Learning about a cancer diagnosis – your own or that of a loved one – can cause a storm of emotions, and everyone experiences it differently. We want to know what this experience was like for you. Did you feel angry, sad, lonely, or maybe something you didn’t expect? What happened in your life, and did it change you or your perspectives? We invite you to submit a short essay about your experience with cancer for the opportunity to win cash prizes. Since the contest began in 2006, we have received over 8,100 submissions and handed out over $300,000 in prize money to teens.
- Teens are eligible to win the contest once.
- Winners invited to a virtual reception to read their essays.
- March 1st deadline.
- Open to teens in grades 9-12 in the United States.
- Cancer survivor or have a loved one who was diagnosed with Cancer.
- Essays limited to a maximum of 1,500 words.
- Submit your essay before the contest deadline.
- Essays must be original content of the author and in their own voice.
- Exclusions: poems, essays about pets, or fiction.
- Winners will be required to complete an IRS W-9 form.
- At the virtual reception, winners will have the opportunity to read their essays aloud.
Cancer Pathways encourages students to share their unique stories and perspectives through this essay contest. The competition provides an opportunity for self-expression and connection with a diverse community of judges, including cancer survivors, authors, influencers, politicians, business and community leaders, artists, and professional athletes. Your honest and heartfelt contributions are welcomed and celebrated as part of this meaningful initiative.