RFAS hosts high school literary contest

Declan Hoffman, Online Editor

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Entries for the Raleigh Fine Arts Society’s 37th literary contest opened October 3 for all Wake County high school students grade 10 and higher.

The contest is focused on promoting the Society’s goal to “encourage the pursuit of art, music and the written word,” a goal the society has had for 50 years since their formation in 1964.

Any public or private Wake County student in grade 10 or above may participate by working in partnership with his or her English teacher to sponsor a short story of no greater than 5,000 words to submit before January 8, 2015 at 8 a.m.

Structure, characterization, dialogue and narration, plot, scene, pace, mood, diction and the balance of all thereof will contribute to the judging process for all entries. Students may write using any character, plot, setting and theme.

The contest has sparked interest throughout county high schools.

“This literary contest sounds like something that a lot of students would be interested in,” said Lauren Heinsohn, junior. “I know a lot of passionate writers at Athens, and it will give them the opportunity to express themselves and be recognized.

Many students are still working on forming a plot for their short story, but show interest regardless.

“I don’t know what I’d write about. I’d have to put some more thought into that, but I love that there isn’t a prompt,” said Caitlin Cassidy, junior.

While there are creative writing classes at most high schools, some teachers believe this type of writing is not recognized or taught enough, and this contest can help advertise and encourage a change to be made in these shortcomings.

“It is nice for Raleigh Fine Arts to hold a creative writing contest … there are a lot of kids at Athens who enjoy creative writing and this contest will give them the opportunity to express themselves and get money,” said Grady Elrod, creative writing teacher.

Cash prizes will be awarded for first and second place overall, first and second place in each grade level, best story by varsity athlete and honorable mention ranging between $50-$300. Schools with first and second place overall winners as well as first place per grade level winners will also be awarded $100 for their English departments toward the funding of books, especially those related to creative writing.

“It might help students become better writers in more than just creative writing,” said Elrod.

Entries are limited to one per student each year and must be submitted electronically on the RFAS website at “” as a “doc.file.” Instructions on how to do this and more details about the submission process can be found on the RFAS website.

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