The Nantucket Atheneum’s American Spirit Essay Contest challenges high school students in grades 11 and 12 to write an original and creative essay that explores an American value that makes us who we are.
Students must utilizing an idea from the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, or another primary source document of US history (e.g. speeches, acts of Congress) as a starting point. Then they are to select a value and discuss its importance throughout history and in today’s world.
Our inspiration comes from long time Atheneum supporter Ken Roman and from David McCullough’s The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For.
The maximum word count is 1,000 with a minimum of 700. Sources beyond the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, or another primary source document of US history may be used; but citations and a bibliography are not included in the word count.
A total of $1,000 will be awarded to winning essays proportions to be decided by the Nantucket Atheneum American Spirit Committee.
The contest deadline is March 22, 2019. Check back for the 2020 deadline.
Registration Form (pdf) This must be submitted with your essay.
All entries must be postmarked or received by Monday, March 22, 2019. Entries should be addressed to:
Leslie Malcolm, Contest Coordinator
1 India Street
Nantucket, MA 20554
Each essay submission must include a registration form available at the Nantucket Atheneum or its website: www.nantucketatheneum.org/
The Nantucket Atheneum is not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, damaged, illegible or incomplete submissions. Receipt of entries will be acknowledged.
By entering you agree that your essay will become the property of the Nantucket Atheneum and will not be returned. The Nantucket Atheneum reserves the right to print and display the essays and photographs of the contest winners.
Essays are judged by members of the Nantucket Atheneum American Spirit Award Committee and decisions of the Committee are final. All participants will be notified by email or telephone of the Committee’s decision by Monday, April 15, 2019. Please do not call the Nantucket Atheneum for information about the status of an essay.
The contest is open to Nantucket High School students or resident homeschooled students in grades 11 or 12.
- The contest deadline is Friday, March 22, 2019.
- Essays must explore an American value originating in the the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, or another primary source document of US history (e.g. speeches, acts of Congress) as a starting point. Then they are to select a value and discuss its importance throughout history and in today’s world.
- If additional sources are used citations and a bibliography are required.
- Essays can be no more than 1,000 words with a minimum of 700. Any citations or bibliography are not included in the word count.
- Essays must be the original work of the student.
- Essays are to be submitted by email or US mail no later than Monday, March 22, 2019.
- All students must complete and submit a registration form with the essay. Registration forms are available on the Nantucket Atheneum website: www.nantucketatheneum.org.
Congratulations to our 2018 winner Jennifer Lamb!
Click here to read Jennifer Lamb’s inspiring essay.