CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, in cooperation with the West Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, invites high school students across the state to share their creativity in two special educational programs that offer cash prizes.

Students who submit essays on a topic related to the Civil War and West Virginia statehood have the chance to win a $1,000 cash prize, while the teacher of the winning author will receive a $500 cash award.

Student photographers who capture historic sites related to the sesquicentennial as part of the Division’s Sesquicentennial Snapshot program also could win $1,000.

Winners of both contests will have their work published in Goldenseal magazine, the state’s journal of traditional life, and the best photos will be included in the West Virginia State Museum’s WV 150 exhibit set to open in early 2013.

Entries must be received by Nov. 1, 2012.

As the only state born of the Civil War, West Virginia will celebrate its 150th birthday on June 20, 2013.

For more information about the essay contest, contact Caryn Gresham, deputy commission, at or (304) 558-0220. For more information about the Sesquicentennial Snapshot contest, contact Tyler Evert at or (304) 558-0220. For forms and other information visit

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.


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