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’12 state fair seeks writing entries

March 5, 2012

Wes Anderson, curator of the Barnes County Museum said this year’s North Dakota State Fair heritage and writing contests are great ideas to preserve memories of people alive today for future generations.

Friday the North Dakota State Fair based in Minot revealed it was having a State Fair Writing Contest and a North Dakota Heritage Contest.

For the heritage contest, residents are being asked to write down and submit their stories about what life was like in the state.

Submitted work will be displayed on the 4-H Wall in the N.D. State Fair Center at the 2012 state fair July 20-28.

The contest is being sponsored by the fair, with support from Minot State University and the Northern Plains Writing Project.

The writing contest is being sponsored by the Kenmare News, with support from the fair, Minot State University and the Northern Plains Writing Project.

“It’s definitely a good idea,” Anderson said.

“Everybody has a history if they live long enough and you’ll see some amazing things (experiences) people have gone through,” Anderson said.
For a number of years the museum has been working on a similar project, putting interviews of long-time residents on video. “There are some remarkable stories. It (the Heritage Contest) will add that much more history that we can pass forward.

“Fifty years ago might not seem that long to some people, but it was much different. Even farming is much different with computers – then there is the Great Depression and World War II. Definitely it’s a good idea – anything to get people thinking and writing about history is a good thing.”

Each contest allows North Dakota residents to enter as many as three works.

For the writing contest, acceptable writings include short stories, poems, plays, essays, letters and diaries.

Categories include 13 or younger as of July 20, 14 through 20 as of July 20, and 21 years or older as of July 20.

The best of show prize for the writing contest will be $150, with prizes ranging from $5 through $50 for class winners and first, second, third, fourth and honorable mentions in each class.

For the heritage contest, each state residents can enter as many as three works which illustrate aspects of North Dakota culture and heritage. Examples from the state fair of possible subjects include attending a one-room school, being snowbound during a blizzard, working in a blacksmith shop, coming home after a war, going to town Saturday night and moving from a farm into town.

The best of show prize for the heritage contest will be $150, with prizes ranging from $6 through $100 for class winners and first, second, third, fourth and honorable mentions in each class.

Heritage contest age classes are 20 or younger as of July 20 and 21 and older as of July 20.

Heritage contest manuscripts (photocopies are acceptable) must be sent to the North Dakota State Fair Heritage Contest, Box 1796, Minot, N.D. 58702, and arrive by July 9.

Writing contest manuscripts (photocopies are acceptable) must be sent to the North Dakota State Fair Writing Contest, Box 1796, Minot, N.D. 58702, and arrive by July 9.

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