Calvin Prize for Vermont Youth


Calvin Coolidge was born in Plymouth Notch, Vermont and attended Black River Academy in Ludlow. Though Coolidge left Vermont for college and pursued his career as an attorney in Massachusetts, Coolidge never lost his affection for the Green Mountain State. In the years he served as president, from 1923 to 1929, Coolidge often thought of Vermont. “Vermont is I state I love,” the president said in his remarkable address at Bennington in 1928.

President and Mrs. Coolidge had two sons, John and Calvin, Jr. As a boy, Calvin, Jr. displayed remarkable awareness of the obligation of the presidency and service generally. At one of his jobs, picking tobacco in Hatfield, Ma., another boy told Calvin, Jr. that if his own father were president or vice president, he would not work in a tobacco field. “If your father were my father, you would,” Calvin, Jr. replied. Calvin, Jr. died tragically in 1923, while the Coolidges were in the White House.

The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation has therefore proudly established the Calvin Prize for Vermont Youth, a prize named after father and son for writers aged 19 years and younger currently living or attending school in the state of Vermont.

The Coolidge Foundation thanks National Life Insurance Group for its support of the Calvin Prize. The Coolidge Foundation also thanks the Young Writer’s Project for its guidance and support of the prize.


  1. Deadline to submit: May 11, 2018.
  2. To be eligible to compete, the contestant must be a current resident of the state of Vermont or attend school in Vermont.
  3. Contestants must be at least 13 years old but younger than 20 by May 11, 2018 (open to students aged 13 to 19).
  4. Writing submissions must contain 800 words or fewer.
  5. The submitting author may have a teacher or mentor provide feedback on a draft, but the submission must reflect the author’s own original thinking and writing.

Additional questions? Please email us at:

Please click here to learn more about the 2018 prompt and to apply for the prize.


2014 Calvin Prize Winner Sydney Benjamin is pictured here with Foundation Vice Chair Catherine Nelson, Coolidge descendant Jennifer Sayles Harville, and Program Associate Rushad Thomas.

Past Winners:


First Place: Catherine Ware, Stannard, VT

Second Place: Abigail Ham, Sheffield, VT


First Place: Ethan Forster, Danville, VT

Runner-Up: Kathryn Bassette, Hartland, VT


First Place: Sydney Benjamin, Peacham, VT

Runner-Up: Jay Tilden, St. Johnsbury, VT


First Place: Abigail Millard, Perkinsville, VT

Runner-Up: Robin Vincent, St. Johnsbury, VT