Power of the Pen

Ohio's Interscholastic Creative Writing Program for Middle Schools


Power of the Pen State Finals Coaches and Writers: please explore the information below in advance of your trip to the State Finals on May 25th, and also, please visit the website for The College of Wooster, too, so you can learn more about this wonderful institution: https://www.wooster.edu/. The College website will link you to a variety of resources for other things to see and do in Wooster and the surrounding region. If you have any other questions or concerns about your trip to the Power of the Pen State Finals, please phone the State office at 330-659-3226.



Map to The College of Wooster

To The Best Young Writers in Ohio,
You Have Earned This Opportunity:
We Formally Invite You to State!!

Districts, you nibbled your pencil or your nails and it paid off with 1's in your Rounds and truck loads of Quality Points. 

You turned to lucky bears, lucky tshirts, lucky pens, lucky anything at Regionals. And it paid off with 1's in your Rounds and truck loads of Quality Points.

Now comes your payoff. Welcome to College. The College of Wooster, to be more precise. As one of Ohio's best upcoming writers, and one of Power of the Pen's best writers of 2016-2017, you and your coach will spend two days in May with us. As a representative of your school, you will attend the State Finals of Power of the Pen.

We formally welcome you. We seek to inspire you. And you can well bet that we are about to challenge you in a way that you have never been challenged before: we and 700 of your peers.

Our encouragement to you is that you never mind the nibbling anymore now; and keep in mind that luck had little to do with this. You are asked here because you are special. You are talented. You are one of the best writers in Ohio. Always remember that. 

I wish you the very best and welcome you to State!

Lorraine B. Merrill

Founder and Executive Director
Power of the Pen

2017 Guest Author is Self-Proclaimed "Loudmouth" Writer Chris Crutcher

Chris Crutcher was raised in Cascade, Idaho, a lumber and cattle ranch town located in the central Idaho Rockies, a two hour drive over treacherous two-lane from the nearest movie theater and a good forty minutes from the nearest bowling alley.  In high school he played football, basketball and ran track, not because he was a stellar athlete, but because in a place so isolated, every able bodied male was heavily recruited.  “If you didn’t show up on the first day of football practice your freshman year,” he says, “they just came to your house and got you.  And your parents let them in.”  

His early interest in stories came principally from reading Jean Shepherd and other fine authors in the Playboy Magazine delivered monthly to his house because, as he overheard his father saying to his mother, “Some of the very finest contemporary American literature graces the pages of that magazine.”  Full disclosure, there is justified suspicion that he may have perused some of the photography before settling down to serious reading. 

Crutcher’s years as teacher, then director, of a K-12 alternative school in Oakland, California through the nineteen-seventies, and his subsequent twenty-odd years as a therapist specializing in child abuse and neglect, inform his thirteen novels and two collections of short stories.  “I have forever been intrigued by the extremes of the human condition,” he says, “the remarkable juxtaposition of the ghastly and the glorious.  As Eric ‘Moby’ Calhoun tells us at the conclusion of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, ‘Ain’t it a trip where heroes come from’.”  

He has also written what he calls an ill-advised autobiography titled King of the Mild Frontier, which was designated by “Publisher’s Weekly” as “the YA book most adults would have read if they knew it existed.”  

Chris has received a number of coveted awards, from his high school designation as “Most Likely to Plagiarize” to the American Library Association’s Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award.  His favorites are his two Intellectual Freedom awards, one from the National Council for Teachers of English and the other from the National Coalition Against Censorship.  

Five of Crutcher’s books appeared on an American Library Association list of the 100 Best Books for Teens of the Twentieth Century (1999 to 2000).  A recent NPR list of the Best 100 YA and Children’s books included none of those titles.  Time flies.    

Crutcher no longer listens to, nor contributes to, NPR. 

Power of the Pen
PO Box 442  |  Richfield, Ohio 44286
(330) 659-3226  |  info@powerofthepen.org

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