I’m not sure exactly how old I was when I first encountered Sherlock Holmes, but I was 12 when I bought my first copy of the Doubleday Complete with my own money. That’s not unusual. There’s something about our hero that grips us at an early age and doesn’t let go.
But somebody has to make the introduction. A great way to get young people to take those first steps on Baker Street is the R. Joel Senter Sr. Memorial Essay Contest, sponsored by the Beacon Society for students in grades 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. The contest is named after a great Sherlockian and the prizes—up to $300 in the first two categories and up to $500 for high school students—are funded by his widow, Carolyn Senter.
As chair of the Beacon Society’s Awards Committee, I’ve read many entries over the past several years and I know how outstanding they can be. And many of the students probably never read the Canon until they were alerted to the contest.
Please read about the contest here: https://www.beaconsociety.com/joel-senter-essay-contest.html and spread the word to any qualifying students and their parents! The deadline is next March 1.