The Hershey Story offers this writing contest as a way to encourage students to communicate their interest in and knowledge of history in a creative and coherent manner.

Any student enrolled in public, private or home school, grades 5 through 8, in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry or York County is eligible to submit one entry to the contest. Each entry must be the original work of the contest entrant, but may also have been submitted as an assigned school project as long as it fulfills the requirements below.

Contest Dates

The Hershey Story History Contest submission deadline has passed. The next Contest will begin again in November 2015.

Age Division

Junior: Grades 5 and 6
Senior: Grades 7 and 8

Categories

The contest entrant may submit an entry in one of the following categories:

  • Non-fiction
    An essay about a historical event, era, or person(s). An explanation of the student’s personal interest in the chosen topic must be included. Specific examples of experiences which have influenced the student’s interest, such as books, classroom activities, travel, and personal interactions, must be used.
  • Fiction
    A piece of creative writing, such as a fictional diary entry or story, about a historical event, era or person(s).
  • Poetry
    A poem about a historical event, era or person(s).
  • Science/Health
    A non-fiction essay about a historical event, era, or person(s) relevant to the fields of science or health. An explanation of the student’s personal interest in the chosen topic must be included. Specific examples of experiences which have influenced the student’s interest, such as books, classroom activities, travel, and personal interactions, must be used.

Length

Essay entries must be at least 400 words but no more than 1000 words. Poems must be at least 35 lines but no more than 100 lines.

Format

Place an extra line between paragraphs rather than indenting. Do not use special characters, bold, or italicized font, since these will be removed when the entry is submitted online. (Please note that not all formatting will be preserved during the online submission process).

Student & School Information

Title of Entry, Category (Non-fiction, Fiction, Poetry or Science/Health), Name of Contest Entrant, Age, Grade, School, Name of Teacher, Name of Principal, School District, School Address, Teacher E-Mail Address, Home Address, Home Phone.

Bibliography

A bibliography must be included with each entry (including poetry). The bibliography is not included in the word count. At least two of the following types of sources must be cited: book, magazine/journal, interview, Internet. Students must use at least one source that is not from the Internet.

We suggest that entrants use the MLA format. For guidance, consult a website such as www.easybib.com. (Please note that not all bibliography formatting will be preserved during the online submission process.)

Judging

Entries will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of an understanding of the historical context surrounding the event, era or person(s) discussed in the entry
  • Historical accuracy
  • Clarity and coherence
  • Creativity and imagination in the choice of subject and presentation
  • Grammar, spelling and compositional structure

Judging Committee

The judging panel includes historians, educators and other community leaders who are not employed by The Hershey Story. The decisions of the judges are final.

Awards

Awards are presented in support and acknowledgement of students’ efforts and for public recognition of their success. Eight first place awards will be given: Grades 5/6 Non-Fiction; Grades 7/8 Non-Fiction; Grades 5/6 Fiction; Grades 7/8 Fiction; Grades 5/6 Poetry; Grades 7/8 Poetry; Grades 5/6 Science/Health; Grades 7/8 Science/Health. Each winning student will receive a plaque, a $100 and a family membership to The Hershey Story, The Museum on Chocolate Avenue. Additionally, winning students will receive Hershey®’s chocolate to share with their class. The committee will notify the winning students by April 2, 2016.

Publication

Entrance in this contest grants permission to The Hershey Story for future publication of winning entries and/or winners names and photographs for award publicity purposes.

For More Information

Call Lois Miklas, Public Programs Manager, at 717-520-5587 or email lmiklas@hersheystory.org.

Enter the Contest

View the winning entries from the 2014-2015 History Contest For Young Writers here.

View the contest guidelines.

The Hershey Story is a non-profit educational institution founded in 1933 by Milton S. Hershey who believed in providing educational and cultural opportunities for the people of Hershey and the Central Pennsylvania region. In keeping with Mr. Hershey’s philosophy, The Hershey Story is dedicated to helping people of all ages understand and enjoy many aspects of history.

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