Jack London State Historic Park in Sonoma County has launched its annual Young Writers Contest for middle school students.

Students in sixth through eighth grades are invited to create an original 2,000-word story inspired by the life and works of London, who wrote famous novels including “The Call of the Wild.” The theme of this year’s contest is “Building Brighter Communities,” inspired by London’s hopes for the land he purchased that eventually became the park named after him.

The students are encouraged to write a story where characters create and dwell in a community of their own invention.

“Beginning as a high school student, Jack London wrote about adventure, travel and true stories. Throughout his life, he made it a practice to write 1,000 words every day,” park executive director Matt Leffert said in a statement. “We want to encourage young writers to discover his works and be inspired to develop their own writing style and voice.”

The first-place winner of the contest will win $200, while $150 goes to second place and $100 to third, though all who enter will receive a free day pass to the park. Submissions will be taken until March 31.

Dan McMenamin is the managing editor at Bay City News, directing daily news coverage of the 12-county greater Bay Area. He has worked for BCN since 2008 and has been managing editor since 2014 after previously serving as BCN’s San Francisco bureau reporter. A UC Davis graduate, he came to BCN after working for a newspaper and nonprofit in the Davis area. He handles staffing, including coaching of our interns, day-to-day coverage decisions and management of the newswire.