The Charlayne Hunter-Gault Award
honors excellence in writing by middle and high school students
on the topic of The Civil Rights Movement
First-place winner will receive $100, a hard-cover, signed copy of Charlayne Hunter-Gault’s To The Mountaintop, and (along with a parent or friend) will be our guest at a luncheon with Ms. Hunter-Gault at Florida Studio Theatre on January 15, 2014.
Runners-up will receive a signed copy of To The Mountaintop.
Charlayne Hunter-Gault is an award-winning journalist. Her 40-year career includes 20 years with PBS. During much of her time there she was national correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. She has also worked for NPR as a special correspondent and as CNN’s Johannesburg bureau chief and correspondent.
Her numerous honors include two Emmy awards and four Peabody awards—the first for her work on “Apartheid’s People,” a NewsHour series about South African life during apartheid. In 2005 she was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. In 2011 she received Fred Shuttlesworth’s Human Rights Award.
The Civil Rights Movement captured the attention of a large part of our nation during the 1950’s and 1960’s. We all know about Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but there was much, much more to this movement than that speech and that march on Washington. The Civil Rights Movement defined what America would become—would it be a land of fairness and opportunity for all, or not.
Interview a member of the community who was affected in some way by the Civil Rights Movement. This may be a parent, grandparent, teacher, neighbor—anyone you choose. The purpose of the interview is for you to learn what it was like to live through the most intense years of the Civil Rights Movement from someone who actually experienced those times. The person you interview need not have been directly involved (marching, protesting, etc.), but he/she should be able to clearly speak of memories of those times and how it affected him/her.
Choose one of the formats listed below.
Whichever format you choose, the writing must be based on or inspired by the interview you have done.
• Essay – 500 words max
• Short Story – 500 words max
• Poem – 2 pages max, using 12 pt. type
• Play – Maximum 5 minutes when performed
What your submission must include
1. A cover sheet with the following
√ Your Name
√ Your email address
√ Your phone number
√ The title of the piece you are submitting
√ Your grade in school
√ The name of your school or indicate if
you are home-schooled
√ The name of the person you interviewed
√ Your relationship to the person you
√ A brief, one-paragraph summary of your
2. Your essay, short story, poem or play
√ The title must be centered at the top of
√ Essays and short stories must be
√ Spacing of poems and plays is at your
DO NOT place your name or any identifying information on the submitted work itself.
Open to middle and
high school students.
5:00 pm, December 31, 2013
Submit entries to