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On August 31st, Bad Animal will give an extraordinary library of over 500 volumes to the student who wants it most.

To be considered, submit a response of no more than 1,000 words to the following prompt: why you? The selection criteria has nothing to do with need or merit; how much you may deserve the collection is of no consequence. What matters is how badly you want it. Choose your words carefully. The winner, to be selected by a celebrity panel of writers and bibliophiles, will henceforth hold the title of Bad Animal Rhoads Scholar.

All current UCSC and California high school students are eligible to apply. Essays must be submitted to info@badanimalbooks.com by midnight on July 31st. Our estimate for the value of the grand prize is $3,000; second place wins a $200 gift card; third place gets $100.

*The Rhoads Prize honors the memory of Noah Rhoads (1992-2014). Noah was a student at Scotts Valley High School and earned a degree in philosophy at UCSC. He was an exceptional musician, fierce thinker, and devoted reader who would have won this, easily, had he been able to compete.