20 Years and Still Going Strong – the Union’s Writing Contest of 2022 Offers Cash Prizes to High School Students

June 28, 2022 9:49 AM

Calling all budding writers and journalists! The Union is proud to announce the commencement of the 20th Anniversary of the annual Writing Contest. The rules of the contest have remained unchanged from previous years. Entries can be submitted by children and eligible dependents of Hotel and Gaming Trades Council and/or Local 6 members, who are high school students in grades 10, 11 or 12. All entries must be submitted by Friday, August 19, 2022.

The Writing Contest was launched 20 years ago, and began as a one-time Union-sponsored event to determine how high school-aged children of our members would respond to an opportunity to win prize money--donated by the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation--by submitting writing samples on a host of topics. Needless to say, the response that first year was overwhelmingly positive, and the writing contest has become a very special annual event. Each year, the quality of writing continues to impress the impartial committee of journalists and/or educators chosen to judge the writing samples. It is a testament to the superb talent and boundless creativity that defines our Union family. The pride we all feel each year for all the children who submit essays and narratives continues to grow exponentially.

This year’s contest will offer cash prizes between $500 and $2000 for first place, second place, and third place in the Essay category, and in the Fiction/Non-Fiction Narrative category. A $3000 cash prize will be awarded to the winner of the best overall entry in either category. As in the years past, the money for this year’s contest is being generously donated by Laurel Rubin, the daughter of Donald Rubin and granddaughter of Jay Rubin, the first president of the Hotel Trades Council.

All entries for the Essay category must be 3 to 5 pages in length, double-spaced, and must be written about one of the following topics:

  • Why my parents’ union membership is important to me
  • A Modern-day Hero
  • How the Pandemic has changed us
  • The Supreme Court: Judicial or Political?
  • Dear Immigrant, Welcome to America!
  • Red States, Blue States…UNITED States?
  • Global Warming: Fact or Fiction?

All entries in the category of Fiction/Non-Fiction Narrative must be identified as either fiction or non-fiction, and must be between 3 to 5 pages in length, double-spaced, and can be told in either the first or third person. Entries may cover any topic of the student’s choosing. In the past, the following ideas have been suggested as acceptable topics in the Narrative category – these are only suggested ideas and do not have to be the subject of the fiction or non-fiction narrative:

  • Living in a Union Household
  • My Personal Experience with Immigration
  • What I know now that I did not know a year ago
  • Why Unions Matter
  • How I plan to change the world
  • Life After the Pandemic

Rules of the contest for children and eligible dependents of HTC and/or Local 6 members:

  • Entrants must be high school students in grades 10, 11 or 12 at the time of submitting their entries to the contest.
  • All entries must be submitted by email on or before August 19, 2022 to: writingcontest@nyhtc.org
  • Entries may not be handwritten.
  • By entering the writing contest, students agree that winning entries, or excerpts from those entries, may be published in Hotel Voice, and/or on the Union’s website, and/or on the Labor Arts website (www.laborarts.org).
  • All entries must be accompanied by the following mandatory information: Student’s Name, Home Address, Home Phone Number, Mobile Phone Number, Email Address, High School, Grade Level (10, 11 or 12), Parent’s Name, and Parent’s Place of Employment.

Note: All entries will be judged by an impartial panel of journalists and/or educators who will focus on the writers’ originality, content, and style. Students may submit entries in either category or both categories, but may only submit one entry per category. Students who submit entries in both categories must be sure that each entry is accompanied by the mandatory information listed in the last bullet point above.