Any Poets Interested in Helping Young Writers?

The EPIC New Voices writing competition for middle school and high school writers received a record number of entries, especially in the poetry categories.

Consequently, we need more poetry judges. Every entry is scored by three judges, including at least one EPIC member. Every judge must be a published writer, editor, publisher, teacher, and/or librarian.

Judging doesn’t take much time. Middle school entries are limited to a maximum of 20 lines per poem, and high school entries are limited to a maximum of 30 lines per poem. Judges are asked to rate four elements—structure, rhythm, imagery, and originality—as excellent, good, fair, or poor. The most important thing judges are asked to do is to write a comment on each score sheet that is encouraging to the young writer. Suggestions for improvement should be included, if appropriate, but positive comments must be included.

Although I haven’t seen this year’s entries yet, in years past, many talented students submitted great writing. Judging will inspire you with enthusiasim for the writers of the future as well as give you the opportunity to help and encourage teen writers.

To volunteer to judge, complete the application form on the New Voices Web site.  You can choose whether you will judge middle or high school entries (or both) as well as specify the number of entries you will judge. Though the judging form lists all categories, we have enough judges in the essay and short story categories.

Entries will be sent to the judges on November 3, 2009 and scores must be returned by November 24, 2009.

Thank you for supporting young writers.

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