11 July 2007

 COLCHESTER, VT . . . Kendall Chamberlin of Essex, Vermont, is the winner of the 2007 Ralph Nading Hill, Jr. literary prize awarded annually by Green Mountain Power and Vermont Life magazine.

Mr. Chamberlin's winning essay, entitled "Hercules," is the true story of a cow that has become a symbol of the homesteading tradition. The now 16-year-old Hercules still draws visitors to Mr. Chamberlin's home and is very popular with the neighborhood's children.

Tom Slayton, one of the judges and past editor of Vermont Life commented, "Mr. Chamberlin's essay was selected as the winner because it was so authentically based in the core values of Vermont. He captured the true soul of Vermont's roots in homesteading."

Mr. Chamberlin, 42, has lived his whole life in Essex and remembers well when the community was more rural. "I grew up living the homestead lifestyle of self sufficiency. As a boy I lived on one of many homestead farms on our road, but they are almost all gone now," he said.

Sometimes referred to as a real "Renaissance Guy," Mr. Chamberlin not only has continued the homestead lifestyle on the home he grew up in, but also gardens, hunts and fishes. He has been Superintendent of the Richmond Water Resources Department for the past 22 years. Mr. Chamberlin received his Bachelor of Science from Johnson State in 2005 through its External Degree Program, after having originally begun his college studies 22 years ago.

"Hercules" will be published in the fall issue of Vermont Life, which will available in bookstores and on newsstands in late August.

Mr. Chamberlin will receive a $1,500 prize for the essay. The literary prize is named for the late Ralph Nading Hill, Jr., a Vermont historian and writer and long-time member of Green Mountain Power's Board of Directors. Mr. Chamberlin will receive the award at a ceremony to be held this summer. This is the nineteenth year the literary prize has been awarded. Green Mountain Power will publish a book with all the winners after the 20th prize has been awarded.

The Ralph Nading Hill literary prize is now considered by Vermont writers to be one of the state's premier literary prizes. Entries may include essays, short stories and poetry.

The selection was made by an independent panel of judges: Tom Slayton, past editor of Vermont Life; Tony Marro, retired executive editor of Newsday; Alison Freeland, a 1994 winner of the Ralph Nading Hill, Jr., award for her story, Shadbush; Brian Vachon, Vice President of Communications at National Life of Vermont and a former Vermont Life editor; and Steve Terry, retired Green Mountain Power senior executive.

The deadline for entries for this year's contest is November 15, 2007. The contest is open to all Vermont residents, including seasonal residents and college students enrolled in Vermont colleges. Entrants may be amateur or professional writers. The focus of the work must be "Vermont--Its People, the Place, Its History or Its Values." Entries must be unpublished and less than 3,000 words long. Staff of Vermont Life or Green Mountain Power and previous winners are ineligible. Send entries to the Corporate Relations Department of Green Mountain Power, 163 Acorn Lane, Colchester, VT 05446. 

 For more information, please call Dorothy Schnure, Manager of Corporate Communications, 802-655-8418.