In 2006, Cancer Pathways recognized that there was an unmet need to reach teens affected by cancer in the Puget Sound region. So we created a contest for high school students to share their experience with cancer for the opportunity to win cash prizes. Our initial belief that teens needed to share their stories was confirmed and the contest quickly grew to include teens throughout Washington State. Since the contest began, we have received more than 2,500 entries and awarded over $120,000 in cash prizes.
The goal of Cancer Unwrapped® is to provide teens with a place to tell their stories, whether it’s their own diagnosis or that of a loved one. We want to hear about their own experience, and allow them to use their own voice. Over the years we have received essays about family members, teachers and friends, as well as essays about cancer in the abstract. We have received stories of triumph and great loss, stories written in times of turbulence and in times of quiet reflection. Every story has been honest and heartfelt, and each one is unique.
In 2015 we opened a new contest for middle school students in the Puget Sound region. Students are encouraged to write a letter to someone about their cancer experience. The recipient could be a family member or loved one (alive or deceased), the author in the past, present or future, or the letter could be addressed to cancer itself.
This year we created a new category for high school students in Northwest states. Residents of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Wyoming are invited to submit an essay for the opportunity to win one of several $500 prizes. We look forward to receiving excellent essays from students affected by cancer in these states.
Essays should be well-written, with a story that is easy to follow from start to finish Most of all, essays should be honest. Contact Liz Lange at 206-709-1400 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
The deadline to enter the Cancer Unwrapped® Teen Writing Contest has closed. Contest winners will be posted soon.