She’s letting people write their own stories!
Penguin Random House just announced a new annual creative writing award named after the former First Lady.
From her time spent in the White House to post-presidency, The World’s Most Admired Woman, Michelle Obama, has certainly shown she’s one for the students. Every year, she hosts “College Signing Day,” which started under her “Reach Higher” initiative and “Better Make Room” campaign. Back in 2018, she and Oprah Winfrey surprised 30 high school girls and in 2020, Mrs. Obama rewarded high schools who registered senior students to vote with a virtual prom. Under the Obama Foundation she’s launched Global Girls Alliance, a program that “seeks to empower adolescent girls around the world through education, allowing them to achieve their full potential and to transform their families, communities, and countries.” PRH published Obama’s first book, Becoming, and her second book, The Light We Carry, which is scheduled to release next month and was the inspiration behind her new initiative, the Michelle Obama Award for Memoir. The Obama prize will provide a $10,000 college scholarship to a high school senior in public school, based on their autobiographical English-language composition.
In a statement released by Penguin Random House Mrs. Obama stated, “I know firsthand how nerve-wracking it can be to share the most intimate stories from your life with the world, but after publishing my memoir Becoming, I’ve learned that writing your own story can be a powerful tool. When we share the whole of ourselves, we offer others the opportunity to not only see us as we are, but maybe even think about themselves in a new way. This allows us to harness the things that set us apart and helps us see the world as the nuanced, messy, beautiful place that it is. That’s why I am so excited about this new award, and I can’t wait to read what this next generation of young writers will share with us all.”
The Creative Writing Awards program has been around since 1993 and has funded more than $2.8 million dollars towards high school students furthering their education. The 2022 competition starts on October 12th and closes on February 1st, or until 1,000 applications have been reached, whichever comes first. U.S. college-bound public high school seniors planning to attend college in the fall of 2023 are encouraged to apply.
We’re excited to see all the aspiring writers get the support they’ll need!
Thank you, Mrs. O!