top of page

The Monadnock Writers’ Group sponsors a high school essay contest 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.

The submission period for the George Duncan Essay Contest begins in December and closes in February. MWG will award the contest winner a monetary prize and invites the winner and any runner-ups to read their essays at an MWG general meeting in the spring of the year. One or more local newspapers are expected to publish the winning essay.


The contest is open to students under the age of 19 who attend public, private, home-schools, and colleges 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 by February 1.

  • Include your name, school, email address, and your essay in the body of the email.

  • To ask any questions, please email


Please note that writers’ names will be removed from essays prior to review by the judge.

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.

If you have questions, email

bottom of page