FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is Creative Communication?
Creative Communication is a company who is devoted to the promotion of writing, teaching and appreciation of student writing. The intent of our student writing contests is to motivate creative writers. The top entries are published in an anthology that will record the creative insights of today's student writers. There is no requirement for a student to purchase an anthology, however, if a student wishes to purchase one, it is made available at an affordable price. Top ten winners of the contest receive a free copy of the anthology. In addition, any teacher with five or more students who give permission for publication will receive a free anthology that features their student writers.
Why do we sponsor a student writing contest?
This can best be answered by a letter that we recently received.
"In this world of video games, virtual reality, and other technological hoopla, it is nice to have a group such as you who still value the written word! So many high school students love to write poetry and I think it is wonderful to provide a vehicle through which to showcase their work."
Anne Byrd, Teacher
Clover High School
Clover, South Carolina
Why do you request a student's home address?
Each year as we try to contact the finalists and winners in our contests we find that often schools do not forward or deliver mail to students. With a home address, we can be in direct contact with the student. We do not sell our mailing list. Home or school addresses will not be given or shared with any other company, individual or agency for any purpose. Home address information will only be used by Creative Communication to contact the winners of the contest and to inform other high merit entries about the results of the contest and the ensuing publication.
Can home school students enter?
Yes. As long as a student is in grades K-12 in the United States or Canada, it doesn't matter where they go to school.
How does the contest work?
Once we receive the entries from the students, the poems and essays are sent on to our judges. They go through the entries and less than 50% are accepted to be published. The judges then go through the entries that were accepted and narrow the entries to pick out the top 10 poems. The students that are accepted to be published are notified. Once the student verifies the entry is his or her original work and grants permission to be published then the entry is included in the anthology.
When can I expect to receive the book that I ordered?
The Spring contest the books are shipped in August and September. The Fall contest books are shipped in April and May. The Summer contest books are shipped in December. We appreciate your patience. The process of creating a quality hard-bound book takes a long time.
If I entered the Fall contest, can I enter the Spring contest also?
Yes, for both essay and poetry, you can enter both the Fall and the Spring contests, but only one entry is allowed per student for each one.
My school is not entering the contest, can I enter alone?
Yes, you can still enter the contest. Please include your school information including school name, address, and teacher’s name. This helps us to be able to contact you and helps your teacher to possibly receive a free copy of the anthology.
What does it mean if I don't find my name on the winner's list?
The list of winners has the names of the Top Ten winners in each contest division. Being invited to be published means that your entry was in the top 45% of the entries for your area. It does not necessarily mean that you were a Top Ten Winner. The Top Ten Winners are chosen from the students who were selected to be published. The contest becomes very selective when it comes down to the Top Ten. A Top Ten winner will receive special recognition in the book, a free copy of the book and a $25 check. Students who were not winners, but were invited to be published, are included in the book when we receive their permission to publish their entry.
Is this a contest where everyone is accepted to be published?
Absolutely not! We take pride in the fact that we are selective with our entries. We reject more entries than we accept to be published. Our objective is to make it an honor to be selected for the anthology.
Why do you have several deadlines?
In the past, most of our contests had a deadline in December. To accommodate teachers who complete their poetry or essay writing unit in the fall we have the Fall deadline and for teachers who complete their poetry or essay writing unit in the spring we have the Spring deadline. We were then contacted by schools who were in session over the summer. The end result is that we have three deadlines. There is one deadline for each of the Fall, Spring and Summer contests. Entries that are received after a contest is over will automatically be entered into the next contest. Of course teachers may have students enter any contest, but only one entry is allowed per student for each contest.
Who owns the rights to the student's entry?
The student owns the rights to the entry. If an entry is selected to be published, we ask for one time permission to publish the entry and give all rights to the student.
Does the contest require a certain topic for the poem or a certain style of poem?
Most topics can be used for your poem and the poem can be written in most any style. Often a poem will stand out by being about a unique topic, but the most important criteria is how well the poem is written. Topics that have graphic violence, sexual situations or promote situations that are illegal such as suicide or drugs are not accepted to be published. Whereas most any style can be accepted we do not accept concrete poems that have words written upside down or backwards. We also do not publish "found" poems that take the words of other published authors and are used to make a poem.
Who are the judges?
The judges are published writers and/or educators in elementary, secondary and higher education.
What criteria do your judges use?
First of all, does the poem or essay meet the rules. We reject numerous poems that are over 21 lines, and essays that are over 250 words. We also receive numerous entries that we have to reject because no name or address are included. Second, we have to be able to read the entry. Often a group of entries will have been xeroxed and are unreadable or the entry is not written legibly. Third we look for literary merit, creativity and social significance. The entry should have correct grammar (however, we do give freedom to be poetic).
What kind of poems and essays are winners?
What is most important is that the poem and essay are well written and stand out as being excellent. What makes a poem or essay stand out is the use of language to create strong images, a topic that shows an unique awareness to an important issue, or a creative approach that shows originality.
How will the prizes be awarded?
For each grade level (K-3; 4-6; 7-9; 10- 12 in the poetry contest and 3-6; 7-9; 10-12 in the essay contest) the top ten entries in both the poetry and essay contests will be given a $25 check, special recognition in the book and a free copy of the anthology. The prizes will be mailed to the winners upon completion of the contest.
Will the entries be returned?
Because of the number of entries that are sent to our contest, no entries will be returned. For both the contest and the anthology that is published, the student will retain all rights to the entries submitted.
What does the book look like?
This book is professionally bound in an 8.5 x 11 format. The K-3 book is a 6 x 9 sized book.
* Entries are published with student’s name, grade, school and state
* Each poet's name is indexed
* Each book is hard-bound with a full color cover