University Hosts Creative Writing Tournament

PenOhio Tournament to Draw More than 250 Talented High School Students

Springfield, Ohio – Wittenberg University is excited to sponsor the 2018 PenOhio Tournament, West Central Ohio’s first-ever creative writing tournament for high school teams.

Wittenberg has been a leader in writing excellence, having produced stellar writers and communicators across all fields. The University is also home to the highly regarded Writing Center, directed by Mike Mattison, the 2016 Ron Maxwell Award-winner for Distinguished Leadership in Promoting the Collaborative Learning Practices of Peer Tutors in Writing. Additionally, Wittenberg’s Writing Center is certified by the College Reading and Learning Association’s (CRLA) International Tutor Training Program.

PenOhio, the flagship state charter of the United Fellowship of the Pen (UFP) and a new national non-profit organization, aims to make writing a sport across America. The event is expected to draw more than 250 talented high school students in the West Central Region to Wittenberg for a full-day college experience from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 10.

According to its website, PenOhio is a writing league comprised of public, private and parochial schools across Ohio that “want to see great literary talent inspired, challenged and rewarded.” Regional tournaments consist of a minimum of 250 students, 40 teachers and 50 volunteers who self-select to attend competitions in their areas. Participating students and their schools compete for recognition, trophies and scholarships.

In major regional and state tournaments each spring, teams of student writers compete in creative narrative writing for top honors and scholarships after engaging in rigorous training. The best-of-the-best will receive financial support for college through PenOhio’s scholarship program, and numerous winners will be published in the non-profit’s eBook of Winners, a curriculum supplement that many Ohio teachers depend on for everyday classroom use. Wittenberg is donating a $2,000 scholarship.

Programming of PenOhio includes three components: pre-tournament and online workshops for eight weeks, single-day regional interscholastic writing tournaments in February and March, and post-tournament instructional support that can be administered in classrooms at participating schools. A state finals tournament is also offered in May 2018.

The tournament day includes a welcome ceremony, competition instruction in breakout groups, three rounds of 40-minute competitive creative writing exercises, lunch, an educational program and a one-hour awards ceremony.