Ohio’s Original Interscholastic Creative Writing Program for Middle Schools
In Power of the Pen, students find a place to belong, where they can share and celebrate creative writing with coaches and peers. Power of the Pen writers not only receive individualized support from their school teams, but they also become part of a wider network of nearly 300 schools throughout the state that nurture and celebrate excellence in writing. Still trying to decide whether to have a Power of the Pen team? Click on the picture of Jasmine Warga, Newbery Honor author, to see how Power of the Pen shaped her journey as a writer.
Schools may register both a 7th grade team and an 8th grade team, or they may choose to register just one grade level. District and regional tournaments will be held online. Registration for the 2020-2021 season opens September 1, 2020. Use the pull-down menu on the Registration tab to choose your participation level.
Early-Bird Discount. Teams who register early receive a discounted rate. The cost to enroll by October 15 is $300 for an individual 7th or 8th grade team, and $400 for a full team of writers, 7th and 8th grade combined. The early-bird rate has been extended through October 22.
Autumn Registration. The cost to enroll October 23-December 1 is $350 for an individual 7th or 8th grade team, and $450 for a full team of 7th and 8th grade writers.
Late Registration. Due to the amount of time required to set up an online tournament, teams may register after December 1 only in extreme circumstances, subject to availability. The cost after December 1 is $400 for an individual 7th or 8th grade team, and $500 for a full team of 7th and 8th grade writers.
Register early! Schools are accepted at each tournament on a first-come, first-served basis, and many of our districts fill up quickly.
Tournaments. The 2020-2021 enrollment fee includes participation in an online district tournament and, for students who qualify, an online regional tournament. To participate, students must have access to a device on which to access an email account and type in a Google Form. The state tournament involves additional costs that will be announced as plans are finalized.
Book of Winners. Registered schools receive the 2019 Book of Winners when their registration is paid. The Book of Winners contains the best 7th and 8th grade writing from Power of the Pen tournaments across the state, providing wonderful examples of the elements of good writing, well-suited as mentor texts for mini-lessons.
Manuals. Registered schools receive a username and password that allows them to access the Coaches’ Manual for information on tournament procedures, rules, and fees.
Recruiting Video. In addition, coaches will have access to a video featuring Power of the Pen alumni and students to help recruit 7th and 8th graders to Power of the Pen teams.
Professional Development. The “For Coaches” tab includes suggested weekly Power of the Pen meeting topics to help sharpen students’ creative writing skills. The Coaches' Manual contains information on forming and preparing a team, evaluating student writing, and helping young writers hone their craft.
Online professional development workshops will be available, as well, to be announced at a later date.
Non-Competitive Membership. Schools that wish to use Power of the Pen materials as classroom instructional aids, but not compete in tournaments, may join as an Ohio Interscholastic Writing League member for $150.
To register September 1, schools should have a coach and a commitment from the school principal to participate. Get approval from your school for the registration fee, and if your school uses PO numbers, have a PO number for the registration fee ready when you register.
Team members' names, up to six team members per grade level, can be filled in later - by December 1 at the latest (November 20 for December tournaments).
New this year: We initially asked for student email addresses, but many schools will not allow student accounts to accept external emails. We no longer plan to use student emails to deliver the writing platform. Students will be able to access it over the web without an email address. We need parent email addresses, however, because Permission to Publish forms are being delivered digitally.
For the 2020-2021 Power of the Pen season, schools and universities will continue to serve as tournament hosts even though we won’t meet on their premises. These schools will assist with the online tournaments and virtual awards ceremonies.
Each district and regional online tournament will take place at a specific date and time, just as if we were meeting in person. Use the Ohio map to find your region name, then choose your region under the pull-down menu in the “Tournaments” tab to see which tournaments have already been scheduled in your region. Click on the map for the tournament schedule at a glance.
Please check both the district and regional dates to make sure that neither conflicts with other school activities. Schools must attend the regional tournament that corresponds to their district site.
Payment of fees must be sent by December 1 to:
Power of the Pen
PO Box 442
Richfield, Ohio 44286
Make checks payable to: Power of the Pen. Checks must note invoice number and the name of the school.
You may also choose to pay fees online using a credit card.
Initial registration fees must be paid in full by December 1 to avoid a late payment fee of $25.
We are happy to be able to provide a place for 7th and 8th grade writers to shine, and we are looking forward to a great season!Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.