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Writing Contest

In honor of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA)  Heritage Month, Asian Focus announces its first ever essay contest. 


Asian Americans are the fastest growing ethnic group in America and in North Carolina. There are currently more than 370,000 North Carolinians of Asian descent representing more than 3% of the state. In 2010, there were 212,000. In 1990, there were 52,000. The Triangle accounts for much of that growth which means that thousands of stories about the richness and extraordinary diversity of the Asian-American experience in North Carolina have yet to be shared.


Open Division :  Any current resident of North Carolina or current student (as of 2024) at a North Carolina school or college.

Junior Division:  Any current resident of North Carolina or student in a North Carolina school who is 18 years old or younger.

Entrants can be any race or ethnicity. We also take a broad view of what Asian-American means. It includes mixed-ethnicities, Pacific Islanders, South Asians, and the Asian side of Russia. If you have questions about whether a topic qualifies, please feel free to contact us via e-mail.

The Prizes

Open Division
$300.00.   For first place
$200.00    For second
$100.00    For third

Junior Division
$300.00   For best entry by a high school or middle school student
$200.00   For second
$100.00   For third


Winners and some others will be published on the Asian Focus Website in 2024. In addition, winners will be featured at Asia Fest in September 2024 at the Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary. Winners will be notified prior to Asia Fest 2024.

Asian Focus reserves the right to reduce the number of prizes if there are fewer than 10 total entries in each division.


500 to 3,000 words for the open division 350 to 3,000 for the junior division.  Entries must be in English. Perfect grammar is not necessary, especially for entrants for whom English is not their first language. We’re more interested in compelling stories/material. No AI generated 


We are looking for any stories of the Asian-American experience that have something to do with North Carolina. While we welcome traditional essays, we encourage the inclusion of photos (family owned or public domain), videos, audio, and any media that can enhance a web page.


Topics may include:

  1. Profiles or interviews of individuals or groups of individuals. We would stress that they don’t have to be famous or prominent. Sometimes seemingly ordinary individuals including your own family have fascinating stories to tell about how they came here, how they’ve made their lives here, and how they spend their time.

  2. Articles about places or events–historical or recent–relevant to the Asian-American experience in North Carolina.

  3. Stories of businesses, community groups, spiritual groups, research with significant Asian connections in North Carolina.

  4. Personal stories 

  5. Advocacy essays about issues of concern for the North Carolina Asian Community

Judging Criteria

We will be looking at a  combination of the interest level of the content, the quality of the writing, and quality of overall presentation (photos, videos, etc.). 

Send your entries in PDF format to by midnight Eastern Daylight Time  Monday, September 16, 2024.


Please include “Asian Focus Essay Contest in your subject header”


Your name, contact information other than your e-mail address, and your town or city in North Carolina.


If you wish to be considered for the junior division, state your age and where you are enrolled in school.

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