Celebrating its 35th year at the University of Memphis, the 2012 WordSmith competition
honored the University's Centennial with 100-year themed writing contests, or "dashes."
Approximately 200 middle and high school students from 30 area schools congregated
in the University Center's ballroom to test their writing and creative thinking skills.
This year, the dashes included a 40-word dash that asked students to describe a penny
without actually naming the object. The 100-word dash asked students to create a
narrative of events depicted in one of three pictures taken from the University's
archive: an image of the Memphis State Eight, the late Larry Finch celebrating a basketball
win, and the University premiere of the musical, Hair. Students also participated
in a 120-word dash that asked them to write a letter to the editor taking a stance
on an issue referenced by a collection of recent news headlines.
At the conclusion of the first three events, door prizes were given out and student
winners of each dash and in each grade were announced. Each student winner was then
invited to participate in the 400-word main event dash, a chance to write for 60 minutes
on topics such as what to put in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years or how the
next century will be different than the last.
The first three dashes were judged by area English teachers who also served as coaches
for many of the teams. The final dash was judged by University of Memphis Department
of English faculty members. Winning entries will be published and distributed to all
participating schools. The event was sponsored by the University of Memphis Department
of English and the Shelby- Memphis Council of Teachers of English.
The 2012 winners can be found by clicking on the link at the right.
Look for our archive of past winners and our promotional video coming soon!
Registration Forms available in late fall.
Student Registration Form
School Entry Form
Volunteer Judge Form
WordSmith Dash Descriptions, Rules and Prizes
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
University of Memphis Campus Map
Catherine Dice: firstname.lastname@example.org 467 Patterson Hall (901) 678 4535
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