• First Break Scholarship

    In honor of the birth of her first Young Adult novel, First Break, author Jamie Weil will be offering a $500 scholarship and autographed copy of First Break

    Okay, guys. Why all the formality? It’s me, Jamie. I grew up in Cottonwood and went to AUHS because WVHS wasn’t built yet. Eh-hem. Bringing a book to the point where it comes into the world is a huge deal. I’ve had books published before, but this one is my passion piece and it’s been growing and changing for a decade. My goal is to tell stories that shift the way the world views, talks about, and ergo treats mental health and suicide. I mean, we talk about Diabetes, Cancer, and cavities, right? Let's start sharing stories about mental health and suicide. In this way, we prompt change.


    Mental/brain illness is a biological illness. It can be treated successfully when we name it and get treatment. I have seen how this works when it works well (people thrive) and I’ve seen how things go when a person doesn’t get help (that makes me sad). Because it’s something I feel so passionately about, I wrote this passion piece about 17-year old Paige Masters who leaves a small town to attend a large university and begins hearing voices telling her to kill herself. As she moves through a first psychotic break, we move with her and ask ourselves, “What’s ‘crazy’?”


    Here's the essay question:


    When was the last time you called somebody crazy (or somebody called you crazy) and why? How did that make you feel?


    In answering that, think deeply. Think about how we “other” people when we use language like this. Why do we do it? Why do people do it to us?


    Keep in mind the winner of this contest will be listed on my website with the winning entry. If you are under 18, I will need a signed media release from your parent or guardian, and if you are 18, I will need one from you. If you are a finalist in this contest, you will receive a blank media form and must return it to me before being selected as the winner.


    By sharing our stories, we heal each other. We realize we’re not alone. We realize the truth: nearly everybody is one trigger away from a mental/brain illness of one kind or another, just like everybody can get a cold. Nobody is immune.


    · Applicants may be any age 18 or younger. Application is not open to those who have already graduated high school.

    · Applicants must live and go to school in Shasta, Tehama, or Siskiyou County, California.

    · Applicant must be heading to college or university Fall of 2019.

    · Author’s name, contact information, 2019 Fall college or university and essay title at top of first page; the following pages should be numbered with the author’s last name.

    · Length & Parameters: 500–700 words. Typed, 12pt Times New Roman font. Double-spaced with 1” margins. Send in PDF file format; if not sent in PDF, entries will be returned with request to re-submit in the preferred file format.

    · Only one submission per applicant. Application consists of completed essay; there is no separate application form.

    · SUBMISSION DEADLINE is March 15, 2019. Send submissions and all contest-related queries to jamieweilwrites@gmail.com (for these messages, please include “First Break Scholarship” in the subject bar).



    · The scholarship will be awarded at the sole discretion of the First Break author and chosen committee and will be reserved until a winner is determined.

    · If no winner is determined, Jamie’s Creative Endeavors, LLC (“JCE, LLC”) reserves the right as its sole discretion to award Honorable Mentions, with possible prizes in amounts to be determined by JCE, LLC.

    · All winning entries will be published on the author’s webpage and in other First Break-sponsored formats, and all entrants hereby acknowledge the assignment of such rights to JCE, LLC as will facilitate the publication of all entries, at JCE, LLC’s sole discretion. Winner must agree to media coverage.

    · Grade-point averages and scores on standardized tests are not a factor. A winning essay will be one that shows deep thinking and authenticity.

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