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Achievement Awards

Achievement Awards in Writing - Previous Revision

Achievement Awards in Writing is a school-based writing program established in 1957 to encourage high school students in their writing and to recognize publicly some of the best student writers in the nation.  The National Council of Teachers of English recognize students cited as excellent writers by judges.  Only students who are JUNIORS in the academic year 2011-2012 may be nominated for 2012 awards.
2012  Achievement Awards Brochure   Submissions are accepted online only. Themed writing replaces the impromptu timed writing.

Electronic entry form     (PDF of 2012 entry)      Entry deadline Feb. 15, 2012

To request a brochure, email your school email address to   

Nomination Procedures
Each high school selects its own nominee or nominees: one or more juniors agreed upon by the English department, not chosen by an individual teacher.  Home-schooled students may submit through a cooperating school. 

Two written compositions (best and themed) by each student are required. See the brochure for the Theme  writing topic and instructions.  Both writings should go through a recursive process of drafting and revision and be in two different genres (poetry, narrative, argument, expository).

  • Themed writing. The topic is designated by NCTE.
  • Best writing sample (prose and/or verse) that the student considers his or her best work, regardless of the amount of revision.
  • Submit electronically as one file by February 15, 2012.  Electronic Entry Form

Number of Nominees
The number of nominees allowed from each school is determined by the current total enrollment in grades 10, 11, 12. The enrollment figure used must be an official one from administrative reports of the current year and must not include ninth-grade students.

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

Judge Criteria used by judges to score papers

2011 Achievement Awards Students Receiving Certificates for Superior Writing

2010 Achievement Awards Students Receiving Certificates for Superior Writing

2009 Achievement Awards Students Receiving Certificates for Superior Writing

2008 Achievement Awards Students Receiving Certificates for Superior Writing


The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP Advisory List of Student Contests and Activities for 2011-2012.


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A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts