ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County residents ages 60 and older are invited to submit an original story focusing on a special person, life-changing experience or significant period of their life to the 2021 Essex County Legacies Writing Contest. The deadline is Monday, April 5.

“Our senior citizens have led interesting lives, and I am always impressed by the stories that are submitted,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. 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. It's never too early to begin collecting your thoughts and writing your drafts. I encourage all our seniors to start working on their entries now,” he added.

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 may submit only one entry.
*Previously published stories may not be submitted.
*Seniors should keep a copy of the story. Entries will not be returned.
*The deadline for entries Monday, April 5, 2021. Late entries will not be accepted.

Sign Up for SOMA Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Stories should be mailed to:

Essex County Division of Senior Services
Attn: Gloria Chambers-Benoit
465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Suite 102
Newark, NJ 07102

Or e-mailed to

All writers who submit stories will be invited to the Division of Senior Services Legacies Award Ceremony in May 2021 (depending on the pandemic). Awards will be presented to the authors of the winning and honorable mention stories. These stories will be posted on the Essex County website at

For a complete list of contest rules or for more information, please visit or call the Essex County Division of Senior Services at 973-395-8389.

The Division of Senior Services offers a wide range of services to eligible Essex County senior citizens. It offers adult protective services, provides transportation, administers adult day care, offers counseling for caregivers, provides home delivered meals and offers visiting nurse services. For more information about these and other services, please call the Division at 973-395-8375. Individuals with hearing impairments may reach the Division by calling the New Jersey Relay Service (711V/TYY).


CHS Hockey Loss

NJ Downtowns


Reducing In-Person Teachers?

Maplewood Auto Collision

Maplewood Health Division

SOMA Baseball Registration

TAPinto SOMA is a free online newspaper serving the Townships of Maplewood and South Orange Village with no paywall. TAPinto SOMA is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.