Writing Contest for Duke TIP 4th/5th Grade participants


Duke TIP offers 4th/5th Grade Talent Search participants the opportunity to enter our writing contest with cash prizes awarded to the winners and their school. Students must be enrolled in the 4th/5th Grade Talent Search and currently be in the fifth or sixth grade.

The 2012 topic: In Quest for a Mythical Hero 

Every culture develops a set of beliefs about the world and the things that happen in it: the rising of the sun; the moon and stars in the sky; earthquakes and volcanoes; weather, hurricanes and tornadoes; and much more. Over time, one people’s beliefs may become another’s mythology—a collection of stories or tales belonging to a people addressing their origin, history, deities, ancestors, and heroes.

The challenge:

Write a story about a being celebrated in mythology. The being may be from any tradition—not just ancient Greece or Rome, but from Egypt, India, or Babylonia. You might choose from the Norse, Mayan or Aztec cultures. You will craft a plot that occurs in the present, but you will bring the characteristics from the past into the present day. You will describe the origin of the being, the powers, as well as descriptions of personality, appearance, and attire. You will make the choice of a conflict or a problem that needs attention, and this being will use powers and skills to solve the problem situation.

As you develop your story, consider how to incorporate into the plot: 
  1. What is a real problem I want to solve? What conflict would I want to bring to a conclusion?
  2. Where did this being come from? Of whom a relative or descendant? From the beliefs of what ancient culture or tradition?
  3. What powers does the being have? Over what objects does the being have control?
  4. Who is the opponent? Is it a nemesis or archenemy, or is it something in the world of nature, or perhaps the supernatural?

Submission deadline: Jan. 3, 2012


Writing contest winners are announced in Duke TIP’s Navigator newsletter and on this Web site. Winners also receive:

  • 1st place: $250 to the fifth grade winner; $250 to the sixth grade winner and $250 to each of their enrolling schools
  • 2nd place: $100 to the fifth grade winner; $100 to the sixth grade winner and $100 to each of their enrolling schools
  • 3rd place: $25 to the fifth grade winner; $25 to the sixth grade winner and $25 to each of their enrolling schools 



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