Looking for a NYC private school that offers a merit scholarship?  Léman Manhattan ups you one with a merit contest.  The private school writes:

Léman Manhattan Preparatory School is partnering with Newbery Award and Printz Honor Award-winning author Jack Gantos to find New York City’s most talented eighth grade writers. In an unprecedented move, the elite private school today announces that it will award a full four-year high school scholarship to the winner of its inaugural Jack Gantos Writing Contest.

“Léman values creative thinking in all areas of study. Creative writing, and writing well, are key components to both the literary arts and elegantly precise communication,” said Gantos, who serves on Léman Manhattan’s Advisory Board.

Léman Manhattan encourages all New York City eighth-graders to submit an original short story or personal narrative by December 15, 2012. Jack Gantos – celebrated author of Dead End in Norvelt, Hole in My Life and Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, among others – will select and announce the winners by January 15, 2013. The author of the top story or narrative will win a full four-year scholarship to Léman. Additionally, ten finalists will attend a writing workshop with Gantos and will be invited, along with their families, to a reception where they will receive a certificate signed by the award-winning author recognizing their participation and accomplishment.

To be considered, entries must be 1,500-2,000 words, double-spaced and accompanied by a cover letter including contact information (for the student and the school in which they are currently enrolled), and reason for applying. Submissions should be mailed to:

Drew Alexander, Head of School
Léman Manhattan Preparatory School
1 Morris Street, New York, NY 10004

Whoa, I’m glad I’m not judging this contest.  Speaking from years of experience reading their essays, I can tell you that eighth graders’ writing spans a wide spectrum, and what they write, what their parent writes, what their writing tutor writes, and what I write…it’s very hard to tell what is what.

Will this contest drum up local interest in Léman’s high school the way their new boarding school option has generated international interest?  More exciting news to follow.