Summer Reading Contest Week 1: What Got Your Attention in The Times This Week?


Our 12th Annual Summer Reading Contest begins!

This contest is open to students 11-19 from anywhere in the world. To participate, submit a response by 9 a.m. Eastern on June 18 that answers the questions “What got your attention in The New York Times this week? Why?”

If you are 13 or older and live in the United States, or 16 or older from anywhere else in the world, post your response in the comment section. If you are 11-12 and live in the United States, or 13-15 and live in another country, see the bottom of this post for details on how to submit.


Responses must be 1500 characters — about 250 words — or fewer.

What should you choose? Well, as you know from the rules we’ve posted, you can pick anything published on in 2021, including articles, essays, videos, photos, podcasts or infographics.

So what did you read, watch or listen to this week? Maybe you were consumed by front-page headlines about coronavirus vaccines or the solar eclipse — or maybe you were more taken with news about proms, graduation and teenage summer workers. We don’t care what you choose, we just want to hear why.


We hope you’ll click around and find your own great articles, features and multimedia. But we also know that not everyone who participates has a Times subscription. Because all links to Times content from the student features on our site are free, every week we’ll try to help by posting interesting pieces from a variety of sections.

U.S. Seizes Share of Ransom From Hackers in Colonial Pipeline Attack

Harry and Meghan Announce Birth of Second Baby, Lilibet Diana


As Vaccines Turn Pandemic’s Tide, U.S. and Europe Diverge on Path Forward

As Texas Abortion Law Nears, Opponents Amplify a Valedictorian’s Speech

Did the Pandemic Change Summer Reading for Good? I Hope So.


Vaccinate the World! The Best Investment Ever.

What I’ve Learned Teaching the Tulsa Race Massacre for Two Decades

Media Groupthink and the Lab-Leak Theory


In 17 Years, I Will Still Know My Own Heart

How the Father of Modern Policing ‘Abolished’ the Police

You May Live a Lot Longer


A Doctor’s Call to Return to the Activities You Love

Don’t Kill Remote Learning. Black and Brown Families Need It.

Need more details? The contest rules are all here, and you can read the work of last year’s winners here. A quick overview, though:

  • You can choose from anything published in the print paper or on in 2021, including videos, podcasts, graphics and photographs. (In your response, please include the URL or headline of the piece you pick.)

  • We’ll post this question each Friday from today through Aug. 13, and you’ll have until the next Friday morning to respond with your picks. Then we’ll close that post and open a new one with the same question.

  • We’ll choose at least one favorite answer to feature on our site each week. Winners from this week will be announced on June 29.

  • Feel free to participate each week, but we allow only one submission per person per week.

  • The contest is open to students ages 11 to 19 from anywhere in the world. If you are 13 or older and live in the United States, or 16 or older from anywhere else in the world, post your response in the comments section. If you are between the ages of 11 and 12 and live in the United States, or 11 and 15 and live in another country, you must have a parent, guardian or teacher submit on your behalf using the form below. All entries from the comments section and the form below will be judged together.

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