ST. PETER’S: Students from across Cape Breton are encouraged to enter an essay contest that will help them deepen their understanding of local heritage while, just maybe, winning them upwards of $100.

“I’m on the board for the Cape Breton Heritage Connection, and we like to oversee things that are related to heritage on the island,” said Colin MacDougall, who contacted The Reporter last week to explain the contest.

MacDougall is involved with MacAskill House Museum and is well-known for being the man behind JoePops Images.

“It’s open to all students,” MacDougall said, adding the contest runs two age divisions: one for kids in Grades 6-8 and a second for kids in Grades 9-12. The contest will allow kids to learn about research as well as writing in an engaging way.

Kids are asked to pick their favourite Cape Breton topic and write either 1,000 words (for kids in Grades 6-8) or 1,500 words (for kids in Grades 9-12). All entries must be double-spaced and include a title page, the school attended by the writer, and contact information.

With that, the essays must list the source material used by the writer. Books, Web sites, documents, and interviews would be some of the best sources for writers to use.

Submissions can be made by e-mailing: heritagecapebretonconnection@gmail.com or mailing Heritage Cape Breton Connection at P.O. Box 1791, Stn ‘A’, Sydney, N.S., B1P 6J4.

The deadline is March 30, and there will be a first place prize of $100 for each age division. There will also be a second place prize of $50 in both divisions.

MacDougall noted that there are several possible essay topics kids can choose from, given the history of people and events from Cape Breton. The topics could be small in scope or large, focus on an individual or a community, or detail an event. All that’s asked by the folks at Heritage Cape Breton Connection is that the essay be well-researched and nicely written.