Stillagaumish Valley Genealogical Society

Hints to Help Your Contest Entry Shine

With cash prizes up to $500.00, researching your family history and entering a National or Regional genealogical writing contest can be lucrative.
Explore our library and find resources to complete your contest entry. Our volunteers are available during library hours, or by appointment. Contact us or come visit the library for help in mining our treasure trove of books, articles, microfilm, maps, and more for those nuggets
of family history that will make your entry stand out.  
We have computers and free Wi-Fi, too!
Are you looking for classes to help you get started or to break through that brick wall? Attend our beginning genealogical research classes offered through the Arlington Recreational Department, Finding Your Roots, or attend our Northwest Genealogy Conference in Arlington, Washington in August 2016.

Finding Your Roots -  An Arlington Community Education class for the beginning family historian.

  • Instructor:  Stephen Baylor. He is a past President of the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society and the Washington State Genealogical Society and is currently the Library Director at SVGS.  Steve also serves on the Washington State Historical Records Advisory Board and is a volunteer indexer with the Washington State Archives.
  • Next class TBA (To be announced).
  • Dates - August 17, 18, 19, and 20, 2016. Please save the dates on your calendar today.
  • Location - Arlington, WA Byrnes Performing Arts Center.
  • Call (360) 435-4838 for more information.
Be sure to read through winning entries from previous years, for those contests that offer them. These can provide hints and tips about the style, content, and topics that the judges look for.
Some of our resources include:
  • Books and articles about how to write an interesting family history or genealogy.
  • Some vital record information for many states including: Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and many others.
  • Books about foreign country research, including: Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and more.
  • Microfiche and microfilm viewing machines.
  • Military service / Civil War materials.
  • Religion, including: Lutheran, Huguenot, Catholic, and more.
  • Polk Directories that include Snohomish Co. cities, and that go back to the early 1900’s.
  • Collections of statewide High School and University Yearbooks.
  • Family History Manuscripts - find what others in the Arlington area are researching and writing.
  • Immigration and Naturalization books.
  • Help to transcribe or read those 17th and 18th century handwritten documents.
  • Help to date or identify ancestors in family photos.
Have fun, good luck, and see you at our Library!
National Genealogical Writing Contests

American Society of Genealogists (ASG)
American Society of Genealogists Scholar Award, The
Due Date: Traditionally, Sept 30 of each year. See rules for specifics.

Click HERE for details about a monetary award for tuition and expenses for continuing genealogical education. The application deadline is in September and recipients are announced during the following month of the same year. Recipients are required to use the award during the following calendar year.
Donald Lines Jacobus Award, The
Due Date: Determined by Fellows of the ASG.

Awarded to a work of genealogy published at some time during the past five years. From the (ASG) website: “Nominations for the Jacobus Award are made by Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists who edit journals that run book reviews.”
Click HERE for a list of past recipients. Contact The American Society of Genealogists for more information.
Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
Due Date: January 1, 2015.

FGS doesn’t sponsor writing contests, but it does confer numerous awards, citations and prizes to member societies or an individual who is a member of a member society. Click HERE for the list of the Federation’s nine traditional yearly awards, its three new awards, and how to qualify for each award.
National Genealogical Society (NGS) Writing Competitions
Due Dates: various, see below:
Some awards/prizes do require an individual or organizational membership in the NGS.
Award for Excellence: Genealogy and Family History Book
Due Date: December 31, annually.

In general, this award is for a genealogy or family history book published by an individual or organization during the past three years that is an example of excellence. Click HERE for a complete discussion of the requirements.
Award for Excellence: Genealogical Methods and Sources
Due Date: December 31, annually.

From the website: for “…an individual or nonprofit organization for a specific, significant single contribution in the form of a book, an article, or a series of articles published during the past three years that discusses genealogical methods and sources and serves to foster scholarship and/or otherwise advances or promotes excellence in genealogy.” Click HERE for a complete discussion of the requirements. 
Award of Merit
Due Date: January 31, annually.

From the website: for “…exceptional contributions to the field of genealogy over a period of 5 years or more”. Click HERE for a complete discussion of the requirements.
Family History Writing Contest, The
Due Date: December 31, annually.

This prize includes the cost of round trip travel, hotel stay, registration fee, and free admission to the banquet. Click HERE to visit the NGS bookstore to purchase “Creating a Winning Family History, Including a Guide to the Family History Writing Contest” from the NGS bookstore for hints for creating a winning entry.
Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship, The
Due Date: January 31, annually.

From the NGS website: “Do you know a librarian with at least five years [of] experience whose primary focus is genealogy and local history and who is employed in a public, academic, or special library? If so, you might know the next recipient of the award!”
Click HERE for nomination details.
Home Study Course Scholarship
Due Date: December 31, annually.

