This year's contest invites high school students to connect their original creative writing with Neihardt’s lyric poetry by use of a lyric epigraph. Students will want to begin by reading Neihardt’s lyric poems - particularly "Hymn before Birth," "Child's Heritage," "April Theology," or "Let Me Live Out My Years" – and select a few lines which might serve as an impetus for their own original short story and use those lines as an epigraph to their own story. Students will want to select lines from a poem which incorporate a theme or image that resonates in the poem and will help their reader connect with the short story or add complexity to a particular element in the short story. In literature, an epigraph is a quotation from another source – poem, novel, book or something someone said – which introduces the larger themes of the piece it precedes. The epigraph helps focus readers’ attention on a particular topic, idea or tension at play in the writing… it could be said to set the stage. After registering, contest participants will be provided copies of the poems, contest rules and manuscript guidelines.
Created on ... February 18, 2013