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2022-23  3rd Annual Edition


SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY BY EMAIL TO: essays@historicboulder.org


Historic Boulder’s Annual Secondary School Essay Contest is intended to showcase the writing, creative and research skills of students in the Boulder Valley Schools using essay themes drawn from Boulder history. Students are encouraged to discover how exploring Boulder’s past can deepen one’s understanding of the present and help us better plan for the future.

THE 2022 CONTEST THEME IS: A Feeling of Place

Boulder County is made up of hundreds of unique building and structures, many of which help to general a feeling of place or “home.”

Please choose a non-landmarked* building (house, commercial, spiritual, agricultural) that you think is important enough to preserve forever and explain why it is important to you and why it should be protected.

Include the address, architectural style, year built, and any other interesting historical facts you can find to help build your argument. Please attach a photo or drawing of your selection as part of your essay submission.

* Buildings that are already landmarked at the National, State or Local level may NOT be chosen for your essay.


The contest is open to all high school  and middle school students in the Boulder Valley School District. Essays are to reflect individual work and are not intended to be collaborative/multi-student projects. A Boulder Valley teacher should serve as a sponsor – providing support to participating students. Sponsors should provide their name and school affiliation with each submittal. An official invitation to participate will be extended to District teachers so that they can share contest information with their students. The submission deadline for completed essays will be midnight, Friday, January 20, 2023. Essays will be scored by February 28th and winners notified in early March 2023. An Awards Ceremony will be scheduled for May 2023. All submissions should be submitted by email:

SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY BY EMAIL TO: essays@historicboulder.org.


Essays should have a minimum of 1,000 words and a maximum of 1,500 words, double-spaced, with 1” margins, using 12-point font type. References and citations are required. Supporting illustrations or photographs are allowed, but not required. All essays should be proof-read by the teacher-sponsor in advance of submittal and uploaded by the student by the deadline of: FRIDAY, January 20th.

SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY BY EMAIL TO: essays@historicboulder.org


Scoring will be based on five areas (each area eligible for a maximum of five points for a possible total of 25 points): relevance to theme, organization, originality, use of critical thinking, and overall effectiveness. A panel of five judges, consisting of two members from the board of Historic Boulder, one at-large member from the community, one member from the BVSD staff and/or administration, and one member from the staff of the Boulder Public Library, will score the submissions.


Awards will be presented to the top three winners. Cash prizes of $300/$200/$100 and Certificates of Merit will be presented to each winner at a formal ceremony hosted by Historic Boulder.  The winning essays will also be published in Historic Boulder’s monthly online newsletter, “Historic Happenings” and linked to the Historic Boulder website.

SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY BY EMAIL TO: essays@historicboulder.org

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