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Girl in a City



The goal of this contest is to sensitize the participants to

some of the issues associated with homelessness. 

Contest Information and Topic Guidelines

We aim to dispel misconceptions about homelessness, and to cultivate more empathy and respect for those in our communities experiencing homelessness, transition housing and group home placements.

This contest is open to the following students:

  • Atlanta middle school and high school students in grades seven through twelve attending public, private, charter, parochial, or home schools.

Eligible students are invited to submit essays about homelessness.

Topics may span issues related to homelessness including:

  • Causes of homelessness

  • Challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness

  • Community responses to homelessness

  • Ideas of things that you could do to alleviate homelessness and poverty or to encourage respect for someone who is experiencing homelessness

Key Dates:
​Essay Submission Deadline
EXTENDED:  Friday December 4, 2020,  11:59 PM PST  
Winners will be notified by Friday, 1 January 2021 


All essays will be considered for inclusion in our collaborative book project Souls of Atlanta

Eligibility and Requirements:

  • Submission deadline: Friday December 4, 2020, 11:59 PM PST

  • Word count must be between 500 and 2500 words. 

  • Citations and bibliography are not to be included in the word count.  

  • Submission should be double spaced with the following font:

    • Times New Roman, 12 point

  • Essays must be the original work of the student.

  • Contestants are encouraged to  participate in an activity of their choosing that will provide opportunities to interact with homeless persons,  relief workers, activists,  etc.  


  • This might include things like:

    • Serving meals to the homeless

    • Volunteering at a homeless shelter

    • Providing tutoring to a homeless child

Source Material:

  • Essays must use at least three sources.

  • Creative writing submissions (short stories or photo essays) do not have to meet this requirement.

  • All participants must cite sources they used to research their topic throughout their essay. Please use parenthetical citations within the text. 



  • Application Deadline:  Friday December 4, 2020, 11:59 PM PST

  • Please complete the Application Form, and explain why this contest interests you.

  • We will notify you by email if your essay proposal is selected for consideration

Essay Submission:

  • Essays must be submitted online.

  • We will accept essays in pdf, doc, and docx formats.

  • Contestants can submit photos in addition to their essay as part of this contest.

  • Contestants can submit a log of any service hours performed as part of this contest.

  • Contestants can provide contact information of a teacher who can vouch for their work.

What we will be looking for:

  • Compelling stories that convey sensitivity.  

  • Analysis of the differences, if any, between what you read and what you observe first hand.

  • Novel, innovative, and creative solutions, large or small, that might improve the life of someone experiencing homelessness

For more information, please email us at:

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