Call for Submissions: The Wellcome Prize for Student Historians

23 Jul 2020 2:39 PM | Anonymous member

The Trustees and staff of Yarmouth Historical Society are pleased to present The Wellcome Prize, a history competition open to high school students in Maine. Students are invited to undertake original historical research about a local history topic related to Cumberland County and write a research paper or create a film about their findings. Entries will be judged on the quality of research and effectiveness of communication. The three winners in each category will be asked to present their work to the public via Zoom in November 2020. First prize winners will receive $1000, second prize $500, and third prize $250.

Eligibility: Any high school student residing or attending school in Maine is eligible to enter. Entrants should be current high school students (grades 9-12) during the fall of 2020.

Timeline: Papers and films must be submitted via email (see below for further details) by 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 1, 2020. Winners will be announced on Thursday, October 15, 2020. Winning students will present a talk on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 7:00 pm via Zoom.

Topic: In order to maintain a strong connection to local history, please limit paper and film topics to subjects related to Cumberland County, Maine. Past winners have included papers on Brunswick sea captain John D. Pennell and a history of the Cumberland Fair. We encourage all entrants to consult their local historical societies and/or libraries for appropriate archival materials and resources. Papers and films must be the original work of the student entering the competition. Sources must be cited. Rights to music, archival footage, or copyrighted content in films must be cleared.

Film length and submission:  Films should be 8-10 minutes in length. Yarmouth Historical Society may choose to download and/or share any submitted film on our website or social media channels. Films must be submitted via email with a link to the film on YouTube or Vimeo by 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 1, 2020. Please email submissions to Katherine Worthing:

Paper length and submission: Written papers should be between 1500 and 2500 words and should include citations and a bibliography of sources consulted. Yarmouth Historical Society may choose to publish any submitted paper in a future newsletter or publication. Papers must be submitted via email by 5:00 pm on Thursday, October 1, 2020. Please email papers to Katherine Worthing:

Judging and Prizes: Papers and films will be judged by members of Yarmouth Historical Society’s Program Committee using the rubrics available on our website. Prize winners will be notified by email on Thursday, October 15, 2020. Winners will receive their prize money after their presentation on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.

Presentations: The three prize winners in each category will be asked to present their work via a Zoom webinar at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 17, 2020. Writers should present their research in a 10-15 minute talk; filmmakers should be prepared to present their films and speak for 5-10 minutes about their process. As this is part of our annual Lecture Series, the presentations will be open to the public. Students may use PowerPoint or other visual presentation tools during the talk.

Background: The Wellcome Prize is named after Elsie Wellcome (1893-1918). Elsie was raised in Yarmouth, attended local schools, and became an involved community member as a young person. She joined the Village Improvement Society, participating in town-wide beautification efforts, and spoke out in support of women’s suffrage. Sadly, Elsie died of Spanish flu at the age of 25 in 1918.

Questions: Please contact Katherine Worthing, Executive Director of Yarmouth Historical Society ( with questions.

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