2017 Entries Accepted
November 28, 2016 - February 24, 2017
To enter the 2017 Achievement Awards in Writing Competition, click on the link above.
For information about this year's prompt, click on the link above.
Purpose: To encourage high school students in their writing and to publicly recognize some of the best student writers..
Eligibility: Juniors in the current academic school year are eligible to be nominated by their school's English department. Nominations should be based on whether the writer exhibits power to inform and move an audience through control of a wide range of the English language. Entries are only accepted from teachers.
Schools in the United States, Canada, Virgin Islands and American Schools Abroad are eligible to nominate students. Nominating schools must be US accredited.
The number of nominees allowed from each school is determined by the current total enrollment in grades 10, 11, and 12. The enrollment figure used must be from an official administrative report of the current year and must not include ninth-grade students.
Use the following guide for nominations:
Under 500 students 1 nominee
500–999 students 2 nominees
1,000–1,499 students 3 nominees
1,500–1,999 students 4 nominees
2,000–2,499 students 5 nominees
2,500–2,999 students 6 nominees
3,000–3,999 students 7 nominees
4,000 or more students 8 nominees
Award Specifics: Two written submissions (best and themed) are required from nominated students.
- Best Writing - one sample which the student considers her or his best work. The best writing may be in any genre or combination of genres (poetry, narrative, argument, expository). An excerpt from a larger piece of writing by the student is acceptable with a paragraph explaining the piece from which the excerpt was taken. Maximum length for the best writing is six (6) pages. The student's name and "Best" must appear in the upper left-hand corner of each page.
- Themed Writing - must be written based on the topic developed by the Achievement Awards Advisory Committee. Maximum length for the theme writing is four (4) pages. The student's name and "Themed" must appear in the upper left-hand corner of each page. 2017 Achievement Awards in Writing Theme
General Directions for Best and Themed Writing:
- One teacher completes one entry form per student and uploads the student's papers as only one file. The maximum length for the best writing is six (6) pages; the maximum length for the themed writing is four (4) pages. Total of ten (10) pages.
- The student's name and "Best" or "Theme" must appear in the upper left-hand corner of each page.
- The page number must appear in the upper right-hand corner of each page.
- The school's name must not appear on the paper or within the body of writing.
- Please use legible type - no smaller than 11 or 12 point.
- Double space with one inch margins on all sides. This does not apply to poetry.
- Research papers, term papers, and novels will not be accepted.
- Late entries will not be accepted.
Judging: Teams of teachers across the nation will judge entries using a secure judging site. Entries with top scores will be selected for the superior writing award. Writing will be judged based on the following criteria:
1. Expression of Ideas
2. Language Use
- Writing suggests/conveys meanings; reflects strong thinking
- Thematic meaning(s) effectively controlled
- Themed writing responds to the stated prompt
- Piece is unified, and builds upon itself, even if the structure is untraditional
- Sense of clarity of purpose, completeness, and closure
- Writing style appropriate to content an genre
- Writing reflects mastery of technical aspects of writing (e.g., control over punctuation and syntax)
- Writer uses language powerfully, via apt/original word choice, unique phrasing
- Strong flow produced via syntactical control and variation
- Writer effectively employs detail, evocative language, and/or imagery to enliven writing and to express ideas
3. Unique Perspective and Voice
- Uniqueness of writer is evident through stylistic choices
- Writing conveys unique, authentic, original perspective
- Style conveys unique, authentic, original voice
To view samples of superior award winning essays, click here.
Awards: Results are announced in May. Students judged for superior writing are awarded a superior writing certificate and letter which are provided to the nominating teacher to present to the winning student. In addition, their name and school's name appear on the NCTE website. All nominated students receive a recognition certificate and letter which are provided to the nominating teacher to present to the student.
*Late entries can not be considered.
For additional questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org