Live Deliberately Essay Contest

The 2014-2015 Live Deliberately Essay Contest is now closed.  

We received almost 500 entries!  Thanks to all who submitted. We will announce the winners by the end of March.



“Many an object is not seen, though it falls within the range of our visual ray, because it does not come within the range of our intellectual ray, i.e., we are not looking for it. So, in the largest sense, we find only the world we look for.”

–Henry David Thoreau, Journal, Vol. IX, July 2 1857


In 750 words or fewer, using your understanding of the quote above and the narrative of the image below as creative inspiration, discuss and expand on their meaning while integrating your own experiences and observations of the world.


Oscar Palacio, Cooler and Jeans, Walden Pond, MA 2013, Inkjet Print, 32” x 40”

(used courtesy of the artist and the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum)

We are very pleased that this year's Essay Contest is in partnership with the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, incorporating an image from their "Walden, revisited" exhibition, running from October 31, 2014-April 26, 2015. For more information, click here


For more inspiration, please see the essays written by last year's winners: 


13-15 Age Group

16-17 Age Group

18-21 Age Group

You might also be interested in reading essays from previous years. See past winners!