Power of the Pen forms a new Southeast Region

Power of the Pen forms a new Southeast Region

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Power of the Pen, a creative writing program, is forming a new Southeast Region composed of 21 counties.

As one of Ohio’s largest educational enhancement programs, Power of the Pen seeks to positively impact academic achievement of the state’s middle-schoolers by helping them find and develop a creative voice.

The nonprofit organization holds creative writing tournaments throughout Ohio at the district, regional and state levels. Schools that participate in the program register in the fall and then form creative writing clubs to practice for tournaments in the winter and spring. Power of the Pen provides supporting materials for team meetings, enabling students to sharpen their writing skills as they prepare for tournaments.

Power of the Pen writing team practices improve students’ writing skills, confidence and ability to collaborate with others, Executive Director Barb Tschantz said.

“Writing on a team helps students become better prepared for any future endeavor,” Tschantz said. “It doesn’t have to be a career that’s creative by nature. Though we concentrate on creative writing, students learn communication and leadership skills that can apply to any field.”

The Southeast Region includes the following 2023 tournaments:

—Schools choose one of the district tournaments: Claymont Middle School in Uhrichsville on Jan. 21 or Licking Heights Middle School in Pataskala on Feb. 11.

—Qualifying students from district tournaments move on to the regional tournament at Ohio University Zanesville on March 11.

—Qualifying students from regionals advance to state at Ashland University May 18-19.

Registration for interested schools will open Sept. 1 with an early bird discount through Oct. 15. Only the first 20 schools can register for each of the two districts. Information is available at www.powerofthepen.org/Registration.

Each year qualifying writers from 18 district tournaments — usually the top 50% — advance to the nine regional events. Approximately 20% of those students move on to the state tournament. Competitions consist of three extemporaneous rounds of creative writing tasks, each in response to an open-ended prompt. Judges evaluate the students’ work to identify the winners, who will be recognized in an awards ceremony and advance to the next level.

The new Southeast Region includes Athens, Belmont, Coshocton, Fairfield, Gallia, Guernsey, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Washington counties.