Assemblywoman Jenne: Deadline is March 9 for North Country Historical Writing Contest Submissions

February 23, 2018

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne says the deadline for submissions for the annual North Country Historical Writing Contest is just over a week away.

The contest, sponsored by Assemblywoman Jenne and, offers aspiring authors an opportunity to share stories based on the region's long and rich history.

The writing contest is open to people of all ages with three age brackets: children up to age 12, young adults from age 13 to 18, and adults 19 or older. Contestants must live in Jefferson or St. Lawrence counties to enter.

While true stories about North Country places and heroes are welcome, the contest is also open to writers who want to explore the region through historical fiction. Stories must be at or below 2,000 words to be eligible for consideration.

Stories are judged based on their historical and dramatic content, style and connection to the region. The ideal story is one that demonstrates knowledge about the North Country’s history and people while creating a narrative that’s hard to forget.

Authors should submit their stories to Sean Ewart at with “Historical Writing Contest” in the subject line, with entrant’s name, age and address at the top of the submission.

The deadline is March 9.

Writers in the past have shared stories based on their family’s history in the region, the role a hometown played in the nation’s past or the imagery that has been set loose by a North Country landmark.

Assemblywoman Jenne, a seventh-generation resident of the North Country, said she is always learning more about her own family's connection to the region. She said as she has traveled through the River District she has learned more and more about the history of the communities from the shores of Lake Ontario to the St. Lawrence River in Massena. "We're a region that has produced political leaders on the national stage, world-renowned artists and leaders in the retail business," she said.

"It's a history that starts with the Iroquois Confederacy and has seen the region on the front lines in the War of 1812. It's a history that has included transborder trade even in times of Prohibition in the United States,” the assemblywoman added.

"And it is a history that saw North Country residents tame the rapids of the St. Lawrence to form the current St. Lawrence River and open up our nation's Fourth Coast to international trade opportunities," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

"Each one of those events – and so many more – provide fruitful settings for stories connected to our region's history," she said.

The contest judges include SUNY Potsdam History Department Chair Thomas Baker, Jefferson County Historical Society Director Jordan Walker, Potsdam Public Library Children's Librarian Rebecca Donnelly, Reading Room Association of Gouverneur Director Linda Adams, and Canton Free Library Director Emily Owen Hastings.

An awards ceremony will be held at the Potsdam Public Library to honor the winners. Winners will be notified at least a week prior to the event.

“I’m again looking forward to reading the submissions and learning even more about the North Country. Last year, the winning story in the Adult Division told the tale of a Canton man returning home from World War II to a life far different than he hoped to be living," Assemblywoman Jenne said.

"The top entry in the Teen Division put the spotlight on two heroes of the women's rights movement in the moments before they took the national stage," she added.