125 students from 22 area schools to compete in Power of the Pen

About 125 students from 22 area schools will compete in the Regional Power of the Pen creative writing tournament this weekend.

The second round of the Western Region 7th- and 8th-grade creative writing tournaments, organized by educational nonprofit Power of the Pen, will be held beginning at 8 a.m. with registration and 9 a.m. with welcome remarks on Saturday, March 2, at Wittenberg University’s Weaver Chapel. The tournament is sponsored by The Turner Foundation of Springfield.

This program allows youth to “share their stories with others and be recognized and honored for their gifts.”

“Power of the Pen provides a way for our area’s young writers to build both their writing skill and confidence in their own abilities,” said Darcy Leis, director of Power of the Pen’s Western Region. “Our writers go on to find success as community leaders, pioneers in their chosen fields, television show writers, and award-winning authors.”

The competitions consist of three timed, impromptu rounds of creative writing tasks per each grade level, each in response to an open-ended prompt. Judges evaluate students’ work to identify the winners, who will recognized at an awards ceremony.

The local Clark and Champaign County schools include Graham Middle, Kenton Ridge Middle, Northeastern Middle, Northwestern Junior High, Ridgewood, Shawnee Middle, Southeastern Local, Tecumseh Middle, Triad Middle, as well as Ankeney Middle, Ascension, Bethel Local, Jacob Coy Middle, Oakwood Junior High, St. Albert the Great, St. Charles Borromeo, The Miami Valley, Tippecanoe, Twin Valley South Middle, Van Buren Middle, Versailles Middle and West Carrollton Middle.

The young authors have spent months working on their creative writing skills, under the guidance of a Power of the Pen coach.

All student writers previously competed at one of two district tournaments where 11 schools competed at the Jacob Coy District Tournament on Jan. 20 and 11 different schools competed at the Kenton Ridge District Tournament on Feb. 3. The top half of the writers at each district tournament qualified for regionals.

The top 20% of student writers from this regional tournament will be invited to attend the state tournament from May 16-17 at Ashland University.

In addition to The Turner Foundation of Springfield, Kiwanis Club of Dayton also contributes to the program by presenting an award to honor the top write from their area’s district tournament, which is dedicated to the memory of writing enthusiast and Kiwanis Club member Randy Kramer.

Two writing coaches will also be honored for their contributions, thanks to The Turner Foundation’s Sara Turner Landess Outstanding Teacher Award and Kiwanis Club of Dayton’s Outstanding Teacher Award.

Power of the Pen is one of Ohio’s largest educational enhancement programs and works to positively impact the state’s middle schoolers by helping them find and develop their own creative voices.

The Western Region of Power of the Pen includes Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Logan, Miami, Montgomery and Preble Counties. If your school would like to join Power of the Pen’s 2024-25 season, contact Leis at darcy.leis@powerofthepen.org.

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