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One Book, One Community 2020

OBOC Essay Guidelines

Coastal Carolina Community College 
One Book, One Community Essay Contest
Information and Guidelines

The Coastal Carolina Community College One Book, One Community committee invites CCCC students to participate in our 3rd Annual OBOC Essay Contest! This contest is open to anyone who takes at least one class during the fall 2020 and/or spring 2021 semesters: this includes Curriculum (all associate’s degree, diploma, and certificate programs), Continuing Education, College and Career Readiness (formerly Basic Skills), and Early College*.

This year’s OBOC Essay Contest theme is Mapping Your Identity, and some suggestions about how to structure the essay are listed below. The committee is seeking beautifully written personal essays; in other words, first person pronouns are fine, and there are no research requirements. However, any information obtained from outside sources must be documented in order to avoid plagiarism. Essays must be typed, double spaced, and emailed to Dr. Davonna Thomas ( no later than Friday, February 5, 2021.

Students are encouraged to read the 2020-2021 OBOC book, Call Me American: A Memoir, by Abdi Nor Iftin, as a source of inspiration, but essays need not directly address the book. Essays must fall in the range of 500-1500 words. Students are welcome to submit an essay that was submitted as a class assignment, but please do not submit an essay that has already been published. Please include your name, CCCC email address, and preferred phone number in your submission.

Essay contest winners and honorable mentions will be notified during the week of February 22, 2021 and announced to the campus community, with permission. Winners will receive a bookstore gift card, a certificate, an invitation to a luncheon with Abdi Nor Iftin on the day of his visit (March 3), and an invitation to the Spring SGA Banquet.

If you entered your essay in last year’s contest and did not win or earn an honorable mention, you are encouraged to revise and resubmit your essay so long as 1) you are a 2020-2021 Coastal student and 2) your essay matches one of the essay types listed below.

Possible essay types:

  • Personal narrative about how place has shaped your identity, or how your identity has impacted your sense of place
  • Reflection on the meaning of the words “place” and “identity” or on the phrase “mapping your identity”
  • Opinion/editorial/think-piece on a social issue related to themes contained in Call Me American: A Memoir
  • Reader Response to Call Me American: A Memoir (a personal reflection after reading the book)
  • Review of Call Me American: A Memoir (an evaluation of the book using a chosen set of criteria)
  • Textual analysis (i.e. “breaking down”) of Call Me American: A Memoir, and explaining its deeper meanings)

Recap of requirements:

  • Typed
  • Double spaced
  • 500-1500 words
  • Email to as a .doc or .docx file type.
  • SUBJECT LINE: OBOC Essay Contest
  • BODY OF EMAIL: Your name, CCCC email address, and preferred phone number
  • Submissions will be accepted starting October 1, 2020
  • Deadline is February 5, 2021


 *CCCC Faculty and Staff are ineligible to participate in this contest.

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