Otero Arts Festival Call for Creative Writing Submissions – La Junta Tribune Democrat


The 66th Annual Otero Arts Festival will be held March 29-31 at McDivitt Center Gym on the campus of Otero College. The Otero Arts Festival will feature contestants in creative writing, visual arts, theater performance, and instrumental music for students in grades 7-12 from across Southeast Colorado. The call for entries for this year’s creative writing competition has been announced.

Area students are encouraged to participate in the creative writing division of the Otero Arts Festival, which features area students in grades 7-12 sharing what inspires their creative writing and brings their inspiration.

Entries are being accepted for the Creative Writing division until Friday, March 4. All poems, short stories, essays, creative books and senior portfolios that are entered will be displayed in the Reading Room during public viewing dates, March 29-31.

Competition categories include:

Essay: can be on any topic, no more than 500 words and must include a title.

Short story: can be on any subject and must demonstrate a strong sense of storytelling, description and character development. These must not be autobiographical in nature. Limited to 1,000 words and must include a title.

Poetry: can be in any style, can be submitted in an artistic visual format and must be titled and no longer than 30 lines. Modeling a poem directly on another poet’s style or format can be good practice, but an individual approach is always appreciated.

Senior portfolio competition, the senior student must exhibit in a group an essay, a short story and a poem. Only one entry per category is permitted; but seniors can now include writing completed in any of their high school years. Senior portfolio entries are limited to this group and do not compete in general.

Creative Book: For this option, high school students (Grades 9-12) can create a book of poetry, a short story, or a personal memoir. However, these items cannot be submitted in the other poetry, short story and essay categories. Students must submit the book in the plastic folder, but no 3-ring binder. The book must include a title page with the name of the student, the school and the instructor, the minimum is 8 pages of content and the maximum is 14 pages of content. Pages should be 8 1/2 x 11 (a standard sheet of paper). Illustrations must be the student’s original work or non-copyrighted material, 25% of the book must be illustrated in some way

Ḟorms and detailed information about the Otero Arts Festival Creative Writing Competitions can be found on the Ote-ro College website at: https://www.ote-ro.edu/OteroArtsFestival.aspx Premier , second and

First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded in each of the three writing categories for students in grades 7-12. A ribbon and $50 prize will be awarded for the best middle school representative writing and a ribbon and $50 prize will be awarded for the best high school representative writing.

The Creative Writing Contest continues to feature the Senior High School Portfolio Contest consisting of a poem, short story, and essay. The winner of the Senior Portfolio Creative Writing Division will receive the Creative Writing Scholarship, one year, renewable, 12 credit hours of in-state tuition at the on-campus scholarship rate at Otero College.

Entries are currently being accepted by mail to Otero Arts Festival Creative Writing, 1802 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050 or by bringing entries to the Otero Welcome Center, Macdonald Hall Room 110 by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 4. For more information, contact festival coordinator Debbie Phillips at [email protected]

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