You are here


Press room

New contest for political science students: What’s Your Story?

November 3, 2016

Based on forthcoming SAGE Publishing book, American Government: Stories of a Nation, by Scott Abernathy

Amidst the political environment of the presidential election, a new contest encourages political science students to lend their voices to the issues they care about and the politics that affect their lives. SAGE Publishing invites all college students who are taking a political science course during the 2016-2017 academic school year to participate in the essay contest: What’s Your Story? Participants will have the chance to win six cash prizes from $500 to $1,000 by submitting either a three-to five-minute video entry or a 500- to 1,000-word essay answering one of the following prompts:

  • How has politics affected you or your family?
  • How has a law—or the lack of one—changed your life?
  • How have you been involved in a social movement?

These prompts were inspired by American Government: Stories of a Nation by Scott Abernathy, Associate Professor of Political Science and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Minnesota. Launching in January 2017, the text features real-life stories of individuals who have influenced the American government or hold beliefs that challenge conventional wisdom.

This national contest offers one first prize of $1,000 and two honorable-mention cash prizes of $500 for each of its two entry periods. The first entry period closes on December 1, 2016 and the second closes on May 1, 2017. In addition to the cash prizes, all winning entries will be published in a later edition of American Government: Stories of a Nation. Instructors of all six winners will receive a $100 VISA gift card.

Entries will be judged based on their originality/creativity (60%) and writing/storytelling style (40%). More information on the contest can be found on its website and in its official rules.

 # # #

Scott Abernathy was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. While an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, he volunteered for three months with Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India. After graduation, hoping to do service work closer to home,  Scott worked as an on-street counselor with homeless adolescents in Boston, MA, with The Bridge, a non-profit multi-service youth agency. Scott then received a Master of Curriculum and Instruction and taught fourth and seventh grades in Wisconsin public schools. Hoping to learn more about the underlying systems that drove the educational outcomes he was trying to change, Scott completed an M.P.A in domestic policy and then a Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University. Scott is now an associate professor of Political Science and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Minnesota. He is also the author of School Choice and the Future of American Democracy and No Child Left Behind and the Public Schools, both from University of Michigan Press.  While Scott says that being a “streetworker” was the most transforming job he has ever had, this textbook, and the chance to teach students--not in a subway stop, a squat, or a classroom, but through writing—is pretty cool as well.

# # #

Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 1,000 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. Our growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne.


Contact (media inquiries only)

Yearly archive
2020 (12)
2019 (45)
2018 (83)
2017 (97)
2016 (133)
2015 (150)
2014 (145)