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Themes for essays, short stories, and poetry may be evangelistic, inspirational, Biblical, Christian growth, patriotic, or historical.

Please write the THEME of the essay, short story, and poetry on the Judges Forms where indicated.



The contestant writes and submits a fiction composition. The story may be based on realexperience; it may be purely imaginary; or it may be a fictionalized report of an historicalhappening.

1. The story MUST have an evangelistic, Biblical, Christian growth, patriotic, or historicaltheme.

2. The story must have been written after the termination of the previous InternationalConvention and must be the original work of the student.

3. Plagiarism of any kind will automatically disqualify the entry.

4. A significant portion of the story must be written during school hours to verify authenticity.

5. One entry per contestant.

Checklist for Short Story:

1. Length - 600-1,000 words

2. Format - Computer or typewriter, double-spaced on plain white paper; one full inch marginon all sides. On a computer use 10- to 12-point type and a letter-quality printer.

Recommended fonts: Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Arial. No heavy, bold, or fancyfonts. On a typewriter a 50-space line equals 10 words; a 60-space line equals 12 words.

3. Copies - Three (3) copies of the short story must be submitted as an early entry. All copiesare to be inserted in a clear plastic page protector with the student's name, school name,customer number, school address, and telephone number clearly visible on the front ofEACH copy.

At Regional Student Convention, TWO COPIES OF THE SHORT STORYAND JUDGES FORMS WILL BE RETURNED. Entries submitted for competition atInternational Student Convention WILL NOT BE RETURNED.

4. Creative Composition Affidavit (CF28) attached to entry and properly signed.You willneed three (3) copies of the Creative Composition Affidavit form; attach one copy toeach copy of your short story.

5. Three (3) copies of JUDGE'S FORMS (CF27) are required at the Regional and InternationalConvention.


Judges look for stories that are original and imaginative yet believable. It is important that yourShort Story contain a balance of all the elements of narrative fiction: plot, setting,characterization, conflict, and resolution. It should not overemphasize one to the detriment ofthe others. Because of space limitations, it is important that you develop each facet of your storycarefully and thoughtfully, paying particular attention to your choice of words. Use wordseconomically, that is, do not use several trite, colorless words when one strong, imaginativeword could replace them and enhance the tone of your story. Neither should you waste goodwords. Make each one count. Consider it carefully. Is it there for a reason? Is it usedaccurately? Does it tell the reader exactly what you want him to know, or does he have to guessat your meaning? When you are satisfied that your story says what you want it to say, check itcarefully to eliminate errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Also check the word count,since judges will subtract points if you exceed the limits.

Judge's Form Short Story Writing

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