The Edgecomb woman trying to sell 47 acres of wooded land in Whitefield through an essay contest is extending the deadline by more than a month because not enough people have submitted entries.

Martha Manchester, who has owned the land on Route 218 since 1994, originally set Thursday as the deadline to submit essays, but people interested in winning the land now have until July 25, according to the contest’s website ( The entry fee is $100, and essays must consist of 200 words or less, explaining why the writer would like to own the land. The essays must be received by July 25.

The contest rules require at least 3,000 essays to be submitted, and the number of contestants is capped at 3,500. However, Manchester’s website says that if 3,500 applications are not received, the entry fees will be returned in the self-addressed and stamped envelopes provided by the entrants.

Manchester plans to donate $10,000 of her earnings to the American Cancer Society in honor of her mother, who died from bone cancer six years ago, $10,000 to the Lincoln County Animal Shelter and $5,000 to the contest winner to offset taxes. If Manchester receives the 3,500 essay submissions, the contest will bring in $325,000 before taxes and after the donations.

The town of Whitefield assesses the land at $57,200.

Manchester declined to comment for this story.

Paul Koenig — 621-5663

[email protected]

Twitter: @pdkoenig

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