2021 power of the pen graphic

Menlo Park Academy students finish second overall at Power of the Pen Regional Contest

Menlo Park Academy’s creative writers shined once again at the Power of the Pen, with the seventh-grade team claiming first place overall, and the school’s seventh and eighth graders combined to win second place in the Sweepstakes Award.

Overall, three of the four competing seventh-graders, and one of the three competing eighth-graders, advanced to the state competition.

Three Menlo Park Academy students also nabbed individual honors. Nakshatra Mohan (Grade 7) placed fifth overall among seventh-graders, while Adele Wentzel took eighth place and Anna Oestrich was 11th.

The Northern Regional competition took place virtually with 63 seventh graders and 65 eighth-graders participating. Schools from Crawford, Erie, Huron, Lorain, Richland and Cuyahoga counties competed on March 13. At the Power of the Pen District Competition in February, Menlo Park Academy’s student writers also had a strong showing.

In Power of the Pen competitions, there are three rounds of writing and one prompt for each round. Students have 40 minutes per round to write and complete their stories, with a 10-minute break between rounds.

Oestrich’s second-round story, “The Circus of Contracts” was judged as the top entry in the entire round and will be published in the Book of Winners.

the circus of contracts power of the pen graphic

Topics that Grade 7 students were asked to write:

  • Write about a text message you wish you hadn’t seen.
  • Make someone an offer that can’t be refused (nonviolent, of course).
  • Another ______ day. (Fill in the blank and write a story centered around these words)

Topics that Grade 8 students were asked to write:

  • Use the following sentence in the course of your narrative: “You’re driving me crazy!”
  • Uncharted Territory. How will you find your way through this new situation? 
  • Describe the one place you can be yourself.

Power of the Pen is a statewide interscholastic creative writing program for seventh- and eighth-grade students. Founded in 1986, the organization hosts an annual competition for Ohio students to work with a coach who can foster and further develop creative writing skills.

The Power of the Pen State Tournament is scheduled for May 15 and will take place virtually.