2023-24 Oregon Blue Book Student Essay Contest

​​​​Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan is pleased to invite all Oregon elementary and middle school-​aged students to participate in the 2023-2024 Oregon Blue Book essay contest.

About the Contest

The Oregon Blue Book is a unique and special book because it captures snapshots in time of our state . Oregonians can go back to editions from decades ago and gain an understanding of our state during that era. Since early 2020, Oregonians have been faced with the COVID 19 pandemic. Students have been impacted in many ways, and we’d like to hear about those experiences. These essays will be a part of our mission to tell the story of Oregon during this snapshot of our state’s history.

Essay Topic

Oregon students share their pandemic experience

Students can approach the essay in the way that best describes their experience. Here are some essay prompts that might be helpful:

  • How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect your everyday life?
  • How did the COVID19 pandemic change the way you attend school and other activities?
  • What are some things you learned during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • In what ways did the pandemic impact you and your friends?

​Students may submit a written or a video essay. Students who choose to submit a written essay will also provide a drawing/illustration they created to go with their essay.

Contest winners’ written essays/drawings and names of video essay winners will be included in the 2023-2024 Oregon Blue Book published version. Video essay winners will be prominently featured on the digital version of the Oregon Blue Book. All winners will be invited to the State Capitol for the official Oregon Blue Book release party and celebration in early 2023.

Contest rules

The deadline for submissions is Thursday, October 20, 2022.

Essays should focus on students’ pandemic-related experiences during the COVID 19 pandemic between March 2020 to present. Each essay must be identified with the student’s name and grade, teacher’s name, school’s name, and school’s address. All essays must be reviewed by the student’s teacher prior to submission. Essays that have not been reviewed by the student’s teacher will not be considered. Written essays must be at least 100 words and no more than 300 words. Students must submit a drawing/illustration to accompany their essay.

Video essays must be two minutes or less and submitted in one of the following formats: .MOV .MPEG4 or .MP4.AVI. Signed waivers (see below) for each individual whose face appears in the video must accompany the video submission. Individuals under age 18 must have the waiver signed by a parent or guardian. Winners will be announced in January 2023.

How to Submit

​Use this form to submit your video or written essay. If you prefer not to submit your written entry this way, you may send by U.S. Mail to: Student Essay Contest, c/o Oregon State Archives, 800 Summer St. NE, Salem, OR 97301.

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Signed Waiver

Each individual whose face appears in a video essay must have a completed ​Photo & Video Release Form.

Cover of the Oregon Blue book showing Haystack rock on the Oregon Coast at night with stars in sky.