CLARKSVILLE — Approximately 8,000 seventh-grade and eighth-grade students from across Ohio called upon their Power of the Pen writing skills during the 2014-15 school year to compete at the various levels of competition in hopes of being named one of Ohio’s best writers.

Of those who competed, only 19 percent survived the qualifying rounds that allowed them to compete in the state tournament held at the College of Wooster in late May. Clinton-Massie seventh-grader Amelia Binau and eighth-grader Emily Brausch were among those survivors.

Binau and Brausch encountered some stiff competition at the state tournament as 370 seventh-grade and 376 eighth-grade writers faced off in the three 35-minute rounds of writing, both striving to be one of the 54 writers to advance to the final 30 minute round of writing.

In all, there were 2,454 stories written during the competition that were evaluated and scored by the panel of judges who would determine Ohio’s best and most talented writers yielding the Power of the Pen.

Binau and Brausch both fared well in the early rounds of writing, but it was Binau and her excellent authoring in the first three rounds of writing that qualified her among the 54 who would advance to the final Power Round of writing and who would later be named 17th among Ohio’s top Power of the Pen writers.

“We are very proud of our young writers,” said Curt Bradshaw, writing coach and gifted intervention specialist for the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center, “and we congratulate Amelia Binau for sharing her incredible writing talents under such intense pressure during the final Power Round of Writing.”

During the presentation portion of the State Tournament, student writers met guest author Michael Grant, who congratulated students and encouraged them to continue to write and tell their stories. Grant is well-known among students for his works The Animorphs, Everworld, Gone, and the BZRK novel series.

In addition to the Power of Pen competition, Binau and Brausch also met fellow writers from across the state as they enjoyed on-campus dining using meal passes similar to those of college students and spent the evening swimming, bowling and dancing at a gathering held in their honor.

Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.

Staff report