2021 power of the pen graphic

Menlo Park Academy Middle School students shine at Power of the Pen District Competition

Eight of the 11 competing scholars from Menlo Park Academy have advanced to the Power of the Pen Regional Competition, and the school’s seventh-grade team finished fourth overall recently at the district tournament.

Anna Oestreich (Grade 7) placed fifth overall among seventh graders at the Power of the Pen District Competition on February 6, and Grade 8 students Lee Somerville and Ailani Fritzgerald placed 14th and 15th among eighth-graders.

anna oestreich fifth place seventh grade graphic

The Columbia District competition, made up of middle schools in Crawford, Erie, Huron, Lorain, Richland and Cuyahoga counties, took place virtually, with 104 seventh graders and 105 eighth graders participating.

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.

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 in between rounds.

The topics that Grade 7 students wrote about:

  • What moment in time would you like to be able to savor with a “pause” button?
  • Use the following sentence in the course of your narrative: “How many times do I have to tell you?”
  • You’re bored. What will you do to liven things up?

The topics for Grade 8 students wrote about:

  • You’ve really messed up this time. How can you make it right?
  • The main character of your story is a rebel. (A rebel is someone who refuses to obey or follow authority.)
  • Trouble With _______ (Fill in the blank and make this the title of your story.)

The Power of the Pen Regional Tournament takes place March 13, and the State Tournament is scheduled for May 13-14 at Otterbein University near Columbus.