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Hawthorne in the 21st Century Essay Contest

“Hawthorne in the 21st Century Essay Contest” 

“Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary,

how potent for good and evil they become,

in the hands of one who knows how to combine them!”

The American Notesbooks - Hawthorne

September 26, 2003 

The Hawthorne Bicentennial Essay Committee, Minute Man National Historical Park, Minute Man National Park Association, The Concord Free Public Library, Concord Historical Commission, The Concord-Carlisle Adult and Community Education Program, and The Trustees of Reservations - The Old Manse invite faculty members of Departments of English, History, and American Studies from colleges and universities in Massachusetts to nominate and submit student papers for the Hawthorne Bicentennial Essay Contest – “Hawthorne in the 21st  Century”.


  1. Undergraduate essays nominated for this contest, “Hawthorne in the 21st Century” must be critical or analytical essays about Hawthorne’s life and/or works.
  2. A faculty member of a Massachusetts college or university must nominate each undergraduate submission (no more than one paper nominated per faculty member).
  3. Students should use the MLA Style Sheet in all matters of style and format.
  4. Each submission must have a Cover Sheet giving the essay’s title, the undergraduate’s name, the college’s/university’s name, the name of the nominating faculty member, and the date submitted. A Title Page with TITLE ONLY must follow immediately.  The name of the undergraduate, the college or university, and the nominating faculty member MUST NOT appear anywhere else in the essay.  Six (6) copies of the essay must be submitted: one for each judge and one for the archives.
  5. The essay may be any length, but must not exceed 2500 words, including end materials.
  6. All essays must be sent to: Robert T. Derry, 149 Irving Street, Watertown, MA 02472-2706 for recording purposes and assignment of numbers.  Judges will not know the names of the students or their college.  There is to be NO mention of the name of the college or university or of the undergraduate’s name anywhere in the essay (other than on the Cover Sheet).  A list of useful web sites, such as  http://hawthorneinsalem.org ,   will be provided for all participants.
  7. The essays will be judged by a panel of five college/university faculty members from English Departments of Massachusetts’ colleges/universities.
  8. All undergraduate essays must be received no later than Saturday, January 31, 2004.  Judges have February and March to evaluate the essays.  Winners will be announced Friday, April 2, 2004.
  9. The Prizes: There will be two monetary prizes, First Place ($300.00) and Second Place ($200.00).  Winners’ papers will be posted on the web site – hawthorneinsalem.org.  The First Place winner will present his/her paper at the Concord Colloquium, June 25 – 27, 2004.  The winners will also receive a certificate.
  10. There may be Honorable Mentions” for the best essay in each of the following three (3) categories: a private college/university, a public college/university or from a public or private two-year college in Massachusetts.  A minimum of 10 essays must be submitted in each institutional category before an “Honorable Mention” will be given in that category.  A certificate will be given to the student winner in each of the categories for which an Honorable Mention is given.
  11. If you have any questions or need any assistance, please contact Bob Derry at Minute Man National Historical Park, Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at 978-369-6993 Ext. 29; bob_derry@nps.gov
  12. Websites on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Life and/or Works:

Hawthorne in Salem: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org  


Nathaniel Hawthorne Website, Eldrich Press:     


Nathaniel Hawthorne Society Website:

http://asweb.artsci.uc.edu/english/Hawthorne Society/nh.html     


Hawthorne Community Association, Raymond, Maine:



Yesterdays with Authors by James T. Fields:  


Minute Man National Historical Park, The Wayside:





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