Essay Contest Rules & Submission Guidelines

  1. The Gaspee Days Committee is the sponsor, administrator, and judge for the contest.
  2. All entries must be received by The Gaspee Days Committee Essay Chair by Friday May 19.
  3. Only one entry is allowed per student.
  4. Only Rhode Island Junior High and Middle School students in the 8th grade are eligible to enter.
  5. All essays must be typed or computer printed double-spaced on letter-size paper.
  6. The student’s name, school, home address, phone number, and teacher’s name mustbe provided on a cover sheet of the essay.
  7. The essay must total between 500-700 words. Footnotes and bibliography are required.
  8. There will be one first-place winner of $150, one second-place winner of $125, and one third-place winner of $100. Winners will be notified at the end of May.
  9. The first place winning entry will be published on the website of the Gaspee Days Committee in its virtual archives at In entering the Gaspee Days Contest, permission by the author and his/her parent(s) is specifically granted for this web publishing.
  10. The top three winning students will be invited to participate in the annual Gaspee Days Parade. Students must be present at the parade in order to receive their prize money.
  11. Entries are judged for historical accuracy. Great attention will be placed on unique angles and novel ideas in presenting the Gaspee Affair.
  12. Essays become property of The Gaspee Days Committee and will not be returned.
  13. The decision of the judges is final and selection of winners is at the sole discretion of the Essay Committee.
  14. Plagiarism will not be acceptable. All essays must be the original work of the student. All judges are knowledgeable about the presently available sources presenting Gaspee Affair both in print and on the Internet.  This is not meant to discourage the full use of the Gaspee Virtual Archives as a source for information in creating the entry.  This website is publicly available at