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University of Findlay Hosts JustWrite Ohio High School Writing Competition

Natasha Lancaster | Mon May 23, 2022

More than 200 high school students participated in the JustWrite Ohio State Competition at the University of Findlay on Saturday, May 21.

Christine Denecker, Ph.D., professor of English and director of the Center for Teaching and Program Excellence, explained that “The JustWrite Ohio competition is an excellent opportunity for students to engage in writing activities, learn from trained writers and published authors, and interact with other writing enthusiasts across the state.”

More than 200 high school students participated in the JustWrite Ohio State Competition at the University of Findlay on Saturday, May 21.The JustWrite Ohio competition is an interscholastic competition for high school students that takes a unique approach to the competition to set it apart from others. While most writing competitions provide students with a generic prompt, JustWrite takes it to the next level by giving a genre-specific prompt such as historical fiction, science fiction, realistic fiction, mystery, fantasy, and narrative nonfiction.

“To write well and to write clearly are attributes that are marketable in any occupation, and good communication is also at the root of strong relationships,” Denecker noted. “Events like this provide spaces for students to think, create, and grow in active and useful ways that will positively impact their futures.”

During the state competition, students compete in three rounds with a time-limit of 45 minutes per round. Judges then individually read and rank the writing according to a rubric to determine the winners. University of Findlay English Department faculty and the Center for Teaching and Program Excellence assisted with the event.

The top 15 writers in each division were be recognized along with team awards, State Tournament Grand Champion, Excellence in Poetry Award, Award for Narrative Excellence, Director’s Choice Awards, and scholarships.

Students recognized include the following:

  • Excellence in Poetry Award Annie Johnson, Dublin Coffman High School
  • Nikki Delmotte Award for Narrative Excellence – Olivia Wang from Dublin Jerome High School, for her piece, “March for Justice, March for Us”
  • Director’s Choice Awards
      1. Rachel Stasick from Gilmour Academy, for the narrative “To and From”
      2. Avery Rogus from Walsh Jesuit High School, for “Casualties of War”
      3. Jeremiah Triplett from Hawken School, for the fun snow day tale,  “Reginald”
      1. Alice Genkin from Cloverleaf High School, for their piece “Revenge of the Forgotten”
      2. Annie Johnson from Dublin Coffman High School for the narrative “Rules For Exploring Abandoned Churches”
      3. Nichole Delhman from Our Lady of the Elms, for “Shadow in the Fog”

“It’s an honor for UF to host the JustWrite Ohio Competition,” Denecker said. “Having this group of high school students here energizes the entire campus and helps us fulfill our mission as a University. It is yet another way that UF can contribute to building meaningful lives and productive careers throughout the state.”

For more information on the competition, visit JustWrite Ohio’s website. To learn more about the University of Findlay or to apply, visit the Office of Admission’s webpage or contact them at  419-434-4732 or

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