Tips for Written Entries

  1. Meet with all students who plan to enter any written events.
  2. Review all guidelines for each chosen event and give each student a copy. Make sure the student understands that penalties are given for not staying within the length guidelines.
  3. Encourage students to write about things that interest them or about things they know. The best writing comes directly from the heart.
  4. Give a deadline for the first rough draft. Point out to the students that good writing is a process. It doesn't usually happen on the first draft but requires revisions and work.
  5. Use a “fine-toothed comb” method on your first proofreading. Be kind in your guidance, but make sure the “mechanics” of good writing are followed. (Check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.)
  6. Make sure the piece has unity and clarity. The purpose of writing is to communicate. Does the work have a clear message? Does the student stick to this central theme?
  7. Review the Areas of Evaluation on the Judge’s Forms, the Checklists, and the Hints from the Judges in the Academics Guidelines. Has the student utilized these details to enhance his writing? Is the work interesting and “fresh?” Encourage creativity!
  8. Neatness counts! Make sure the final draft is neat and clean. It should be pleasant to the eye.
  9. Prepare three copies of the entry and place each copy in a clear plastic folder.
  10. Include a signed Creative Composition Affidavit Form and a Judge's Form with each copy of the entry.

Writers are those who love to write! Encourage your students to write daily. They are more likely to create something wonderful when the creative juices are flowing on a regular basis. Write on!