VERONA, NJ — Essex County seniors ages 60 and older are encouraged to submit an original story focusing on a special person, life-changing experience or significant period of their life to the 2020 Essex County Legacies Writing Contest by March 16.

According to Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., who hosts the annual contest along with the Essex County Division of Senior Services, local seniors have led interesting lives, and their experiences are worth hearing.  

“I am always impressed by the stories that are submitted,” said DiVincenzo. “Our Legacies Contest is an opportunity for our older residents to remember their past and share their experiences with family, friends and the younger generation.”

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Reiterating this year’s deadline, DiVincenzo urged seniors to start working on their entries now because it’s “never too early to begin collecting your thoughts and writing your drafts.”

The contest rules are as follows:

  • Writers must be Essex County residents who are 60 years of age or older.
  • Entries should be original stories focusing on a special person, a life-altering experience or a significant period in your life.
  • The suggested maximum length is 1,500 words.
  • Stories must be typed or legibly hand-written on 8.5-by-11-inch paper.
  • Entries must have a cover page with the story’s title, the author’s name, date of birth, address and telephone number.
  • The story title with no identifying information should appear on the first page of the story text. All identifying information about the author is removed when stories are judged by the review committee.
  • Seniors can only submit one entry.
  • Previously published stories may not be submitted.
  • Seniors should keep a copy of the story, as entries will not be returned.
  • Late entries will not be accepted.

Stories should be sent to or the following address:

Essex County Division of Senior Services

Attn: Gloria Chambers-Benoit

900 Bloomfield Avenue

Verona, NJ 07044

All writers who submit stories will be invited to the Division of Senior Services Legacies Award Ceremony in May 2020. Awards will be presented to the authors of the winning and honorable mention stories.

Stories will be posted on the Essex County website. For more information, visit or call the Essex County Division of Senior Services at 973-395-8389.