George Duncan Essay Contest now closed to submissions. The contest will be back in 2022.

George Duncan Essay Contest

The Monadnock Writers’ Group is pleased to announce a high school essay contest established to honor the memory of George Duncan. George was an award-winning marketing copywriter and author, and an avid writer of political commentary. He served as President of the Monadnock Writers’ Group (MWG) and was a long-time board member.

MWG will award the contest winner a prize of $100.00 and invite the winner and any runner-ups to read their essays at our group meeting in May 2020. The Keene Sentinel’s ELF Magazine and the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript will publish the winning essay.

The announcement of the winning essay will be in April 2020.


The contest is open to students in grades 9 through 12 who attend public, private, and home-schools in the following towns:

Chesterfield, Harrisville, Keene, Marlborough, Marlow, Nelson, Westmoreland, Stoddard, Surry, Winchester, Acworth, Alstead, Walpole, Charlestown, Langdon, Fitzwilliam, Gilsum, Richmond, Roxbury, Swanzey, Troy, Sullivan, Antrim, Dublin, Peterborough, Francestown, Greenfield, Hancock, Bennington, Sharon, Temple, Jaffrey, Rindge, Greenville, New Ipswich, Mason, Wilton, Lyndeborough, and Milford

Essay prompt:

Select a political issue that is currently in the news. Write a persuasive, fact-based analysis of the issue using a civil tone. Write it in the style of an op-ed piece.

Submission instructions:

  • Essay length should be at least 500 words and no more than 800 words.
  • Submit your essay to from January 15, 2020 to March 15, 2020.
  • Include your name, school, email address, and your essay in the body of the email.


Please note that writers’ names will be removed from essays prior to review by the judges.
MWG member Linda Thomas and Keene State College professor Jeff Halford will judge the essays.

Jeff Halford teaches communication and philosophy at Keene State College. He holds an M.A. in Speech Communication from Oklahoma State University and a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Arizona.

Linda Thomas is a freelance writer and editor. She holds an M.Ed. from Rivier College and an M.S. in Technical Writing from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

For any questions, please visit or email

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