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Creative Writing Update

January 25, 2015

We received 477 entries this year for the Creative Writing Competition. Please help thank the 45 judges who have been hard at work for the past 2 months reviewing the entries. We are currently verifying the results before we print the certificates of accomplishment that will be distributed by your CGA Campus Rep. Our goal is for the students to receive the news before we post the results on our website.

How does judging work?

Step 1: divide into categories

– Each entry is placed in a category (example: 7th grade fiction) and is evaluated compared to others in that category. In the event that there are not that many entries (example: high school non-fiction) the entries are combined in one category and the judges are encouraged to consider the student’s grade when evaluating.

Step 2: distribute to judges

– Each category is evaluated by three judges.  Each judge reviews all of the entries in that category. The judges are not given a rubric — instead, we merely give them the following guideline: Each entry will be judged based on its artistic expression; however, technical merit will also be a factorOur judges are educators, song writers, and published authors. We appreciate their expertise. We want our judges to evaluate based on the qualities they feel are most important. This means that the results are entirely based on subjective analysis.

Step 3: evaluation

– Because each judge is independent and subjective, they very rarely agree on which are the highest ranked entries. So, we ask them to rank the top 5 entries. Those entries that are ranked 1-3 receive an honorable mention. The overall highest ranked entry from all 3 judges receives 1st place. Every other entry receives a participation award. In the event of a tie, we ask a CISD administrator to review the top results and select the winning entry. 

Step 4: verification of results

– After we receive the results from the judges of each category, we verify that the top entries are truly the work of the student. We check the entry with the internet to confirm that it is not plagiarized, and we contact the classroom teacher to ensure it is consistent with the work produced in the classroom.

Step 5: certificates presented

– By the end of the first week of February, we distribute certificates of accomplishment to the CGA Campus Reps to be distributed on each campus. We provide printed certificates for all student entries in elementary, and 1st Place and Honorable Mentions in secondary schools. Additionally, we will email students whose participation entries received a comment from the judges.

Step 6: publish book

– All winning entries earning 1st Place and Honorable Mentions are published in a book that will be released in the spring (date will be disclosed when we publish the results). Each eligible student needs a parent permission (submitted online) to be published in the book.

Step 7: Book Release Party

– Students may pre-order copies of the book through our website for a discount or purchase from a limited supply at the book release party. 1st Place recipients receive a free copy of the book and an opportunity to read a brief excerpt to the audience at the book release party.



Thanks so much for your continued support and interest in this competition. We are humbled by the commitment of our amazing judges and proud of the accomplishment of all our passionate student writers.

If you have any questions, please let me know: Elizabeth Chappell:

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