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  • Portsmouth Historical kicks off Second Annual Young Writers Contest

    PORTSMOUTH--Portsmouth Historical Society announces its second annual Young Writers Contest connected to the exhibition, “New Hampshire Folk Art: By the People, For the People,” at Discover Portsmouth.
    “We had great response to our first contest last year.  It’s exciting to bring young people in to engage with a different exhibition this year to learn about art and history in yet another way. This summer kids will experience Folk Art that is both historic and contemporary,” says Claire Spollen, the society’s Education Coordinator who designed the contest.
    “Last year, we received a beautiful thank you note from a contestant Marielle Merriam. She said, “I think the writing contest was a great way to get younger people into art and writing.“ Spollen quotes. “Nothing is more rewarding than allowing a young person to make that connection,” she added.
    The contest is similar to the one last year, with prizes again provided by sponsors Summer Sessions and Flatbreads, as well as the Historical Society’s Museum Shop.
    Participants choose a work of art from “New Hampshire Folk Art: By the People, For the People,” now on display in the main gallery at Discover Portsmouth.  They spend time becoming familiar with their chosen artwork before writing a short piece about it--or inspired by it.  Previous responses included poems, stories and plays. Other writing styles are also encouraged. The only contest rule is that the submitted writing must relate to the selected art piece.    
    Submissions will be divided into three groups --Grades 3 – 5, Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12.  Participants should indicate their grade level for the 2019-2020 school year.  Paper entries may be mailed (see post office address below) or dropped off at Discover Portsmouth during open hours (9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily). Emailed entries should be sent to: Claire@portsmouthhistory.org. All entries must be submitted (and postmarked) by midnight on Saturday, Sept. 21.  

    A panel of  judges will read and evaluate each entry on its content, creativity, expression, clarity, quality, and connection to the original artwork.  A first prize and honorable mention will be awarded in each division at a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 27 at Discover Portsmouth. The exhibition closes on Sunday, Sept. 29. 
    “I love inspiring all age children, but especially those who are school-age,” Claire Spollen stated. “The joy is in watching kids engage with something they don’t think they understand but come to find out they do. The exercise of observing and then writing enables them to see in new ways and share their observations with their readers.”
    Details on the contest can be found at https://portsmouthhistory.org/young-writers-contest-2019/ Special thanks to contest sponsors Flatbread Pizza and Summer Sessions for their commitment to the arts and the written word.
    Submissions should be mailed to:
    Claire Spollen
    Young Writers Contest
    Portsmouth Historical Society
    PO Box 728
    Portsmouth, NH 03802
    About Portsmouth Historical Society Museum Education Programs
    Portsmouth Historical Society provides a variety of educational programs for people of all ages. For adults, the Society offers lecture series, historical walking tours, symposia, and guided lunchtime exhibition tours. Our popular Portsmouth Third Grade History Program operates in partnership with the local public school system and brings advanced knowledge about local and regional history directly into the classroom on a consistent schedule throughout the school year. An important component of this program are supervised visits to both Discover Portsmouth and the John Paul Jones House Museum and Garden, where students encounter and engage with art and artifacts from the past and present first-hand. Other offerings are designed to highlight changing exhibitions and include the Art to Craft children's craft program, story times, and Sketching in the Gallery programs. An ornament-decorating event, held in conjunction with the popular Gingerbread House Contest in December, caps off the year.
    About Portsmouth Historical Society
    Portsmouth Historical Society, a nonprofit organization, operates Discover Portsmouth which houses art and history exhibitions, a welcome center and a museum shop, and the John Paul Jones House Museum and Garden, all in downtown Portsmouth, NH. Both locations are open seasonally, seven days a week.  Discover Portsmouth is located at 10 Middle Street; the John Paul Jones House Museum and Garden is located across the street at 43 Middle Street. For information, call 603-436-8433 or visit www.portsmouthhistory.org