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    A 200-Word Essay Could Win You An Inn In Maine

    The owner of Center Lovell Inn and Restaurant is holding an essay contest with the property as the prize.

    Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

    According to the Portland Press Herald, innkeeper Janice Sage is giving away Center Lovell Inn and Restaurant to the right essay writer:


    What's the price of a dream?

    According to one innkeeper in western Maine, $125, no more than 200 words and a postage stamp will do.

    More than two decades after a Maine couple gave away the Center Lovell Inn and Restaurant to the winner of an essay contest, the woman who won the quaint year-round inn with views of the White Mountains will once again offer up the 12-acre property to a hopeful, persuasive entrant in the same unorthodox way.

    Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

    Sage took ownership of the Inn in 1993, and hopes the fees from the contest ($125 per entry) will allow her to retire smoothly.


    "There's a lot of very talented people in the restaurant business who would like to have their own place but can't afford it," said Janice Sage, who took possession of the business in 1993 after dashing off a few handwritten paragraphs that would change her life. "This is a way for them to have the opportunity to try."

    She hopes to receive 7,500 responses, or about $900,000, about what local real estate agents suggested as a listing price for the 210-year-old inn and two outbuildings overlooking Kezar Lake in Lovell. It is also an amount that would allow Sage to transition smoothly into retirement, her ultimate goal.

    She also hopes the novel approach will ensure that the inn will land in worthy hands.

    Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

    The deadline for entering is May 17, and Sage will read the essays and select twenty finalists before two unnamed judges select the winner.

    Sage will read all of the essays and narrow the list to 20 finalists before turning them over to two unnamed judges, who will select the winner.

    Entries are to be postmarked by May 7, and must arrive at the Center Lovell Post Office no later than May 17. Sage plans to announce her successor May 21.

    The contest rules can be found here. Good luck!

    Lionsgate