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Antidote to the Cold: Photo Prompt Writing Contest


January 27, 2021

As frigid temperatures, wind chills, and other inclement winter conditions entrench themselves and keep us inside more frequently, the Montana Memory Project (MMP) is hoping to reduce the symptoms of cabin fever with a writing contest. The organization will be accepting contest submissions until Friday, February 12.

MMP has partnered with the Museum of the Rockies and Distinctly Montana magazine to hold a creative writing contest using historical photos from the MMP collection as prompts. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to browse the collection of images curated by MMP for this contest and available on their website, ( Participants are invited to write a short story of 650 words or fewer based on the photograph that inspires them. Stories can run the gamut from humorous to poignant, witty, serious, or whatever other tone and mood the writer chooses.

Once written, stories should be emailed to the MMP utilizing the address When submitting an entry, an author should type the title: Picture Prompt Writing Contest on the subject line. In the body of the email, an author should indicate his/her full name and age group category, as well as provide the link to the image that was used as a writing prompt. Stories can be attached as Word files or portable data files (pdf).

Entries will be judged by staff from MMP and Distinctly Montana, and winners will be chosen from grades 3-6, grades 7-12, and adult. The three sponsoring entities are offering prizes for those three groups. These prizes include museum passes, gift certificates, and magazine subscriptions.

All age group first place winners will receive a one-year subscription to the Distinctly Montana magazine, and their stories will be published in the fall issue of Distinctly Montana. In both the grades 3-6 and grades 7-12 categories, first place writers will also receive a $50.00 gift certificate to the Distinctly Montana Store, while adult writers will receive a $100.00 gift certificate.

All age group second place finishers will receive four passes to the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, as well as a one-year subscription to the Distinctly Montana magazine. Additionally, the stories of second place finishers will be published on the Distinctly Montana webpage.

Although there is no fee to participate in the Montana Memory Project Photo Prompt Contest and there is no restriction on the number of entries a participant can submit, other terms and conditions of the contest are available on the MMP website. That website also shares tips for how to use photo prompts for writing.

According to their website, the MMP is an online source for digital collections relating to Montana’s cultural heritage. In part, these collections document the Montana experience. Access is free and open through the Internet. Many of these items are digitized copies of historic material, some items are contemporary. All serve as a resource for education, business, pleasure, and lifelong learning.


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