Guidelines

  • Open to students in grades nine through 12 in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio.
  • Students will be divided into two age categories: 9-10 grades and 11-12 grades.
  • Within the two age categories, there will be three genre areas for submission: creative, non-fiction and journalism.
  • One entry per student per category is allowed for a maximum of three entries.
  • Papers can be submitted that were written as early as fall 2012, provided the student is still in high school by the submission deadline. However, any manuscript may only be submitted to the Best Midwestern High School Writing Competition once.
  • Each submission must be accompanied by a teacher recommendation. Each teacher may nominate as many as two students per class.
  • Submission deadline: Jan. 11, 2014.
  • Maximum length: 2,500 words

Genre definitions

The writing celebration will offer recognition of submissions in three categories: creative, non-fiction and journalism. These are defined as follows:

Creative

Creative works include those involving personal expression, artistic creativity and imagination. Examples of the genre include works of fiction such as short stories and creative non-fiction such as personal essays, which use many of the same literary and artistic devices as fiction and poetry. Typically creative pieces would come as a result of English class assignments with a focus on the fiction or personal essay genres.

Non-fiction

Non-fiction works include expository, analytical, persuasive and technical writing, which generally seeks to inform, explain, clarify or create deeper understanding of a topic within a given academic subject. Rather than emphasizing the emotional, creative and imaginative processes of the writer, non-fiction focuses on logic and reliance on facts, arguments and rhetoric. Typically non-fiction pieces would come as a result of assignments from social studies, science, physical education, art, music, health science or other non-writing disciplines.

Journalism

Works of journalism would typically be those written for the school newspaper or yearbook. These might include personal profiles, event reporting or topical investigations of current community issues.