This prize constitutes tuition for the NGS American Genealogy: Home Study Course, a $475.00 value.
Click HERE for details.
NGS Newsletter Competition
Due Date: December 31, annually.

This award recognizes newsletter editors. The winning organization must be an NGS member organization. Hint: SVGS is a member organization. Click HERE for more details about this competition. 
Rubincam Youth Award
Due Date: December 31, annually.

This award recognizes and encourages youthful genealogists. In general, there’s one award for high school students age 16-18 and there’s one award for middle school students age 13-15. Click HERE for the full list of requirements.
Regional Genealogical Writing Contests
Birdie Monk Holsclaw Memorial Fund and Awards
Due Date: October 1st of each year.

Scholarship award to a class at the Samford Institute. Open to Washington State residences.
For additional details, click HERE then scroll down past the end of the David Vogels Award information.
British Institute (a.k.a. International Society for British Genealogy and Family History)
Due Date: August 1st annually.

Click HERE for information about word count and for citation formatting requirements.
Connecticut Society of Genealogists
Due Date: February 16, 2015.

One group of awards is for a Genealogy, Family History, or a Resource Publication published after 2009.
Another award is for the "Tell Me Your Family Story" Essay Contest. Click HERE for more information about these awards.
Dallas Genealogical Society Writing Contest, 2015
Date: To be announced.

Keep a lookout here and click HERE for the DGS announcement of its 2015 writing contest rules and requirements.
Donald Mosher Memorial Award for Colonial Virginia Research
Due Date: December 31.

Watch this website and click HERE for the link and be sure to follow the links on the page for rules and deadline information.
Family History Writing Competition (Michael Clark)
Due Date: closes July 15 of each year.

Sponsored by the Minnesota Genealogical Society. Opens for submissions usually sometime in March; specific information for the 2015 contest should appear HERE.
Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowships
Due Date: Short-term Fellowships: March 1, 2015; Long-term Fellowships, to be announced.

Numerous short-term and long-term fellowships are offered to the public to encourage use of the Library's rare collections of family documents, letters, and artwork that reach back to the 16th century. Click HERE for Finding Aids, click HERE for the Ask A Librarian link, and click HERE for Research Fellowship information.
Genealogical Forum of Oregon
Due Date: Watch website.

This annual contest centers on a different theme every year. Keep an eye HERE, for a description of the 2015 contest and its rules.
GENEii Writing Contest
See Southern California Genealogical Society, below.
International Society of Family History Writers and Editors
Due Date: submissions accepted between October 1, 2014 and June 15, 2015.

There are categories for columns, articles, genealogy newsletters, and more. For a complete list of categories and rules, click HERE .
Jean Thomason Scholarship for IGHR
Due Date: December 1 of each year; winners announced one month later.

If you are employed at a library you can click HERE to apply to earn a scholarship to attend the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR).
Jewish Genealogy Month Poster Contest 
Due Date: June 20th of each year.

Open to member organizations of the International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies (IAJGS). Click HERE for specifics. Click HERE for Membership information.
Ohio Genealogical Society Writing Competition
Due Date: March 1, 2015.

Entries will be accepted from January 1, 2015 through March 1, 2015. Your entry could earn one of five monetary prizes for amateur and professional writers. Click HERE then scroll down for additional info and to see the “Writing Contest Rules and Style Guide”.
Oklahoma Genealogical Society 2015 Family History Story Writing Contest.
Due Date: entries accepted from January 1, 2015 through March 1, 2015.

To enter this contest, write a family story of fewer than 2500 words that is original and unpublished. For additional details, click HERE.
Ontario Genealogical Society
Due Date: To be announced.

OGS sponsored a writing contest in 2014, and may also sponsor a contest in 2015. Click HERE for information as it becomes available.
Richard S. Lackey Memorial Scholarship
Due Date: application must be received by February 15, 2015.

This is a $500.00 award for tuition to the National Institute on Genealogical Research, its Alumni Association dinner, and to defray part of the cost of a hotel or meals or both. Click HERE for the application and rules.
Southern California Genealogical Society
GENEii Writing Contest

Due Date: between November 1 and December 31, annually.
Sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society, there are two awards for a published or unpublished non-fiction article. Entries need not be related to ancestors who lived in California. For award amounts and specific details, click HERE.
Texas State Genealogical Society
Due Date: Various, please check website.

There are eight different categories that a member or member society can enter.
For the complete list of categories and due dates, click HERE.
Washington State Library Grants
Due Date: Various, please check website.
Click HERE for a list of grants targeted to a variety of libraries and librarians, including volunteer librarians and rural and small libraries.