Visit the exhibitions and GET INSPIRED

Select a work of art and start writing!

You can write a poem, story, essay, play or dialogue, newspaper article, or any other kind of writing!

All entries must be submitted by midnight on
Monday, September 13, 2021.

Visit Portsmouth Historical Society and check out the art on display in the Twilight of American Impressionism or Don Gorvett: Working Waterfronts exhibitions. Get inspired by your surroundings and select one work of art and write! You may write a poem, story, essay, play/dialogue, newspaper article, or in any other style you would like. You must relate your writing to the artwork you selected.

A panel of judges will read and evaluate the entry based on its content, creativity, expression, clarity, quality, and connection to the original artwork.

Special thanks to our contest sponsors!

Official Entry Information

Age Divisions

  • Ages 7-10
  • Ages 11-14
  • Ages 15-18


  • At least 200 words
  • No more than 600 words
  • Poems must be no more than 50 lines

Information to Include with Submission

  • Age
  • First and last name of entrant
  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Home phone number
  • Title of artwork
  • Title of submission

How to Submit

Email submissions to Education Coordinator Claire Spollen  


Mail submissions to

Claire Spollen
Writing Contest
Portsmouth Historical Society
Post Office Box 728
Portsmouth, NH 03802

Judging, Awards, and Publication


  • The judging panel will include staff from Portsmouth Historical Society and local educators.
  • Entries will be evaluated on content, creativity, expression, clarity, quality, and connection to original artwork.
  • Judges will select a winner and an honorable mention from each age division.


  • Winners will be announced at the Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center at 5:00 pm on Friday, October 1, 2021.
  • Each age division will have one winner and one honorable mention.
  • There will be a small presentation ceremony to celebrate the winners and participants.
  • The Young Writers Contest sponsors, Flatbread and Summer Sessions, have generously donated prizes for the three winners. The Discover Portsmouth Museum Shop has donated prizes for the honorable mentions.
  • Each submission will be placed into a lottery to win a one-year family membership to Portsmouth Historical Society. The winner will be drawn at the award ceremony. You do not need to be present to win.


Participants grant permission to Portsmouth Historical Society to publish your entry and your name for publicity purposes.


Please contact Education Coordinator Claire Spollen if you have questions.