Ohio’s Original Interscholastic Creative Writing Program for Middle Schools
2021 Power of the Pen State TournamentThe 2021 State Tournament, hosted virtually by Otterbein University on Saturday, May 15, was the culminating event of the year for Ohio's 7th and 8th grade Power of the Pen writers. Students earned a spot in the state tournament with exceptional writing at the district and regional events. On this page, you'll find the 2021 State Tournament Program, information about books by guest author Jack Gantos, information on Book of Winners orders, and more!
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 2021 State Tournament!
St. Raphael Home and School
The Turner Foundation of Springfield
Power of the Pen Founders' Award at the Springfield Foundation
State Awards Ceremony
The state awards ceremony was posted at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 30, on our YouTube Channel and Facebook page! The video remains available for those who couldn't watch at that time. Presenters include guest author Jack Gantos, poet George Bilgere, alum Sage Boggs, and other alumni, as well! Congratulations to all of the writers who participated in the state tournament!
Looking for State Tournament Results?
The list of the top 12 students at each grade level, top 4 teams, state Best of Round and Director's Choice winners, and regional Platinum Pen awards is available on the 2020-2021 Tournament Results page on the pull-down menu under the "For Coaches" tab. Winners of the special awards can be found in the state program.
Now Available for Order!
The 2021 State Program:
Meet Guest Author Jack Gantos
Jack Gantos delivered the keynote presentation at 7 p.m. Friday, May 14. State participants received a link to view the keynote if they were unable to attend on Friday night.
Jack has written books for readers of all ages, from picture books and middle-grade fiction to novels for young adults and adults. His works include Hole in My Life, a memoir that won the Michael L. Printz and Robert F. Sibert honors; Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist, Joey Pigza Loses Control, a Newbery Honor book, and Dead End in Norvelt, the 2012 Newbery Medal Winner and the Scott O’Dell Award Winner for Best Historic Fiction.
Jack says he decided to become a writer when he was in high school. But he would have to wait another three years, until he went to college, before he could actually meet other writers and study with teachers who thought writing amounted to more than just cribbing book reports and composing sympathy notes.
While in college, he and an illustrator friend, Nicole Rubel, began working on picture books. After a series of rejections, they published their first book, Rotten Ralph, in 1976. It was a success and the beginning of Jack’s career as a professional writer.
Jack continued to write children’s books and began to teach courses in children’s book writing and children’s literature. He developed the master’s degree program in children’s book writing at Emerson College and the Vermont College M.F.A. program for children’s book writers. He now devotes his time to writing books and educational speaking. As you can tell from the picture, Jack has become quite adept at Zoom presentations. However, he is available for school visits in fall 2021. Visit https://jackgantos.com.
Books by Jack GantosCheck out Jack's website for a complete list of his works. Writing Radar is a must-read for coaches and writers. With his trademark humor, Jack offers advice for finding stories in our everyday lives. Writing Radar includes snippets from Jack's own journals.
For older readers:
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Scenes From the 2020-2021 Season