The WordSmith Writing Olympics will be held at the University of Memphis (UofM) in Memphis on Sunday, February 25, 2024, and students in seventh through twelfth grades are encouraged to participate in the annual contest. The competition, sponsored by the UofM Department of English, celebrates the power of the written word through friendly, fun, and engaging competition testing the students’ writing and creative thinking skills.
The day has been described as a “very busy and slightly chaotic afternoon” but will be one any writer will enjoy. Area middle school and high school students will converge on the UofM campus to compete in dashes – a series of quick writing exercises. The dashes are the following:
40-Word Dash – Students are asked to describe an object without actually naming it.
100-Word Dash – Students are asked to create a narrative of events depicted in one of a set of interesting and unusual pictures.
120-Word Dash – Students are asked to write a letter to the editor taking a stance on an issue referenced by a collection of recent news headlines.
Student winners will be chosen from each grade level in each dash, and are invited to participate in the 400-word main event dash with a chance to write for 60 minutes on topics selected by WordSmith organizers.
Door prizes will be given and the top winners will receive placement ribbons. The winning entries will be published and distributed to all participating schools.
The fee to compete is $10 for each students, plus $10 for each school. You may learn more about the competition:
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