Alameda County Library

Open to all in Alameda County - Teen Essays: an Alameda County Reads program

Starting January 11th, all of Alameda County will be reading the same book: Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers as part of Alameda County Reads.

Join us and share an essay about food, cooking, and its meaning to you.  If you are a teen, you can even earn volunteer hours.

Here are some ideas of subject and format:

Food memory, a favorite dish, a connection (raspberries always make me think of my best friend’s father), learning to cook, or a difficulty (the bully that took my lunch, eating disorders/issues, dealing with an allergy)

Length: 1 to 2 pages 

Format: Essay, essay followed by a recipe, or a poem 

Grammar and spelling are important, but this is a creative project, not a formal essay.

Submit an Essay in PDF or JPG format to the Alameda County Reads Essays.  Please do not include personal information such as your full name or school in your essay. 

Volunteer hours earned:  up to 5

  1. Click the Grey “Fill in an Application” button on this page, you’ll be prompted to create an account with us. (If you’ve already created an account, click on the white “Sign Up” button instead)
  2. Complete the application and it should automatically log you back into the site
  3. Click on the blue “Contact” tab at the top of the screen
  4. Under “TO” Select the radio button for Fremont Main Library - Teen Librarian
  5. Under “SUBJECT” write “Alameda County Reads”
  6. Paste your essay into the “MESSAGE” or include it as an attachment
  7. Include any special requests or questions in the MESSAGE field.
  8. Log the hours it took to write your work using the blue “Hours” tab at the top of the screen

The Teen librarian will get back to you with questions they may have.  Please use this “Contact” tab for any questions about the Teen Essays.


This opportunity will end on March 31, 2021.

Qualifications Required

  • Age Level Must be at least High School Teen