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WSC to Host Fourth Annual Language Arts Festival

[updated 01-11-2008]


Wayne State College will host its fourth annual Language Arts Festival on April 11 for students in grades seven through 12. Carol Gorman, award-winning author of numerous books for young people, will be the featured author. The festival is organized by Dr. Janet Gilligan, professor of English at Wayne State.


The Nebraska Humanities Council (NHC) provides major funding for this program. The NHC receives support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Nebraska State Legislature, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and private donations. This event also receives funding through a WSC Service-Learning sub grant provided by the Midwest Consortium for Service-Learning.


Students are invited to submit original fiction and poetry to a writing contest and bring posters to an on-campus competition. In addition to the contests, students, teachers and parents are invited to come to the Wayne State College Student Center to participate in workshops on writing, literature, media and drama from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be an awards banquet at noon. The five best stories and poems from each grade will be published in an anthology. First-place winners of all contests will receive medals.


Short Stories
Short stories may be original fiction of any genre—fantasy, realism, science fiction, historical fiction, and so on. The stories should be well written and carefully edited.
Individuals may submit only one entry in the short story contest but may submit poetry as well as a short story. Short stories must be no less than 1,000 words and no more than 5,000 words in length.


Poems must be original works on any subject, rhymed or free-verse, length not to exceed two typed double-spaced pages. Individuals may submit a short story and poetry or several poems.


Poster Competition
Students are invited to bring posters promoting the language arts. These may focus on reading, writing or other language skill, or celebrate a work of literature. These will be judged at the event and certificates will be awarded to the best entries.


How to Submit Your Work
Submissions should be written on a word processor, preferably in Microsoft Word, double-spaced, using a standard 12 point font, preferably Arial. Stories and poems must be submitted as attachments to an e-mail. No hard copies will be accepted. In the e-mail, give your name, grade, school, address, teacher, telephone number, and the title of your story. Attach a copy of your story to the e-mail. Give the file containing your story a title that consists of your last name followed by your grade in school. Example: Smith9

This is very important. Without this information it is very difficult to place your story or poem in the right grade category and to make sure no entries are lost. On the story itself, type the following information in the top left hand corner of the first page: Name, e-mail address, grade, school, and teacher.


All rights of the composition remain the property of the author. Permission by the author is given for one-time publications. Entries must be received by March 1, 2008.


Send all entries to


Evaluating Writing
Review of the submitted writings will begin March 1. Faculty members of the School of Humanities and English Education students will read and evaluate all entries. They will select the five best short stories and poems in each grade. Authors of the short stories and poems selected for the anthology will be notified via e-mail.


Each student whose work is selected as one of the best five in each grade will receive a complimentary copy of the Anthology in their category. If funds permit, a copy will be made available to each student attending the Festival. Additional copies of the anthologies will be available for $15 each.


No entry fee is required. All expenses for travel and meals are the responsibility of the student attending the Language Arts Festival. Lunch in the WSC cafeteria is about $5.50; the banquet is $8.25.


It is not necessary to submit an entry to attend the Festival. If you plan on attending, please copy and fill in the registration form below. Either mail or e-mail the form to:


Janet Gilligan
Language Arts Festival
Department of Literature and Language
Wayne State College
Wayne, NE 68787
or e-mail it to





Registration Form [print or copy/paste]


Wayne State College Language Arts Festival Registration
Mail or e-mail before March 31, 2008.



Check One: Student_____ Teacher_____Other Adult_________


If student: Grade____________Teacher_________________________________


If you plan to submit an entry to a competition, check the category:


Short Story_____ Poster______


All those attending:




School Address_____________________________________________




Attending Awards Banquet at noon, April 11? yes no (if attending enclose check for $8.25)


For further information, write or call
Janet Gilligan
Department of Literature and Language
Wayne State College
Wayne, NE 68787
402-375-7151 / 402-375-4690


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