Criteria student writing competition

The writing competition of the Written Art Foundation will give students the opportunity to actively engage in the form of an essay contest with the theme "writing by hand". Annually changing essay topics ask the participating classes, to confront themselves in handwriting with the given topic during one classroom lesson. A jury of experts will evaluate the submitted essays and selects the most interesting among them for inclusion in a book publication.

The prices for the winning participants are ranging from product awards up to the invitation to participate in workshops under the guidance of experienced writers and authors. Thus, an active promotion of writing by hand  is achieved for a larger number of participants. The students are supposed to get a sense of how important it is to discover the world “by hand”, as opposed to a "copy & paste" culture using the computer keyboard.

While reading the contributions by the jury, the traditional criteria of the school essay do not come primarily to use. The essays are seen as the result of a free, creative writing, with all its individual expression. This is the basis of the nominations.

Nevertheless, the jury takes into account various criteria for the essays. The manuscript should be readable, but it need not be a "calligraphy". A clear outline of the content helps the jury to recognize the structure of the essay. Grammar and punctuation should conform to the grade level of the student. The choice of stylistic devices used, the language design, the chosen perspective - all this, the student can decide for himself.

How to characterize the leading act? What suspense moments captivate the reader? How creatively and independently the author is writing? What atmosphere is created in the mind of the reader? Which style means does he choose? These are the points which are of interest to the jury. The student are to provide an independent, individual hand-written essay - not a copy of popular media content.


The criteria for awarding the submitted essays is determined by - always with an eye on the topic and the class level - individuality before uniformity, own ideas before acquired templates, character before arbitrariness, new perspectives before platitudes. The contributions of the students should let the reader feel the creative freedom that may result from writing by hand.