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Humanities

Music Composition

The science or art of arranging music by ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination or in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity.

REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Only one (1) original notarized composition with six (6) copies of the notarized original should be submitted on or before the specified deadline.
  2. The top of each page must include the contestant’s name, page number and unit name and number.
  3. The composition must be neatly and precisely written on music manuscript paper, in such a manner that any trained musician could perform the composition. Before submission, all electronically generated manuscripts (Finale, Sibelius, etc.) must be proofread to ensure proper quantization in the final print generated composition.
  4. The contestant must provide a CD recording of the composition and be prepared to perform or have the composition performed on site. A piano will be the only instrument provided.
  5. The composition must not exceed five (5) minutes.

NOTE:  The deadline for submission of national registration documents is the first Friday in May. No materials or copies will be accepted at the National Competition.

Contestants Will Be Judged By The Following Criteria:

  • Creative sense  (10 pts)
  • Form  (20 pts)
  • Harmonic and rhythmic interest  (20 pts)
  • Strength of melodic line  (20 pts)
  • Use of theory  (20 pts)
  • Quality of transcript  (10 pts)

Short Story

A brief examination of a subject in prose usually expressing a personal view or interpretation of a subject or topic. Traditional elements of the short story include plot, characters, style, setting, structure, tone, theme and narrative point of view. These elements may guide a writer in the creation of a short story, but not all elements will be clearly identifiable in every story.

REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Only one (1) notarized Short Story written only by the contestant, with six (6) copies of the notarized original should be submitted on or before the specified deadline. The top of each page must include the contestant’s name, page number and unit name and number.
  2.  The Short Story must be typed, double-spaced and between 1000 and 1500 words.
  3.  The contestant must be prepared to answer questions by the judges.

NOTE: The deadline for submission of National registration documents is the first Friday in May. No materials or copies will be accepted at the National Competition

Contestants Will Be Judged by the Following Criteria:

  • General Merit  (25 pts.)
    • Organization – order, placement and development of structural elements such as characters, events, conflicts
    • Use of language – effective word choice and use of stylistic elements such as description, dialogue, and verbal images
  • Mechanics   (25 pts.)
    • Usage
    • Punctuation / Capitalization / Spelling
  • Overall Effect  (50 pts.) -
    • The unity and effective coordination of all story elements to produce an emotional response in the reader and communicate a message or main idea

Playwriting

A literary composition developed for the stage.

REQUIREMENTS:  

  1. Only one (1) original notarized one act play, with six (6) copies of the notarized original, should be submitted on or before the specified deadline.

  2. The play must be an original (written only by the contestant).

  3. The play must be typed and double spaced, not to exceed twenty (20) pages. A one-page synopsis must be included.

  4. The top of each page must include the contestant’s name, page number and unit name and number.

  5. The contestant must be prepared to answer questions by the judges.

NOTE: The deadline for submission of National registration documents is the first Friday in May. No materials or copies will be accepted at the National Competition.

 Contestants Will Be Judged By The Following Criteria:

  • Characterization (10 pts.) – Is there a protagonist of some type? Is there an antagonist? Are the characters in the play developed? Are the roles defined?

  • Clarity (10 pts.) – Is the author’s theme and purpose clearly stated?

  • Content (25 pts.) – Is the subject matter or situation of the play relevant, creative, and/or controversial?

  • Dialogue (10 pts.) – Is the word usage or phrasing consistent with the character? Does the dialogue advance the plotline or develop the character’s background?

  • Mechanics (10 pts.) – Is the manuscript clearly typed? Are there errors in spelling and/or grammar? Are the stage directions clearly stated? Are the settings and characters clearly indicated?

  • Plot (25 pts.) – Has the storyline been clearly defined? Has the action of the play been chronologically developed? Is there evidence of:
            a. Exposition
            b. Complication
            c. Climax
            d. Conclusion

  • Style (10 pt) – Has the playwright established a definitive method or style?

Poetry

A composition, marked by language chosen for its sound, beauty and evocative power.

REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Submit (1) notarized original poem, along with six (6) copies of the notarized original on or before the specified deadline.
  2. The top of each page must include the contestant’s name, page number and unit name and number.
  3. Poems should be typed, using 12 point Times New Roman, Verdana, Georgia,  or Comic Sans. Please no other fancy typefaces or graphics. Poems should retain original form that they were created in and do not have to be double-spaced. Individual poems may be free verse or rhymed metrical poetry containing stanzas.  Poems should not exceed 3 pages.
  4. The contestants will be interviewed about their work by the judges.

NOTE:  The deadline for submission of  National registration documents is the first Friday in May. No materials or copies will b e accepted at the National Competition.

Contestants Will Be Judged By The Following Criteria:

  • Emotional Connection  (20 pts.)- Is the poet emotionally connected to the topic they are writing about and does the poem elicit an emotional response from the reader?
  • Original Thought  (20 pts.) - Has the poet tackled an interesting subject or created something new with their work, or are they simply parroting belief systems or ideas that they have heard from someone else.
  • Sequential Development (20 pts.) - Does the poem follow a distinct path or does it wander without every really getting to the point. Are there too many things going on in the poem? Is there a strong ending, or is it forced?
  • Structure or Form, and Overall Presentation (20 pts.) - How is the poem constructed?  Are there appropriate line and stanza breaks?  Does the poem have a strong title? Does the poem contain appropriate grammar and punctuation? 
  • Use of Language as it Relates to Theme (20 pts.) - Does the poet use figurative language including vivid imagery, similes, metaphors, hyperbole, or idiom? Is the voice active, are the senses engaged?


Original Essay

A brief examination of a subject in prose usually expressing a personal view or interpretation of a subject or topic.

 REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Only one (1) notarized original essay written only by the contestant should be submitted on or before the specified deadline. The top of each page must include the contestant’s name, page number, and unit name and number.

  2. The essay must be typed and double-­‐spaced; not to exceed twelve (12) pages.

  3. The contestant must be prepared to answer questions by the judges.

NOTE:  The deadline for submission of national registration documents is the Friday, May 8,

2015. No materials or copies will be accepted after that time or at the National Competition.

Contestants will be judged by the following criteria:

  • General Merit (25)

    • Ideas

    • Organization

    • Wording

    • Flavor

  •  Mechanics (25)

    • Usage

    • Punctuation/Capitalization

    • Spelling

  •  Overall Effect (50)

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