Ohio’s Original Interscholastic Creative Writing Program for Middle Schools

2024 Power of the Pen State Tournament

*Prepare for Possible Friday Rain, Bring an Umbrella or Poncho!*

May 16-17, 2024, at Ashland University

Ashland University in Ashland will serve as the host of the 2024 State Tournament, to be held Thursday and Friday, May 16-17. With its 2,000 seat Convocation Center and ample residence hall rooms, Ashland University offers the perfect environment for Power of the Pen events. 

On this page, you'll find information as it becomes available about the schedule, activities, and more. Email info@powerofthepen.org with general questions about the state tournament. If any Google Form on this page will not load, refresh the page. If you are using a school account and the Google Form does not work, contact your IT administrator because the school may block access to outside Google Forms.


Latest Updates!

Click on the flyer below for our most recent State reminder/update!

From 05/10/24:


Previous Flyers:

2024 State: Last Call for Self Pay, 05/04/24

2024 State Tournament Reminders and Updates, 05/01/24

2024 State: Self-Pay & Deadline Reminders, 04/16/24

2024 State Overview/Registration Opens Tomorrow, 03/26/24

A Word of Thanks 

As a 501(c)(3) organization, Power of the Pen depends on funding from donors and sponsors to provide a place for 7th and 8th grade writers to shine. Thank you to sponsors and special contributors to the 2024 State Tournament, May 16-17 at Ashland University!

The Turner Foundation of Springfield
A longtime supporter of Power of the Pen, The Turner Foundation of Springfield provides grant funding for our program throughout the year, including for district and regional tournaments, the state tournament, and the Book of Winners.

Power of the Pen Founders' Award at the Springfield Foundation
Family members established the Power of the Pen Founders' Award in memory of Frank and Lorraine Merrill to honor an outstanding writer. The Founders' Award is presented annually at the state tournament.

*NEW* Self-Pay for Rooms & Meal Packages!

This is a 'self-pay' option for parents, chaperones, runners, etc. planning to stay in the residence halls during the 2024 State Tournament, or for those interested in additional meal packages. Residence hall keys and meal tickets will be distributed at registration check-in during the State Tournament.

The deadline for purchasing or refunding rooms/meal packages is May 5th, 2024 at midnight, no exceptions. Please note, self-pay is now closed; meal tickets will not be available for purchase at the State Tournament.

Click the images (left & above) to visit our Square site

Click below for the 2024 State Room/Meal Google forms

State Tournament Schedule

Click here for the 2024 State Tournament Schedule!

Keep in mind that there will be adjustments to the schedule. Parents should contact their child's coach for more information; participation in the state tournament is coordinated through the coach.

All participants are welcome to attend the Thursday activities: a creative writing workshop presented by Dr. Lori Wilfong at 4:00 p.m. and again at 5:15 p.m., as well as a dance from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. It is not necessary to sign up, although each team's students must be accompanied by a chaperone for all activities. Download the campus map to see where activities take place. Alternatively, download this map with directions for arriving to Ashland University.

Notes and Reminders

Thank you to all who have registered for the 2024 State Tournament. We're looking forward to seeing you at Ashland University!

A few reminders:

  • The Convocation Center at 638 Jefferson Street, Ashland, Ohio, 44805 is the central meeting location for the tournament. 
  • Coaches must check in the team at two spots: 1) The Convocation Center Lobby for meals and residence hall rooms; 2) The Convocation Center Trustees Room for writer and judge codes.
  • Plan the arrival for contestants, codes, and judges so that everyone is on site well in advance of the closing of writer registration. Coaches register their teams at writer registration from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 16, and 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 17. All coaches, judges, and writers must be present for the coach to check in the team.
  • Any contestant who is not present and checked in by 8:45 a.m. Friday, May 17, is not permitted to participate in the tournament.

No refunds are issued after April 20, 2023. A fee of $75 will be charged for each contestant drop and $100 for each judge drop after April 2o. This includes drops at the state tournament.

Tabroom Volunteers Needed

Adults are needed to serve in the tabroom on Friday, May 17. Volunteers report to the tabroom at 10:00 a.m. and may serve any hours until about 3:30 p.m. Volunteers are especially needed after noon. Sign up using the Tabroom Volunteer Form. Email cheryl.bledsoe@powerofthepen.org with questions about the tabroom.


Student Volunteer Runners

We appreciate all of the student runners who have volunteered for the tournament! Coaches, please remember to bring only writers and runners that you have registered for the tournament. Other students are not permitted to attend the tournament unless they are with their parents the entire time.

Runners are required to attend either the orientation session at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday or the orientation at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Outside of these times, runners are free to participate in state tournament activities. There is no fee for runners other than costs for any required residence hall rooms and meals.

All runners must have completed the 2024 Runner's Commitment Contract in order to serve in this role. Coaches, please complete the 2024 State Tournament Volunteer Runners Google form by April 26th!

Please contact darcy.leis@powerofthepen.org with questions.

Meet Guest Author George Ebey

George Ebey, guest author at the 2024 State Tournament, will be available for book signings on Thursday evening and Friday afternoon. Every student participating in the State Tournament will receive a copy of his work Rover, which is included in their registration fee. George will give a keynote address at 2:30 p.m. on Friday.

George first developed a passion for storytelling during college, when a creative writing course led him to produce a fully edited portfolio of speculative fiction stories. Since then, he has written numerous works in multiple genres and has had stories published in several anthologies. For over a decade,  he has also served as a contributor to the International Thriller Writers' online magazine, The Big Thrill. 

George was born and raised in Ohio, where he still lives with his wife and two ornery cats. When he's not writing, he enjoys being outdoors, vlogging on his YouTube Channel, and searching for new and interesting places to explore. 

He is the author of the Helen of Mars series published by Glass House Press. Find him at http://www.ebeybooks.com/

*Information courtesy of author George Ebey, from his website www.ebeybooks.com

Power of the Pen
PO Box 2640  |  North Canton, Ohio 44720

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