Lincoln Essay Competition


PROMPT 2020:

Identify one issue facing Vermont that you think your state government (the Scott administration and/or the legislature) should address. Describe the challenge and its negative impacts. Then explain why governmental action is appropriate, suggest one or more actions that state government should take, and explain why you think such action would improve the situation.


“The legitimate object of government is ‘to do for the people what needs to be done, but which they can not, by individual effort, do at all, or do so well, for themselves’.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, “Fragment on Government” (July 1, 1854?), p. 221. 


2020 Lincoln Essay Packet for Teachers

2020 Lincoln Essay Packet for Students



Congratulations to the 2019 Hildene Lincoln Essay Competition winners!  We received 197 applications from all over Vermont. To encourage participation throughout the state, we reconfigured the design of the competition this year. In place of one statewide competition, we now have four regions. A first, second and third place winner was chosen from each region and four honorable mentions were selected from the combined pool of finalists. If you are one of the applicants, whether on not your essay garnered an award, we appreciate the time and effort you put into your writing.

Students picked a wide range of inspiring people to write about in response to last year's prompt:

Throughout history, people have been forced to reckon with difficult issues and have passed through what Abraham Lincoln might have called "fiery trials."  Pick one person who inspires you because they have chosen to take on a daunting societal challenge. The challenge could be within their community, their state, their nation or the world. Describe the challenge this person is tackling, the actions they are taking, the character traits that compel them to act, and the lesson(s) you draw from their example.

As always, blind judging was done by a panel of judges based on content, the student's understanding of the subject and her or his ability to convey that understanding using good writing practices including style, composition, grammar, and factual accuracy.

Hildene applauds all who participated in the competition.


2019 Lincoln Essay Competition Winners

2018 Winning Essays