Young writers: Write an essay, win cash

The bedrock of any community is its people — young, old and everyone in between — and the ideas they have for their community — to make it a better place to live and visit for current and future generations.

As communities around the region plan their annual community days, now is an ideal time to get our younger generations more involved with their communities. In addition to volunteering, young writers, we need your ideas about your community.

Young writers around the Adirondack Park — from age 13 to 25 — have the opportunity to make some cash with their ideas by submitting a five-page essay in the first-ever “My Dreams for My Community” essay contest, sponsored by the Adirondack Center for Writing and the Community Engagement Committee of Adirondack Voters for Change.

The contest is open to those living in the counties of Essex, Franklin, Clinton, Hamilton, northern Herkimer (Old Forge area), St. Lawrence, Warren and northern Washington (Whitehall area).

Prizes will be awarded for each of two age groups — 13 to 18 and 19 to 25 — as follows: $400 for first place, $200 for second place, $100 for third place, and three honorable mentions.

The deadline for submissions is Thursday, June 15, and essays will be judged by a panel of professional writers, educators, and community members: Andy Flynn, Ed Kanze and Joy McCabe for the younger group; and Adam Federman, Shir Filler and Tim Rowland for the older group.

The winning essays will be selected in July, and applicants will be notified then. The contest will end with a celebration reading at 7 p.m. July 24 at Adirondack Center for Writing, 15 Broadway, Saranac Lake.

The essay should address any or all three of the topics below. The prompt questions are simply meant to help guide your writing and thinking. Note that you are not required to answer all of the questions. We look forward to reading essays that use creativity, clarity, and passion to get the point across.

1. Define your community

¯ Describe what you consider your community to be

¯ You might think about your community geographically, socially, economically, artistically, or simply in terms of your peer group. Essentially, who are your people?

¯ How did you find your community?

2. Say what you care about

¯ What are the issues that your community cares about most?

¯ What concerns does your community have?

¯ Why are these issues or concerns important?

3. Offer ideas for change

¯ What would you and your community like to see changed about politics or culture?

¯ If you could run things, how would you do it differently?

¯ When you dream of the world you want, what do you see?

Submission guidelines

1. Write the essay. Pages should be double spaced, in Times New Roman, 12-point font.

2. Save the essay as a Word document or a PDF.

2. Fill out the essay submission form on the Adirondack Center for Writing website: https://tinyurl.com/yz9t57yv.

3. After submitting the form, email the essay — attaching it as a Word document or a PDF — to info@adirondackcenterforwriting.org.

4. Do all that by June 15.

If you have any questions, email info@adirondackcenterforwriting.org.


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