Essay contest | Tell us about life’s curveballs

What did you do when life threw you a curveball?

That’s the topic of a new FYI contest, and before you start protesting about how summer is the time for baseball, not essays, well …

How does a $100 cash prize sound?

Yep, we’re offering $100 prizes in three divisions — kids, teens and adults — for the most compelling essays about how you — or someone you know — reacted when confronted with an unexpected challenge or obstacle. If that challenge involved an actual spinning baseball, great, but entries can deal with any topic.

Rules and details:

• The three age divisions are “Little Leaguers” (kids 12 and younger), “Minor Leaguers” (ages 13 to 19) and “Major Leaguers” (20 and older). We’ll award a $100 first prize in each category. Winners may be photographed. Honorable-mention entries may appear in the newspaper and on

• Include your name, age division, your age as of June 1, city, phone number and email address. Only residents of Missouri and Kansas can win.

• One entry per person. We’re looking for a true story, not fiction.

• Essays can’t exceed 300 words.

• Email entries to

(put “FYI Curveball Contest” and your age division in subject line). Mail entries to FYI Curveball Contest, Kansas City Star Features Department, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108.

• Deadline to enter: 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 18. Mailed entries must be postmarked by June 18.

Look for winning essays in FYI and on in July to help celebrate the All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium.

Tim Engle, The Star