Riverside Dickens Festival Middle School Essay Contest 2018
The festival this year is once again sponsoring an essay contest for middle school writers (grades 6-8). Prizes of $100, $50, and $25 are available for entries judged worthy of an award. The essay contest is intended to encourage literacy through reading Dickens’s A Christmas Carol with thought and relating his work to our current culture and events.
The topic for the middle school essay is as follows:
Explain the symbolic meaning behind Jacob Marley appearing in chains early in A Christmas Carol. How does this initial symbol come to provide an important theme in the story’s development? Cite evidence from the story and explain how it supports this theme.
General Information and Rules:
Entries are limited to students who reside in and are schooled in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Only typed or word processed entries will be accepted. Essays must be 750 or fewer words. (A maximum of three typewritten pages of 10 or 12 point type). Before submission to the Festival for judging, entries should be proofread carefully by the student to avoid or correct errors in mechanics, diction, structure, and phrasing
Additionally, all direct quotations, and summary or paraphrase of outside materials in the student’s own words must be referenced with citation and documentation of the source through an accepted, understandable format. Quotes from Dickens should cite the chapter and page number. Failure to do so results in plagiarism, which is basis for immediate disqualification of the essay for consideration.
Teachers are recommended to assign Christmas Carol for reading and discussion in class and to assign and evaluate an essay to encourage and prepare the student for the essay contest.
Entries should be submitted by mail, addressed to Middle School Essay Contest, Riverside Dickens Festival. P.O. Box 113, Riverside, CA 92502-0113, postmarked no later than Friday, December 22, 2017.
Awards will be announced and presented Saturday, February 24, 2018, during the Festival in downtown Riverside. Winners will be notified in advance.
No information identifying the essayist and his or her school should be on the essay. However, the following information must be attached to each entry on a separate 8 ½ by 11 inch sheet of paper:
- Writer’s name, age, grade, school, class in which contest entry was created (e.g. English, language arts, or home room).
- Teacher’s complete name, school telephone number, classroom extension where appropriate, and email address.
- A non-school telephone number that will be used only if necessary to notify a winner.
All entries become the property of the Riverside Dickens Festival, Inc. and will not be returned. Winners and their parents or guardians agree that their pictures, names and essays may be used in Riverside Dickens Festival promotional materials and publications.
Judging will be based on originality in addressing the contest topic and skill of presentation, both creative and technical. .
Judges may decide not to award a prize if they deem there is no entry of sufficient merit.
For additional information, call (951) 781-3168.