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The grand prize is a three-day cruise to the San Juan Islands, accompanied by a parent or guardian, during Olympic Bird Fest in April.
Second and third-place prizes also will be awarded.
The submission deadline is 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 1.
The contest is open to all high school students, whether they are attending public, private or home-schools.
“Ninth- through 12th-graders are encouraged to write a persuasive essay, personal account, poem, short story or even a screenplay, based on something meaningful they’ve experienced in nature,” said Powell Jones, river center director.
Submissions can be in any writing style. They must be no more than 1,200 words and be the original work of the student.
Entries will be judged on content, creativity, overall organization, presentation, grammar and punctuation, and adherence to contest rules.
A panel will judge submissions and select the three top pieces.
Panelists are Tim McNulty, poet, conservationist and award-winning author, including Olympic National Park: A Natural History; John Woolley, retired teacher and active conservationist; and Nancy Woolley, retired high school English teacher and librarian.
The top three winners will be contacted during the week of Feb. 10 to attend the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society’s monthly general meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at the river center, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road in Sequim.
First, second and third placements will be announced there.
The first-place winner and his or her chaperone will cruise with BirdFest participants on Puget Sound Express’s MV Glacier Spirit and will have opportunities to see whales, porpoises, seals and myriad sea birds.
Cruise travelers will be accompanied by an expert naturalist.
Prize includes a two-night stay at historic Roche Harbor Resort while touring national and state marine parks.
Prize value is approximately $1,200. It was donated by Bob Sheridan and Laura Dubois, according to the river center’s website, dungenessriver
Entries are to be submitted to Becca Nissley at RCEducation@Olympus.net or dropped off or mailed to Dungeness River Audubon Center, ATTN: Writing Contest, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road, P.O. Box 2450, Sequim, WA 98382.
For more information on rules and eligibility, see the center’s website, phone 360-681-4076 or email RCeducation@olympus.net.