In an article for Atlas Obscura, Eden Arielle Gordon writes about the work of dendrochronologists dating the oldest tree in the world. Jonathan Barichivich is a Chilean scientist and grandson of a park ranger who discovered the Alerce Milenario, a Patagonian cypress in Chile’s Alerce Costero National Park. Barichivich’s careful calculations estimate the Alerce Milenario to be 5,474 years old, which would mean the cypress lived through several of the world’s most transformative events, including the development of writing, clocks, and the hydrogen bomb. Write a personal essay inspired by the discovery of this ancient tree. What would it mean to be over 5,000 years old? How would you reflect on the ways the world has changed?
Find details about every creative writing competition—including poetry contests, short story competitions, essay contests, awards for novels, grants for translators, and more—that we’ve published in the Grants & Awards section of Poets & Writers Magazine during the past year. We carefully review the practices and policies of each contest before including it in the Writing Contests database, the most trusted resource for legitimate writing contests available anywhere.