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Description + Regulations

The LEST Writing event is an opportunity for students to submit an original piece of writing to be judged according to the published criteria. Each school may submit one authentic piece of writing for each grade level, grades 5-8. Most Promising Writer awards will be given for writings that are judged as being of exceptionally high quality.

How to Participate

Each LEST writer may choose to write one of the following writing styles:

  1. Write a 500-750 word (typed, double spaced) persuasive essay. Persuasive writing utilizes logic and reason to show that one idea is more legitimate than another idea. It attempts to persuade a reader to adopt a certain point of view or to take a particular action. The writing should use sound reasoning and solid evidence by stating facts, giving logical reasons, using examples, and quoting experts.
  2. Write a 500-750 word (typed, double spaced) personal narrative, based on a real-life experience. A personal narrative is a piece of writing describing an event of personal significance to the writer.
  3. Write a 500-750 word (typed, double spaced) fictional story. Fictional writing is a piece of writing that is not factual. Fictional writing often takes the form of a story meant to convey an author’s point of view or simply to entertain.
  4. Write one poem (typed) chosen from the following formats: Haiku, Tanka, Free Verse, Acrostic, or a poem that demonstrates a rhyme scheme and/or meter.

Scoring Criteria

The writings will be evaluated in the following categories:

  1. Ability to captivate the reader
  2. Sensory Images
  3. Use of Language
  4. Punctuation and Grammar

A copy of the rubric used for scoring the writings will be available on the LEST website.


All writing pieces need to be sent to the LEST Team at [email protected] by January 11, 2022. Schools should email each writing piece as an attachment. The writings will be scored prior to the beginning of the LEST. Be sure that each entry has the following information on the top right hand corner of each submitted page:

  1. Student name
  2. School's name and school's city
  3. Student's grade level
  4. Type of writing

Spelling Team Leaders

Kerri Tom
Concordia University Irvine
Professor of English; Assistant Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences,
and Director of General Education

Franchesca Black
Crean Lutheran High School
English Teacher,
English Department Chair

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