POWER OF THE PEN Continues its 28th Year of Competition for Young Writers

Power of the Pen, an interscholastic competition for young writers, is an award-winning educational enhancement program devoted to excellence in creative writing throughout Ohio.

Now in its 28th year, Power of the Pen provides students and schools with the means to achieve their highest academic goals. POP was created in 1986 by its present Executive Director, Lorraine B. Merrill.

Lorraine's first interscholastic tournament was held at Nordonia Junior High School and attracted just a handful of schools. The initiative helped earn her recognition as a Christa McAuliffe Fellow by the U.S. and State Departments of Education (1988). As a consequence, she was granted a year's sabbatical to bring to life her vision of blending innovative teacher training with interscholastic writing competitions as a means of strengthening academic achievement among students at the middle school level. This was accomplished (1988-1989) with substantial funding support from the Gund, Knight, and Cleveland Foundations.

Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization at that time, the program has since grown to become one of Ohio's largest educational enhancement programs. More than 120,000 middle school students will benefit from Power of the Pen instructional methodologies this year, including more than 8,000 who will compete in formal Power of the Pen interscholastic writing tournaments.

POP is committed to being the leading interscholastic program in written expression. Originally designed for writers at the 7th and 8th grade levels, POP:

- Delivers interscholastic tournament competitions for young writers throughout Ohio.

-Assists teachers in the ongoing task of facilitating better student writing by providing quality tools and resources to identify, challenge, and reward excellence.

- Provides teachers with an educational network that shares ideas and instructional materials to improve students' expressive writing skills.

The program's aim is to exact a positive impact upon academic achievement overall. POP does so by providing in-class instructional aids that will serve more than 120,000 students in Ohio this year. More than 7,500 of these students will compete directly in a Power of the Pen tournament.

District Tournaments are the initial level of competition, and are held at locations around the State. All schools which enroll writers in the program first compete at the District level.

These tournament details are as follows:

Akron (East), James A. Garfield Middle School, 1/19/13

Akron (West), St. Vincent/St. Mary HS, 1/12/13

Alliance, Mount Union College, 1/10/13

Athens, Hillsboro Middle School, 02/16/13

Chillicothe, Hillsboro Middle School 2/16/13

Cincinnati (East), Goshen Middle School, 12/08/12

Cincinnati (North), Summit Country Day School, 1/26/13

Cleveland (West/Central)- North Royalton Middle School, 1/26/13

Cleveland (East/Central)- Cleveland Hts, Monticello MS, 12/15/12

Columbus- Gahanna Middle School, 2/16/13

Columbus- Upper Arlington, Northridge, 2/23/13

Dayton, Oakwood Middle School, 1/26/13

Dover/NewPhiladelphia Strasburg MS, 1/12/13

Lorain County- Columbia Middle School, 1/19/13

Mansfield, Norwayne Middle School, 2/9/13

Medina, Norwayne Middle School, 2/9/13

Minster, Botkins Local School, 2/9/13

Newark, Gahanna Middle School, 2/16/13

Paynesville, Chardon Middle School, 2/9/13

Sandusky, Columbia Middle School, 1/19/13

Seneca County, Tiffin Middle School, 1/19/13

Shaker Heights, Laurel Middle School, 3/9/13

Springfield, Clark State Community College, 12/18/12

Sylvania, Ottawa Hills High School, 1/26/13

Warren, Howland Middle School, 2/2/13

Wilmington, Goshen Middle School, 12/8/12

Yellow Springs, McKinney Middle School, 2/2/13<

Students who rank in the top 50% of finishers at District competition are invited to participate in a Regional tournament-the second level of competition. Regional Tournaments draw together schools from a much larger geographic area.

Those students who advance in the Regional competition then go on to the State Finals. This year, the State Finals will be held at the College of Wooster Thursday-Friday, May 23-24, 2013.

For more information about Power of the Pen, visit: http://www.powerofthepen.org/index.htm