Middle school students visit campus for Power of the Pen writing tournament

Baldwin Wallace hosts the Power of the Pen writing tournament in person after sponsoring it virtually for many years.

On Saturday March 11, Baldwin Wallace University hosted the Power of the Pen creative writing tournament on campus while students were off on spring break.  

Power of the Pen is an organization set on instilling a love for writing in middle school students around Ohio, and over spring break, BW had the opportunity to host its northeastern regional competition.  

Guy Farish, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, was one of the BW faculty members who oversaw the event.  

“The enthusiasm was just crazy. The students were just so excited, cheering each other on with the awards,” Farish said.  

“Some professors also came down to give the students writing prompts and give them some exposure to what it’s like writing for a college professor, which was nice,” Farish said.  

Helping to set up the event was English professor and Associate Dean of Humanities Denise Kohn, who sent out emails to creative writing and English majors who would be willing to volunteer at this year’s event.  

“This is our third-year sponsoring Power of the Pen, but because of Covid our sponsorship of the event in the past has been completely virtual,” Kohn said. “They have been having virtual tournaments over the last two years, so everyone was excited to be able to do it in person.”   

Over the years in which BW sponsored Power of the Pen virtually, staff provided small stipends for the events as well as recording multiple professors describing the creative process for the the middle school students who were involved.  

Since BW hosted the event in person this year, middle school students across northeast Ohio were able to come to campus and use BW facilities as well as interact with several BW professors and faculty.  

Solé Hall-Hamilton, a senior English and education student at BW was one of the volunteers at this year’s tournament.  

“It was just nice to see all their faces. I’m from Virginia, and I’ve never had anything like Power of the Pen ever, so it was just really cool to be a part of something like that,” Hall-Hamilton said.  

Volunteers were responsible for helping the students sign in for the event, as well as guiding them across campus to the various facilities in which activities were being held.  

“As a volunteer, it was exciting. I’m an educator, of course, so I get really excited just seeing kids get all bubbly and happy,” Hall-Hamilton said. “Some of them were really stressed, so it was nice being able to help them and reassure them.”   

As it stands, the final state-wide competition is set to take place at Ashland University later this year, though it is BW’s hope that Power of the Pen will continue to come to them in the future for continued hosting and sponsorships.