2009 Nebraska Handwriting Contest Opens March 1 at UNK

Julie Agard
assistant professor, Department of Teacher Education, 308.865.8556

UNK-The 19th annual Nebraska Handwriting Contest opens March 1, according to Julie Agard at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

“The contest is open to all Nebraska residents to promote legible handwriting as an effective means of communication,” Agard said. The Nebraska Handwriting Contest was created by Tom Hutson of Red Cloud in memory of his mother Eva. Agard, an assistant professor in the UNK Department of Teacher Education, has directed the competition since it began in 1991.

Prizes will be awarded in four categories: ages 12 and under, ages 13-16, ages 17 – 49, and ages 50 and over. The competition, which is conducted by the UNK Department of Teacher Education, is an activity endorsed and supported by the Nebraska Department of Education and the Nebraska State Education Association. The deadline for all entries is March 31. Award winners will be announced to the press and posted on the Web site by April 30 at http://coe.unk.edu/contest.

Official texts (to be copied by contest participants) and the official contest rules follow:


1. The text provided on this page should be written in any of the various styles of cursive handwriting rather than printed.  Each performance of writing will be judged as a whole according to ease of reading. The writing should feature not only a fluent rhythmic movement but also a technically correct performance of specifications such as the slope, space, size and shape of the letters. The goal of the work is disciplined freedom of movement.

2. The competitor can choose the paper and the writing instrument to use as long as the paper is 8 1/2″ X 11″. The general layout of the entry (choice of margins and line spacing) will be taken into account along with overall neatness.

3. Only one entry may be submitted by each competitor. The competitor must write his/her name, address, telephone number and/or e-mail address on the back of the entry, indicating age as of Feb. 1, 2009. Students should also write the name and address of their school and the name of their teacher. Teachers are asked to submit only the top three or four entries from their class after their own local judging.

4. Entries may be submitted anytime after March 1 but must be received no later than March 31at: NEBRASKA HANDWRITING CONTEST, Attention: Julie Agard, University of Nebraska at Kearney, College of Education, Kearney, NE  68849.
All entries become the property of the Nebraska Handwriting Contest and will be retained with the right to use them in full or in part in exhibitions and/or publications.

The Antelope Bookstore on the UNK campus will provide Nebraska winners a First Place Award and a Second Place Award  in each age category. First place will receive a $25 gift certificate, and second place will receive a $15 gift certificate. Prizes will be awarded solely on the recommendations of the judges.

The complete rules and the texts to be copied are posted at the following locations:  http://www.nsea.org and http://coe.unk.edu/contest.

Those who wish to receive the results of the contest can do so by including two (2) self-addressed stamped envelopes along with their entries to:  Nebraska Handwriting Contest, Attention: Julie Agard, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Department of Teacher Education, Kearney, NE  68849.

The text for competitors ages 12 and under is:

The Greedy Dog
A dog was crossing a river with a piece of meat in his mouth when, looking down, he saw his reflection in the water. Thinking the reflection was another dog carrying another piece of meat in its mouth, the dog dropped his meat and made a grab for the other dog’s piece. But, of course, he ended up with nothing. His own piece fell into the water and was swept away by the river, and the other piece disappeared with it. Greedy people end up with less.
An Aesop Fable

For competitors ages 13 and over, the text is:
One of Ours
Immediately after supper, Claude put the two wiry little blacks, Pompey and Satan, to the sleigh. The moon has been up since long before the sun went down, had been hanging pale in the sky most of the afternoon, and it flooded the snow-terraced land with silver.  It was one of those sparkling winter nights when a boy feels that though the world is very big, he himself is bigger; that under the whole crystalline blue sky there is no one quite so warm and sentient as himself, and that all this magnificence is for him.  The sleighbells rang out with a kind of musical lightheartedness, as if they were glad to sing again, after the many winters they had hung rusty and dust-choked in the barn.
By Willa Cather