The Scholastic Writing Awards program (SWAP) celebrates and educates eager, talented students who love to write and the teachers who guide them. Teams of three students from all over the southwest region of Ohio challenge themselves to write their best fiction and nonfiction for a panel of judges, and gather at Miami University Middletown's Campus Community Center in December for a series of writing-related activities. Faculty advisors attend with their students and engage in aninformative seminar and other conferencing events. Highlights of the program include:
- Creative writing workshop for students
- Structured interaction with student-writers from another participating high school
- Workshop/seminar for faculty
- Conferencing between high school faculty and students from another school
- Students' public reading of selected works
- Publication of student writing
- Breakfast buffet and lunch banquet
The Program: A Noncompetitive Approach
Each team of three students (grades 9-12 eligible) will complete two different writing tasks and receive an overall performance rating from the Program Judgesâ€”members of the Miami University Department of English. Writing teamsâ€™ work will be exchanged with a partner team from a different school. All participating teams will meet for a half-day conference in which students will meet with their partner teams to discuss their writing, receive feedback from a faculty mentor, engage in a creative writing workshop. Faculty advisors can attend a seminar on teaching and writing, and all participants will enjoy a lunch banquet, during which selected students will read from their work. All participating teams will also receive certificates of participation and copies of Student Voices, a publication of highlights from the teamsâ€™ writing submissions.
The teams will not be competing against one another, but rather will be "competing" against themselves in an effort to produce their very best work. Faculty should choose three students with a sincere interest in writing.
A fuller description of the writing tasks will be sent to you when you register, but a brief overview of the writing submission requirements follows:
Each team member will submit a piece of prose. Students may choose a favorite piece they have already written or they may write a new piece specifically for the Program. Any kind of prose is acceptable: for example, an informative essay, a short story, a persuasive paper, a narrative, a newspaper editorial, an analysis of literature, film, television, or advertising. No entry may be longer than six typed, double-spaced pages. Poetry will not be accepted.
In addition, teams will submit one collaboratively written work of prose. All three team members will collaborate on an assigned topic. The topic will be sent to each team as soon as it has registered for the program. The submitted writing will be holistically rated by our judges, and each team's overall performance will receive a rating of Superior, Outstanding, Good, or Place.
December 5, 2008: Conference Day
8:00-8:30 a.m. Registration and breakfast, Miami University Middletown Campus Community Center (Johnston Hall)
8:30-9:15 a.m. Students: Paired teams discuss their written work
9:30-10:45 a.m. Students: Fiction and Poetry Writing Workshops with Miami University
faculty and local writers
Faculty Advisors: Workshop/seminar by Miami University faculty
11:00-Noon Students and Faculty Advisors: Writing conferences
12:00-1:30 p.m. Luncheon. Presentations, reading of selected student prose, publication of selected student prose.
To register for the program, click here.