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Reading Challenges for Youth and Adults

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For Love of Country Essay & Poetry Contest ×

13th Annual For Love of Country© Essay and Poetry Contest: “Why Vote?” 

The Fairfax County Public Library and The For Love of Country© Foundation invite rising 7th, 8th, and 9th graders to participate in “For Love of Country©: In my own words” for a chance to win up to $100! Just create an essay or poem on the topic: “Why Vote?” Entries may be submitted from June 10 to September 3, 2022


Fairfax County Public Library will distribute multiple awards in each of the following categories:

  • $100 – Gold
  • $50 – Silver
  • $25 – Bronze
  • Certificates of Merit

Rules & Guidelines:

1) All students entering 7th, 8th, and 9th grade as of August 2022 are eligible for the contest.

2) All work submitted must be original work.

3) One entry per student is permitted (one essay or one poem).

4) Essay work will be judged on:

  • Originality & creativity;
  • Persuasiveness;
  • Clarity, coherence & organization;
  • Grammar & spelling.

Poetry will be judged on:

  • Originality & creativity;
  • Relevance to contest topic;
  • Clarity & coherence;
  • Spelling.

5) Submit one copy of your work at your nearest Fairfax County Public Library Branch or online by September 3, 2022 at 6:00p.m. Only Word documents or PDFs will be accepted. No Google Docs, please.

6) The winners will be notified by October 7. Prizes will be awarded in October. Awards ceremony details to come.

7) Essays/poems will not be returned.

Teen Chopped Challenge

July 18-August 8, 2022

Create your own unique recipe for FCPL's Teen Chopped Challenge! Use our three mystery ingredients to make something fun and delicious. The mystery ingredients will be announced July 18. A limited quantity of ingredient kits will be available at select library branches beginning July 18. These are first come, first served.

This competition is for ages 12-18. 

A few kits are still available at 

Didn't get an ingredient kit? You may use or purchase your own items and a submit a recipe to the contest. The ingredients are:

  • 1 can of garbanzo beans
  • 1 (4oz) cup of diced peaches
  • 1 baggie of 4 soft flour tortillas

To enter the contest:

  1. Watch the virtual Teen Chopped Challenge Kickoff video to learn more about the contest and get some helpful hints and tips.
  2. Pick up a limited supply of mystery ingredient kit from a participating library branch beginning July 18. Fi
  3. Create an original recipe using all of the mystery ingredients.
  4. Complete your recipe card (included in your ingredient kit, available at your local library, or download the recipe card).
  5. Take a photo of your completed dish.
  6. Complete the online submission form or return your completed recipe card to your local library branch by August 8, 2022.
  7. Send the photo of your dish to No links to Google files, please. JPEG, PNG, or PDF attachments only.
  8. Celebrate your delicious creation and see what your fellow contestants created by attending the virtual Teen Chopped Challenge Showcase.

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