Give Lincoln Park's Fountain Girl a Voice

In Lincoln Park a young girl stands, hands outstretched. She holds a bowl but her request is unusual. What she wants is a voice. But what does she have to say for herself? Are you the one to tell us?

As part of the Statue Stories Project, the Chicago Park District is sponsoring a writing competition for teens to create a monologue for the Fountain Girl statue in Lincoln Park.  The winning monologue will be voiced by a drama student selected by Chicago Park District professionals and become an official part of the Statue Stories Chicago project in the spring of 2016 continuing through August 6, 2016. The winning writer will be profiled on

The Fountain Girl teen competition is open to individuals between the ages of 12 and 18.  Competition monologues can be submitted between September 21 and October 26, 2015.  Please write a monologue, no more than 350 words, in the first person from the statue’s point of view, with a heading that includes the following information:

  • Name
  • Age
  • School
  • Email address
Your monologue should be submitted as a PDF to the following email address:  

Monologue Writing Notes
Monologos means “speaking alone” in Greek, but we all know that people who speak without thinking about their listener can be very dull indeed. Your challenge is to find a ‘voice’ for your statue and to write an engaging monologue in 350 words.  Listing below are notes to help you with your writing. 
Get under your statue’s skin!
Look closely and develop a sense of empathy with your sculpture.
Invite your listener to feel with you: create shifts in tempo and emotion, use different tenses, figures of speech and anecdotes, psychological transitions, sensory details and even sound effects.
Finding your sculpture’s voice
Write in the first person and adopt the persona of your character:
What kind of vocabulary will you use - your own or that of another era? 
Your words will be spoken so read them aloud: use their rhythm and your sentence structure to convey emotional charge and urgency. 
Read great monologues for inspiration, for example Hamlet’s Alas Poor Yorick, or watch film monologues, like Morgan Freeman’s in The Shawshank Redemption.
How are you going to keep people listening? Structure your monologue!
How will you introduce yourself? With a greeting, a warning, a question, an order, a riddle? Grab and hold your listener’s attention from your very first line.
Think of your monologue as a story, with you as both narrator and lead: how will you build a sense of development, suspense and atmosphere? 
Your final line is the most important of all: how will you say goodbye and make your exit? 
Find out about your statue. Do some background research before you begin.  Review the description of the sculpture on this page (see related tab above).  You may want to do additional research to find interesting facts, anecdotes, jokes or quotes to weave into your monologue. 
Some additional points to keep in mind:
The audience is not used to speaking to statues! It’s an unexpected experience and so, the piece needs to be engaging from the start.
Every word counts! It’s a short word limit, so avoid ‘filler’!
The project sets out to reach new audiences: people who like looking at public art and sculptures as well as people who didn’t know they did! We hope for wide public appeal. 
Use the physicality of the statue. Are there features you can refer to or incorporate?
Refer to the location and surroundings of the statue. The Fountain Girl was moved several times.  What’s it doing in this place specifically? Or does she miss a previous site?
Have you found your story and your voice? Then get writing! 


Statue Stories Chicago is produced by Sing London and funded by The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.  
The public  teen writing competition is delivered in partnership with the Chicago Park District.
Interpretation devised and created by Art History Link, the arts educational consultancy.

For more information about Statue Stories Chicago visit