Here’s one of the most delightful literary contests you could ever want to participate in – and all for a mere 200 words. Janice Sage, current owner and innkeeper of the charming Center Lovell Inn in southwestern Maine, is holding an essay competition to select the new owner and designated innkeeper of the premises. Full detailed contest rules are available here.

Janice Sage is, if anything, upholding a tradition with her contest. “Have you ever dreamed of owning a Country Inn and restaurant in New England?” she asks. “Well, here is your chance! Located in southwestern Maine overlooking the White Mountains is The Center Lovell Inn and Restaurant. In 1993, the former owner ran an essay contest and I was the winner. After 22 successful years, it is time for me to retire. Now, I would like to fulfill someone else’s dream.” The entries themselves should consist of an essay of no more than 200 words which ” shall address the subject/theme: Why I would like to own and operate a Country Inn.”

Please note that this is not a free competition – all entries “must be accompanied by a bank cashier’s check or money order payable to: Center Lovell Inn Essay Contest in the amount of $125.00 US Funds.”  However, “all entry fees shall be returned if at least 7500 entries are not received,” so you do stand a chance of getting your money back. Furthermore, “If and only if 7500 entries are received the winner will also receive a check for $20,000.”

The Center Lovell Inn itself looks like something straight out of a Stephen King novel – no surprise in the home of the King. For any scribe with a little bit of spare cash, and with an ambition to establish a beautiful literary center – or rollicking hostelry – this could be the one. And what a proof of the power of the written word …



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