The 2013 submission guidelines:

1. Select a book from the Cornerstones of Science Book List or talk to your librarian for more suggestions.

  • You may search this list by topic, author, title, or reading level.
  • The site is organized into three sections: children, teens, and adults.
  • Be sure you are in the right section, as most books are specific to each location.
  • Read the annotations (short descriptions) for the books you are considering. This will help you choose a book that is of most interest to you.


2. Get a copy of the book.

  • Visit your school or local library to see if they have the book
  • Or submit an interlibrary loan request to get the book to be delivered to your library.


3. Read the book.

  • While you are reading, jot down brief notes about what you find most interesting.
  • By each note, write the book’s page number, so you can go back to the information later
  • Enjoy the creative process as you read and write your review. Have fun!


4. Write your review.

  • Use the standard writing format of introduction, body & conclusion see Elements of a Book Review listed below.
  • All reviews must be written in English.
  • Judges’ Advice: A creative, well-written, and interesting review garners more points than a review that reads as a check-list of the requirements.
  • Write your name, grade, school address & teacher OR parent’s names & home address at the bottom of the review.
  • Read past winning reviews posted on our website.


5. You may also draw to win.

  • Submit an original illustration inspired by the book (on 8-1/2x 11 inch paper).
  • NOTE: Do not just copy an illustration from the book. Draw your own idea.
  • Attach a short paragraph explaining why the book inspired you to draw.
  • Write your name, grade, school address & teacher OR parent’s names & home address on the back of the illustration.


6. Submit your entry by April 5th, 2013.

Questions?  Contact

If you have any trouble with the on-line entry form, you may email your entry to Please write “Read, Write and Win 2013” in subject line of your e-mail.

  • Do not compress or zip your file, please send as a Word, Rich text or PDF document
  • On-line submission is preferred. You will receive acknowledgement of receipt.
  • Artwork may be sent electronically (scanned and file attached).

To mail your artwork submission, send it to:

Read, Write & Win Contest
Cornerstones of Science
PO Box 955
Brunswick, ME 04011



Elements of a Book Review:

Please use the standard writing format of introduction, body & conclusion. We recommend keeping your review to a page and no more than 300 words. Use the information below to help guide your writing, but remember to use your own words and be creative. In choosing your book, note that you may choose a science-related book that is not currently a Cornerstones Nominee, but please include your reasons for nominating it in your review.


  • Brief overview of the book and your overall impression.
  • Include title and author

JUDGES TIP #1: Be especially creative at the start of your review… remember it is with these first several sentences that you are trying to grab the attention of the reader.


  • Explain your opinion with several examples.
  • Use your own words to tell what you liked and disliked about the book.
  • Discuss the illustrations or pictures, if included. Do you have suggestions for improving them?
  • Is a glossary, list of additional related reading, or sources for more information included in the book? If so, was this information useful to you?
  • Tell more about what you learned from the book and what it was about.

JUDGES TIP #2: Is there a fun fact, or a great bit of information that others would find interesting too? If so, tell us. Tell us how reading the book made you feel… did it amaze you, or make you ask more questions and wonder about the topic? Tell us!


  • Restate in a new way your overall opinion of the book.
  • Would you give this book a five out of five star rating? Tell us what rating would you give the book.
  • Did this book make you want to learn more about the topic?
  • Would you recommend this book to your friends? Or family?

JUDGES TIP #3: Read other book reviews – in the newspaper, in magazines, and online. What information do you expect to get out of them? What do you enjoy most about reading them? Create your own review-writing style by learning what you like most about other writer’s book reviews.


General Reminder: A creative, well-written, and interesting book review garners more points than a review that reads as a check-list of the requirements.