High School Seniors Win $1000

The Land Breakers Essay Contest
for North Carolina High School Seniors 2006-2007
Top Essay Earns a $1000 Prize Plus Publication
Sponsored by Press 53 and The National Paideia Center

Read The Land Breakers by John Ehle and write an essay of no more than 2500 words addressing one of the following topics:

  • "Family" is an important force in The Land Breakers. Different characters seek to either break or form family ties for different reasons. Define the nature of family in this world and analyze how some of the characters seek and/or seek to escape family ties.

  • Late in the novel, Lorry Harrison tells her father, who has challenged her way of life: “I made the best bargain I could.” There are many important trades or bargains in this novel. Analyze several of them and define why you think “trading” or “bargaining” was so important in this world.

  • After survival, Mooney Wright and others seek the creation of a community or settlement in the valley. Explain why the drive to create a viable community seems so important in this world and analyze some of the ways in which these characters strive to create community.

Center the essay title one-third down on first page, then hard-return twice and begin your essay. Please note, the first paragraph should make it clear which topic you are addressing. Essay must be typed, double-spaced, using a standard 12 pt. font (Times New Roman, Courier, etc) with one-inch margins. Student’s name, address, phone number, school name (or home school), and county where school is located, must appear in the upper left-hand corner.

The essay should include supporting quotes from The Land Breakers and be properly noted with the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence, like this (53). Essays will be judged on clarity, use of supporting quotes from the book, and originality. The essay must be an original work.

Essays may be submitted one of two ways: 1) Attach the essay to an email addressed to editor@Press53.com, or 2) mail your essay to Press 53, PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 37130-0314. There is no entry fee.

All essays must be postmarked on or before March 15, 2007.

The winner will be announced by May 31, 2007.

The final judge is Dr. Terry Roberts, Director of The National Paideia Center in Chapel Hill, NC, and author of the Afterword, which appears in the Press 53 Classics edition of The Land Breakers. Dr. Roberts’ decision is final.


Prize and Publication:
The author of the winning essay will be awarded $1000, plus publication on the Press 53 website. By entering this contest, the winning author grants to Press 53 all publication rights until December 31, 2007, at which time all publication rights will revert back to the author.


Any questions should be directed to Kevin Watson by email at editor@Press53.com, or by phone at 336-414-5599. These guidelines are also available online at www.Press53.com.


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