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Announcing the Youth Biography Contest!

Youth Biography Contest:

1. Open to grades 6-12th. Entrants will be judged against others of their grade level. Prizes may be awarded (more details soon!)

2. Entrant must live in Douglas County or attend a school in Douglas County. (Osakis schools are included.)

3. Biographies are due on Monday, April 12th, 2021.

4. Subject for the biography can be living in places other than Douglas County. (However, choosing a subject from Douglas County helps our archives grow!) Subjects for the biography can be relatives, teachers, etc. Subjects should be over the age of 18. If the student does not have access to a subject to interview, the Historical Society can provide a volunteer to be interviewed. Subject does not have to be living, but students may find this an easier introduction to biography writing.

5. Students may request historical information (including family history) from the historical society at no charge to include in their essays.

6. Entrants must include a title page and source page. The title page should include the name of the biography subject, the student’s name, school, grade level, and year. Sources may include the subject, their relatives, materials from the historical society, etc. The source page should give the full names of people interviewed.

7. Essays must be a minimum length of 500 words (no maximum)

8. ESL essays are accepted.

9. Students, their parents, and biography subjects should be aware that essays submitted may be preserved in the DCHS archives for future generations.

10. Questions (and later, biographies) should be emailed to liz.paul@dchsmn.org, or you can reach us at 320-762-0382 during business hours. Thank you!


Not sure how to start your biography? Examples will be uploaded soon! Until then, take a look at some great questions that might help you shape your biography:



What is your full name?

Where were you born?

What are your parents’ names?

Are you married? What is your spouse’s name?

Where do you live?

Do you have children? How many? What are their names?

What is or was your occupation?


When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When were you born? And where?

Have you been told any stories about your birth?

Where was your first home?

What are some of your earliest memories?

Who was your role model growing up?

What did your parents do for work?

Do you have any siblings?

What type of car did you drive?

Did you have any pets growing up?


What was your first school?

Did you have kindergarten?

What did you typically eat for lunch?

What did you do at recess time?

How did you get to school?

What was your favorite subject?

Were you taught in a one room school?

Where did you go to high school?

Is there one funny story you can remember from your time in school?


What is your most memorable family vacation you took as a child?

When was the first time you rode on an airplane?

Where was your favorite place to visit?


Did you go to college?

Where did you go to college?

Had you always planned to go to that college, or did it change?

What did you choose to study?

Have you kept in touch with any of your college friends?


Where and when did you get married?

What was your early married life like?


What were some of the ways you liked to spend time with your children?

If you could go back in time would there be anything you would do differently as a parent?


Have you had the same career your entire adulthood?


Are you retired or when do you plan to retire?

When did you decide it was time to retire?

What do you enjoy doing in your retirement?

Is there anything you miss from being in the workforce?

What types of hobbies do you enjoy?


Do you have grandchildren?

How has being a grandparent changed you?

Has being a grandparent changed your relationship with your children?


Do you have a favorite place you like to travel?

Where is the one place that you would like to travel to?

Do you prefer to fly in a plane or drive places?

Have you ever been on a boat to travel?


What is one piece of advice you would like to give to younger generations?

Do you have a favorite poem, phrase or bible verse you would like to share?

Is there anything you would still like to accomplish in your life?

If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be?

Do you have any favorite books?