Creative Writing Contest
The Creative Writing Contest gives students a chance to express themselves by writing fiction or non-fiction stories or poetry. There is amazing young talent here in Southwest MN. This program was established to encourage the love of language and writing for students and as a way to recognize the talented young writers in Minnesota. SWWC & SMSU Creative Writing Department have partnered to make this event possible. We welcome all students in grades 3-12 attending public, private and home schools to enter this contest. This can be the perfect classroom project for students or they can enter on their own.Creative Writing Awards Ceremony Guest Speaker
Xavier Pastrano earned his BA in Creative Writing from Southwest Minnesota State University, his Masters of English from the University of North Dakota, and his Masters of Education from the University of Sioux Falls. He is the author of several poetry collections including XXX (Thirty) (published by Prolific Press), Seeing Sounds (published by Harsan Publishing), and Hey, Kid (self-published). He has also had poetry published in regional anthologies such as Thunderstorms, The Scandalous Lives of Butterflies, and South Dakota in Poems by the South Dakota State Poetry Society. He currently teaches Accelerated English I at Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls, SD. When he’s not teaching, writing, or reading, he enjoys listening to and making music, watching horror movies, spending time with his rad wife, and going skateboarding with his six-year-old son.
Categories & Fees
Poetry (grades 3-12); $5 per 3 poemsFiction (grades 3-12); $5 eachNon-Fiction (grades 5-12); $5 each
How to Enter* Create a poem, fiction or non-fiction story.* Follow the Contest Rules and Guidelines listed on the flyer.* Category descriptions are listed below & on the flyer* Submit your entry piece with entry form & payment.Categories and Descriptions
POETRY (grades 3-12)What is Poetry? The language of the imagination and feelings. Prose explains, and poetry sings, but it doesn’t have to rhyme. Poetry is precise, concrete, fresh, memorable, and magical. A poem, like food, can feed us. It can be a peach, a pizza, a taco, or a four-course meal. But it can also be popcorn or a candy bar. Always, poetry uses words as ingredients to let us taste, touch, see, smell or hear something in the world as if for the first time. FICTION (grades 3-12) What is Fiction? The art of storytelling. To build a good story, a writer needs: plot, characters, place or setting, point of view, dialogue, action and conflict. When we read a good story we’re pulled into another world and leave this one far behind. We travel to different places in our imagination, and when we return, we often see our world with new eyes. NON-FICTION (grades 5-12) What is Creative Non-fiction? An essay with real events and people that mattered or changed you—the day your pet chicken died, that summer your best friend moved away. Characters, settings, and events are true. The writer decides the best way to grab our attention, how to start, what elements of poetry to add as spice—images, metaphor, simile—and what elements of fiction to add zing—characters, place, dialogue. This genre is popular because we read it and think, “Wow, this really happened to someone else, but I feel like I was there!”*Copyright reverts to authors upon publication. (Meaning: If a student wishes to publish an entry, they just need to mention that it was printed in a small anthology of contest-winning pieces. We do not hold first publication rights.)*Photos & media: By participating in this event you are giving SWWC permission to use any audio/video recordings and photographs that are taken during the event.