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University of Mount Union Hosts Power of the Pen Competition

January 20, 2020

ALLIANCE — On January 10, 22 Ohio middle school writing teams gathered at the University of Mount Union for the Power of the Pen writing competition.

 The competition is a collaborative effort with the University that allows for hundreds of area seventh and eighth grade students to compete and showcase their creative writing abilities. The competition consists of three 40-minute rounds, each with a different writing prompt. The work of the students is then read and scored by the judges.

Awards were given to the top 12 students from both seventh and eighth grade as well as the top three schools for both grade levels. In congruence with the mission of the Power of the Pen, Mount Union believes in the value of fostering creative and analytical writing skills. 

“It’s really great to see a cafeteria of kids who love to read and write,” said Dr. Gwen Schwartz, professor of English at Mount Union. Schwartz has been coordinating the event since 2009 and was one of the judges for this year’s competition.  

Winners of the seventh-grade individual contests include: Daniela Scheffler, Lake Middle School, first; Ava Morman, St. Michael School, second; Josie Ford, Malvern Middle School, third; Abby Beil, Lisbon David Anderson, fourth; Lauren Cameron, West Branch Middle School, fifth; Makayla Mayne, Tuslaw Middle School, sixth; Jenna Heslop, Alliance Middle School, seventh; Emily Kovatch, St. Michael, eighth; Luke Kraft, Lisbon David Anderson, ninth; Jaqueline Cisar, St. Mary Catholic School, 10th; Grant Archer, St. Michael, 11th; and Addy Kreger, Edison Middle School, 12th

Eighth-grade contestants placing in the top 12 include: Isabella Vogel, St. Joan of Arc Elementary, first; Gwen Schrock, Lake, second; Shelby Miller, Lake, third; Reese Carpenter, Lisbon, fourth; Emma Fox, St. Joan of Arc, fifth; Ella McElwee, Tuscarawas Valley Middle School, sixth; Abigail Adams, Lake, seventh; Eva Campbell, Canton Country Day School, eighth; Keya Williams, Jackson Memorial Middle School, ninth; Ava Nussbaum, Dalton Middle School, 10th; Julia Biedenbach, St. Michael, 11th; and Paige Folk, Louisville Middle School, 12th.  

The top two finishers in both seventh and eighth grade scored the highest in each round, resulting in a tiebreaker. 

Overall team awards for seventh grade were earned by St. Michael School in Jackson Township, taking home a first-place finish, while Edison Middle School took home second, and Lake Middle School placed third. Team awards for eighth grade were: Lake Middle School, first; Jackson Memorial Middle School, second; and Tuscarawas Valley Middle School, third.

Learn more about writing at Mount Union by visiting the writing major page.