For a complete list of Thoreau Bicentennial events in West Bridgewater click here.
In honor of the Henry David Thoreau Bicentennial, the theme for the 2017 Summer Essay Contest will be:


Open to students ages 12 – 22. New deadline: Saturday, July 15.

“Why Thoreau Matters Today”

Submit via email to Library Director, Ellen Snoeyenbos:

Subject line: Essay Contest entry

In the body of the email include your name, your age, and your town.

Length of essay: Between 500 and 750 words.

Deadline for submission: Saturday, July 15, 2017

Prizes: $200 for Winner, $100 for Runner Up.

Winners will read essays at the August 12th 4 p.m. Sing-Along Concert at Pratt’s Landing in West Bridgewater.  If you can’t be there, someone else will read your essay.

Thanks to the Mansfield Bank for funding the prizes.

For some tips on how to write a winning essay see the following link:

Tips & Suggestions for Preparing to Write Your Essay from the Walden Woods folks:

  1. Make the essay personal. Make a personal statement or tell a story that provides insight into your own experiences and views. Use the pronoun “I.”
  2. Use “talk it out” or “rapid free write” activities to spark ideas.
  3. Pretend a journalist or interviewer has asked you to comment on the essay topic.
  4. Respond out loud, off the top of your head.
  5. Record your response or have a friend take notes about what you said.
  6. Alternatively, give yourself five minutes to write a response.
  7. Don’t stop to edit yourself. Just write.
  8. Analyze your response. What worked? What didn’t? Were there any particularly strong points or angles?
  9. Repeat the activity. This time, deliberately change your approach (try to answer the question a different way).
  10. Try an idea web or mapping brainstorm activity.
  11. Use a graphic organizer or make your own.
  12. Draw a circle or bubble at the center of a piece of paper.
  13. Write 1-3 words that capture the essay topic or theme inside the bubble.
  14. Think about words, ideas, memories associated with the theme.
  15. Write each in other bubbles surrounding the one in the center.
  16. Visit the “For Students” section of the Walden Woods Project website for inspiration. Read and discuss excerpts from Thoreau’s works.