top of page



The Seattle Public Library Foundation is pleased to host the Stimson Bullitt Civic Courage Scholarship competition. High school seniors and undergraduate students who live, work, or attend school in Seattle are invited to participate.

The competition asks students to write an essay about an individual or group of individuals from Washington state who have demonstrated civic courage on an issue of importance to the community at great personal, political or professional risk.

The 2021 contest is now open! Apply now!

The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 15, 2021.

Historically the applicant pool for this competition is relatively small. With three awards available, the chances of winning are high!

Read about the 2020 scholarship recipients!

Applicants must:

* Reside, attend school, or work in Seattle.* Be 13 years of age or older.

*Have an active Seattle Public Library card.

*Be a current high school senior or undergraduate enrolled at a two or four year college.

~To qualify, the essay must:~

Contain at least 3 sources including at least one primary source;

Contain a bibliography and in-text citations using a standard format (for example: MLA);

Be between 1,500-2,000 words (excluding the citations or bibliography;

Be double-spaced and in at least 12-point font.

Please see Official Rules

for complete details on eligibility and essay requirements. Click here to preview judging criteria.

1st Place: $5,000 scholarship

Runners-up: Two $2,500 scholarships

In addition to the scholarship prize, the winning essays will be added to the collection in the Hugh and Jane Ferguson Seattle Room at The Seattle Public Library.

Apply now!

The Legacy Behind the Scholarship

Learn more about Stimson Bullitt, a great civic leader. Click here.

Inspiration, Examples and Research Assistance

Need ideas? Take inspiration from these local leaders.

Read the winning essays from 2020, 2019, and 2018.

Research assistance is available from librarians at all 27 Seattle Public Library locations.

Helpful online resources are available for research, including: Special Collections at The Seattle Public Library,, and University of Washington Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project.



bottom of page