Cancer Pathways - Teen Writing Contest
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to Enter

Learning about a cancer diagnosis – your own or that of a loved one – can cause a storm of emotions, and everyone experiences it differently. We want to know what this experience was like for you.

Did you feel angry, sad, lonely, or maybe something you didn’t expect? What happened in your life, and did it change you or your perspectives?

We invite you to submit a short essay about your experience with cancer for the opportunity to win $1000. Since the contest began in 2006, we have received over 6,100 submissions and awarded over $175,000 in prize money to teens. 

Over the years we have received stories of triumph and stories of great loss, stories written in times of turbulence, and stories written in times of quiet reflection. Each one has been honest, heartfelt, and unique.

  • Open to teens in the United States in grades 9-12
  • Maximum essay length: 1,500 words
  • Not eligible: poems, essays about a pet, or fiction
  • The contest deadline is Fri. March 4, 2022, midnight PST
  • Winners will be awarded $1,000. *Note: winners will be asked to fill out an IRS W-9 form.
  • Winners will be invited to a virtual reception (add date!)  and asked to read their essays
  • Teens are eligable to win the contest once.