Here’s a fun way to practice your citizen journalism skills: Enter the essay contest sponsored by the Lakewood (Colo.) Historical Society.
Not only will it be a great way to use your reporting and writing skills, you also might win some of the $1,000 in prize money.
Even though the contest requests entries about Lakewood’s history, organizers say you don’t have to live in the Lakewood area to enter. You could live in Timbuktu. They don’t care. They just want your entries.
So do some research on the Internet, pick up the phone and make some calls, and write an essay about the history of Lakewood, Colo.
Contest organizers even provide a list of names to get you started, including Schnell Centennial Farms, Lakewood Brick Co., Hart’s Corner, White Fence Farm and Lakewood’s Waterways.
You will have to submit one added extra to your entry of 3,000 words or less: Endnotes, footnotes credits and/or bibliography are required.
But what have you got to lose? And you could win the $300 and $200 first and second prize awards given in each of the youth and adult categories.
For more information, visit www.historiclakewood.org or call 303.233.3050. The deadline for entries is May 15, 2012.
Susan Cormier is the co-author of the “Handbook for Citizen Journalists” (http://www.citizenjournalistnow.com/)