Essay Contest Asks NC Students to Write Why “Your Vote Counts”

Essay Contest theme "Your Vote Counts". Source: Rockin' Democracy in Brunswick County, North Carolina
Essay Contest theme "Your Vote Counts". Source: Rockin' Democracy in Brunswick County, North Carolina

 By Kay Whatley, Editor

North Carolina high school and college students are invited to submit essays for the “Your Vote Counts” essay contest. The contest winners will have the opportunity to read or recite their essay on stage during the Rockin’ Democracy in Brunswick County “block party” in June.

A high school winner and a college winner will be selected. Entrants are asked to write about why “Your Vote Counts” and entrants have a a chance to win $100, plus the public presentation.


  • Contest is open to all North Carolina high school and two-year and four-year college students.
  • Entries must be approximately 500 words in length.
  • Entries must relate to the importance of voting — past, present, and future — in a nonpartisan way.

Judging Criteria

Judges will evaluate entries on a scale of 1 to 10 for each of the following criteria:

  • overall impact (educational, inspiring, persuasive) – 4 points (40%)
  • Memorable content and delivery – 2 points (20%)
  • Clear message – 2 points (20%)
  • Creativity – 2 points (20%)

To submit an essay for the essay contest, students are asked to email their submissions to Rockin’ Democracy in Brunswick County. Entries must be received by the deadline:  5pm on May 1, 2018.

Contest winners will be announced on or before June 1, 2018, in-advance of the Rockin’ Democracy Block Party in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. Notifying winners in advance of the June 16 event will allow them time to plan, and hopefully attend, the Block Party to read their creation.

Selected essays may be published on the Rockin’ Democracy of Brunswick County website, or used to encourage voter registration and voting.

With any questions regarding the essay contest, contact Melissa Warren via email.

Rockin’ Democracy in Brunswick County is a grassroots community block party created by citizens for citizens to increase voter education, engagement, and turnout, and promote civic mindedness and volunteerism—all in a fun-filled music and art festival setting. The event is free, open to the public and fun for all ages.

Your Vote Counts student essay contest poster. Source: Rockin' Democracy in Brunswick County NC
Your Vote Counts student essay contest poster. Source: Rockin’ Democracy in Brunswick County NC


Block Party Participation/Vendors

The Rockin’ Democracy in Brunswick County Block Party is planned for June 16, 2018. This free gathering will be held in Sunset Beach Town Park, 206 Sunset Blvd North, Sunset Beach NC. Sponsorships and vendor opportunities are described below.


Three levels of sponsorship are available for local businesses or individuals. To support the Block Party, download the Sponsorship Application.

Vendor Spots

Rockin’ Democracy in Brunswick County is looking for artists, artisans, skilled/creative merchants, and food vendors for this community block party.  The beautiful waterfront Sunset Beach Town Park will be transformed into a creative hub featuring dozens of local and regional artists showcasing original art, jewelry, photography, and other unique products. For those with products/services/crafts/food to share with the community, fill out a vendor application.


Nonprofit and advocacy groups that represent Brunswick County are encouraged to promote their missions to the community, as well as encourage volunteerism, for the Block Party. Groups already signed up for this section of interactive exhibits and information:

  • Brunswick County Board of Elections
  • Democracy North Carolina
  • North Carolina Coastal Federation
  • Chirping Bird Society
  • Brunswick Environmental Action Team
  • Plastic Free Myrtle Beach

Interactive opportunities expected range from voter registration to learning how to run for office, from a survey station to mock voting booths, from a speaker’s corner to voter information and education. In addition to the interactive, informational exhibits, several inspirational speakers throughout the day will give their take on what democracy means. Candidates, representatives, and community figures are expected.

FYI for Those Planning to Attend The Block Party


  • TESCONPOL: This duo from Durham-Chapel Hill crafts dense, digital pop experiments and oscillating, fractured futurescapes.
  • MONACHOPSIS: Dark Indie….
  • FUN FATALE TRIO: This unique trio blends vocal harmonies, guitar, fiddle, and upright base and crosses genres with their funky, fab interpretations of new and old songs with a bluegrass and folk twist.


We’ll be offering We’ll be offering a variety of grub options like Poor Piggy’sBBQ Truck and favorite local chef Sal Rubio to keep you full and satisfied. Additional food vendors may be added.

Adult Beverages

Brunswick County’s new craft brewery, Makai Brewing Company will be on-hand serving delicious flavors at the craft beer garden.


Source: Melissa Warrren, Rockin’ Democracy of Brunswick County

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About Kay Whatley 2309 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.