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Essay Contest



2018 Winners

First Place

The winner of the $500 first prize is First year School of Communications student Ashlee Mitchell for her essay A Colorblind Narrative.

Honorable Mentions

McKenna Lanter for her essay, The Versatility of Cow Fat.

Ruby Gibson for her essay,  The Handmaid’s Tale: Women’s Culture, Women’s Pain.


One Book One Northwestern is awarding a $500 prize for the best essay response under 1000 words, which responds to this year’s prompt: 

In The Handmaid’s Tale, the narrative cuts back and forth between Offred’s experiences before and after the rise of the Republic of Gilead.  With this shifting narrative perspective, Margaret Atwood emphasizes the proximity of the dystopia that The Handmaid’s Tale represents to the protagonist’s everyday American life.  Define one aspect of Atwood’s dystopia, however broad or specific you choose, and explain why you find it illuminating or instructive for readers in America today.

Please submit your essay via this Google Form by 11:59 pm, Thursday, September 20, Central Standard time (CST). Please include your name, email address and title on the submitted essay.

A committee of Northwestern faculty, selected by One Book, will review each submission. The winner of the contest will be announced on October 30 at the One Book keynote with Margaret Atwood.