Via the NY Times: Write an Essay, and You Can Own My Newspaper, Vermont Man Says:

The owner of a weekly newspaper in Vermont wanted someone to take over the business that had been his life’s passion for the last 30 years.

So the owner, Ross Connelly, struck on an idea.

On Wednesday he announced an essay contest with a unique prize: the newspaper itself.

The (Hardwick) Gazette serves in delivering news and information to Hardwick, which is about 60 miles east of Burlington, Vt., and nine other towns in northeastern Vermont that are mostly rural and agricultural, with pockets of poverty.

The 127-year-old newspaper features the traditional coverage of birth announcements, the police blotter, obituaries, high school sports and community news. But it has also included hard-hitting articles about the embezzlement of public funds and a scandal that led to a seven-year prison sentence for a bank’s chief executive.

The newspaper, which has two full-time employees, including Mr. Connelly, three part-time workers and a corps of correspondents, grossed $240,000 last year. It is free of liens or a mortgage. The contest winner would get the newspaper’s building (a second story that once housed an apartment where Mr. Connelly and his wife lived is now office space), its furniture and fixtures, and all the materials needed to run the business.

Mr. Connelly said he was seeking a minimum of 700 submissions. The entry fee is $175…The contest begins on Saturday and lasts until Aug. 11.

Essays can be up to 400 words and must describe “the entrant’s skills and vision for owning a paid weekly newspaper in the new millennium…”

Here’s your chance. Contest website and rules are here. No online submissions. No credit cards. No Paypal. By mail only…with a check or money order and two self-addressed stamped envelopes to be included.

Open your booklet and begin…

The+Hardwick+Gazette

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