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The Concord Review was started in March 1987 by Will Fitzhugh during a sabbatical from the high school in Concord, Massachusetts. The goal was to find and acknowledge exemplary history research papers by high school students in the English-speaking world, and to distribute them in a quarterly journal to inspire more reading of history books and more work on history research papers by other high school students. It is still the only journal in the world for the academic papers (in any subject) of secondary students.

The organization was incorporated as a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation in Massachusetts in June of 1987, and nonprofit 501(c)(3) status was granted in June of 1988.

In August 1987, a brochure calling for papers was sent to every high school in the United States and Canada and 1,500 schools overseas. By the Spring of 1988, a good number of papers had been submitted and there were subscribers in 14 states and 4 other countries.

By Summer 2010, the journal has published 82 issues, with 891 history papers by high school students in 44 states and 38 other countries. There have been subscribers in 42 states and 32 other countries so far. High schools in California, New Mexico, Singapore, and Thailand have class sets of the journal for their students.

In 1995, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prizes were established and they have now been awarded to 72 students published in The Concord Review. Almost all of their essays are on this website. The prizes were $3,000, and went to five authors each year, but they are now only $1,000, as our only major funder has pulled out.

In 1998, we started the National Writing Board, to assess and report on high school history papers. We have now provided an independent evaluation of papers from 31 states and sent our three-page reports, at the request of the authors, to Deans of Admission at 79 colleges. Thirty-nine colleges now endorse this assessment service, including Harvard, Michigan, Princeton, Stanford, Virginia, and Yale.

In 2002, TCR Institute was created to study academic work by high school students. Our first study, of the state of the history term paper in U.S. public high schools, is on this site in pdf.

In 2002, the National History Club was started to promote the reading, writing, discussion and enjoyment of history in secondary schools. There are now more than 400 chapters at schools in 43 states, with more than 10,000 members. There is a newsletter twice a year describing some of the activities of the chapters. The National History Club has been separated from The Concord Review, and is now under new management.

In 2003, we started the Concord Review Society, a membership organization for authors published in the The Concord Review since 1988. We provided a newsletter for members twice a year. There are no longer any funds for this work.

With all of these efforts we have sought to promote the reading of nonfiction books and the writing of academic expository research papers by secondary students. We believe that students who have read some nonfiction books and written a serious history research paper or two will be much better prepared for the academic demands of college life.

The Concord Review, Inc. is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit Massachusetts corporation. This corporation includes The Concord Review, the Consortium for Varsity Academics®, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prizes, the National Writing Board, TCR Institute, and the Concord Review Society.

730 Boston Post Road, Suite 24
Sudbury, Massachusetts 01776 USA
1-800-331-5007 or (978) 443-0022


Will Fitzhugh

Will Fitzhugh, Founder and President

The Concord Review, Inc.

Photo: Sarah Evans/Education Week

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