Live Deliberately Essay Contest

We are excited to announce the 2015-2016 prompt, as well as an expansion of our Contest! In addition to our traditional Essay Contest, we are introducing a Visual Essay Contest.  See below for more details.


2015-2016 Live Deliberately Contest Prompt

“Who shall say what prospect life offers to another? Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”  

–Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Thoughtfully convey a time when you either experienced or witnessed the type of “miracle” that Thoreau describes in the quotation above. 


If participating in the Live Deliberately Essay Contest, your submission should be a well-developed essay of no more than 750 words. Click here to submit.

If participating in the Live Deliberately Visual Essay Contest, your submission should include one visual image and a well-developed written explanation of why you chose that image, between 250-400 words. Click here to submit.

Deadline for submissions is March 15, 2016. Participants are allowed to submit one entry per category (traditional essay and/or visual essay) in their appropriate age group. Please review the full Contest Guidelines before submitting.


For inspiration, consider reading the winning essays from the 2014-2015 Contest!

Oscar Palacio, Cooler and Jeans, Walden Pond, MA, 2013 Inkjet print, 32" x 40", courtesy of the artist


"Many an object is not seen, though it falls within 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 21857

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






13-14 Age Group

Winner: Emily Redmond (State College, PA)

15-16 Age Group

Winner: Eva Sombrowski (Fernie, BC, Canada)

Honorable Mention: Keiley James (Atlanta, GA)

17-18 Age Group

Winner: Darin Chaichitatorn (Mundelein, IL)

Honorable Mention: Caroline Cobb (Falmouth, MA)

19-21 Age Group

Winner: Laura George (Athens, GA)


Want to read more? See past winners!