Portsmouth Historical Society Young Writers Contest

Calling all young writers eager to put words to paper!

Portsmouth Historical Society invites young writers Grades 3 to 12 to participate in our first ever Young Writers Contest. To participate, young writers come to Discover Portsmouth to view the art of Gertrude Fiske, an early twentieth-century painter and etcher who was admired for excellence at her craft.

Children at Fiske Exhibition Discover Portsmouth 2018 Children at Fiske Exhibition Discover Portsmouth 2018 Children at Fiske Exhibition Discover Portsmouth 2018

Here’s how it works:

Select one work of art by Gertrude Fiske that is on display in the downstairs gallery at Discover Portsmouth. Spend time observing the artwork and write a short piece. You may write a poem, story, essay, play/dialogue, newspaper article, or in any other style you would like. You must relate your piece to the artwork you selected.

All entries must be submitted by midnight on Saturday, September 22.

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


Age Division

  • Grades 3-5
  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12


  • No longer than 600 words
  • At least 200 words
  • Poem must be at least 10 lines and no more than 50 lines
  • Email submissions to Claire@portsmouthhistory.org
  • Mail submissions to:
    Claire Spollen
    Young Writers Contest
    Portsmouth Historical Society
    PO Box 728
    Portsmouth, NH 03802
  • All entries must be received by midnight on Saturday, September 22.

Information Needed with Submission

  • Age
  • Grade you will enter in September 2018
  • First and last name of entrant
  • Home mailing address
  • Your email or parents email address
  • Home phone number
  • School Name or Home School
  • Title of Gertrude Fiske Painting
  • Title of entry


  • The judging panel will include staff from the Portsmouth Historical Society and local educators.
  • Entries will be evaluated on content, creativity, expression, clarity, quality and connection to original artwork.


  • There will be a small ceremony to celebrate the winners and all participants at Discover Portsmouth on Friday, September 28 at 5:30pm.
  • Each submission will be placed into a lottery to win a one-year family membership to the Portsmouth Historical Society. The winner will be pulled on Friday September 22 at 5:30pm at Discover Portsmouth. You do not need to be present to win.
  • Each division will have a winner and an honorable mention
    • The winner of each division gets a one year family membership to the Portsmouth Historical Society, a $25 gift card to Flatbreads and a gift certificate for a one-day rental at Summer Sessions
    • Honorable mention in each division gets a prize from the Museum Shop at Discover Portsmouth


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


Email: Claire@portsmouthhistory.org

Information about Gertrude Fiske and the Exhibition

Tips for observing artwork

Creating Writing Through Art
How to and Why Look at Art with Children
Teaching Tips

Thanks to our Contest Sponsors

Summer Sessions logo Flatbread logo