the Book director, with any questions.

This blog post was submitted by Indiana Young Readers Center librarian Suzanne Walker.

Indiana State Library’s ‘Race into Reading’ bookmark design contest now accepting entries

The Indiana State Library, in conjunction with the Indiana Center for the Book, is pleased to announce the return of its annual bookmark contest. This year’s theme, Race into Reading, was chosen to coincide with Indiana’s book choice to represent the state at the Library of Congress’s National Book Festival’s Pavilion of the States in September, “Race Car Count” by Rebecca Kai Dotlich.

Race into Reading is a fun theme that celebrates speed, acceleration, racing and Indiana. The state library’s suggested reading list can be found here and features a selection of Indiana-related titles focused on fast athletes, zippy race cars and speedy animals, including “Speed” by Nathan Clement and “Little Red Gliding Hood” by Tara Lazar. Children are encouraged to check out these books from their local libraries and use them as inspiration for their bookmark designs.

Sampling of last year’s entries, including the grand prize winner and three additional top five finalists.

The contest is open to all students in Indiana schools, from kindergarten to third grade. The first-place winner will have their bookmark printed in color and distributed to libraries throughout the state, their school will receive a supply of the winning bookmarks and, starting on July 1, 2017, their school or local library will receive one year of the InfoExpress library delivery service. Four honorable mentions will receive the same perks as the grand prize winner, except for the year of InfoExpress service. Bookmarks will be judged on artistic quality, use of color and use of theme. The contest entry form is available here and the form must be postmarked or emailed by March 18, 2017.

Additionally, the winning designs will be featured at Indiana’s booth at the Pavilion of the States during the National Book Festival in Washington, DC. The Indiana Center for the Book gives away thousands of bookmarks to festival participants each year. The festival is free and celebrates the joy of books and reading and features authors, illustrators and poets of all ages.

For more information, contact Michael Hicks, InfoExpress Coordinator, Indiana State Library.

This blog post was written by John Wekluk, communications director, Indiana State Library. For more information, email the communications director at communications@library.in.gov.