Stuckey Essay Contest


stuckeycontestwinner2013 The late Robert J. Stuckey was a member of the 1963 junior class of Farmington High School. Robert had planned to attend college. He was vitally interested in current events and enjoyed reading. He had a natural facility for architectural drawing and was also interested in music. Like most young men, Robert was interested in sports, particularly wrestling. This annual contest is presented in memory of Robert.  

Congratulations to our 2024 winners:

Contest Rules:

The contest is open to Missouri High School students (in the 9th through the 12th grades), and only one entry will be accepted from each school. Home-schooled students living in Missouri are also eligible to apply. Each school is to choose the essay to be submitted. Essays should not have been submitted to any previous contest or have been previously published. Common topics for essays are literary analyses, accounts of personal experiences and fictional short stories. All essays and stories must be directly related to libraries and/or a reading experience. Essays which review a single book are not acceptable.

Criteria for Judging:

Contest judges will be comprised of members of the Friends of the Libraries. Entries will be judged on the basis of:
  • Originality of thought
  • Content
  • Skill in organizing and presenting ideas and in marshaling evidence
  • Grammar, spelling and composition

How to Apply:

Each essay should have a title and be between 1,200 and 1,500 words in length. Essays should be typed, double-spaced on one side of paper. Initials of the student should be in the upper right hand corner of each page.
  • Only essays submitted via email will be accepted. Please include the following in the text of the email: the title of the essay, student’s name, student’s email address, student’s address, name of school, school phone number, teacher’s full name, and teacher’s email address.
Essays become the property of the Friends of the University of Missouri Libraries upon receipt.


All entries should be sent to the Coordinator of Donor Engagement, Nick Raines, at by 5 p.m. on February 1, 2024.


  • First-place prize is $2,000
  • Second-place prize is $1,000
  • Teachers of the first and second-place winners also receive monetary prizes of $250 each
  • Any honorable mentions will receive $100

Contact Information:

o If you have any questions about this contest, please contact Nick Raines at

Archive of Previous Winning Stuckey Essays