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OJC Press Release ID: 2898

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Otero Arts Festival Creative Writing Call for Entries


The 63rd annual Otero Arts Festival is set for April 2 – 4 at Otero Junior College’s McDivitt Center Gym. The Otero Arts Festival will showcase creative writing, visual arts, theatrical performances and instrumental music contestants for area students’ grades 7-12 from throughout southeast Colorado. Entries are being accepted for the Creative Writing division through Friday, March 1. All poems, short stories, essays and creative books that are entered will be displayed in the Reading Room during the public viewing dates, April 2-4. Forms and detailed information about the Otero Arts Festival Creative Writing contests are available on the Otero Junior College website at:

Contest categories include:

Essay: May be on any topic, no more than 500 words and must include a title.

Short Story: May be on any topic and should demonstrate a strong sense of narration, description, and character development. These are not to be autobiographical in nature. Limited to 1,000 words and must include a title.

Poetry: May be of any style, may be submitted in an artistic visual format, and must be titled with no more than 30 lines.

Senior Portfolio Competition: The senior student must exhibit one entry from each of the following categories: essay, short story, and poetry. Only one entry per category is allowed. Seniors can now include a writing project completed during any of their high school years. Senior Portfolio entries are limited to this group and do not compete at-large.

Creative Book: For this option, high school students grades 9-12, may create a book of poetry, a short story or personal memoir. However, these items cannot be submitted in the other categories of poetry, short story and essay. Students must submit their book in the plastic folder - no 3-ring binders. Book must include a title page, minimum is eight pages of content and the maximum is 14 pages of content. Pages must be 8 1/2 x 11 (a standard sheet of paper). Illustrations need to be the original work of the student or non-copyrighted material; 25 percent of the book should be illustrated in some fashion.

First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded in each of the three writing categories for grades 7-12. A ribbon and $50 award will be given for Best Representative Writing in middle school and a ribbon and $50 award will be given for Best Representative Writing in high school.

The Creative Writing contest continues to feature the high school Senior Portfolio competition consisting of a poem, short story and essay. The winner of the Senior Portfolio creative writing division will be awarded a one-year, renewable, 12 credit hours of in-state tuition scholarship to Otero Junior College.

All Creative Writing entries will be on exhibit in the Reading Room April 2 – 4 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free to the exhibit in the OJC McDivitt Center Gymnasium.

Entries are currently being accepted by mail at Otero Arts Festival Creative Writing, 1802 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050 or by bringing entries the OJC Welcome Center, Macdonald Hall Room 110 by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1.

For more information contact festival coordinator Debbie Phillips at


Press Release Photo
Creative Writing entries for the 63rd Otero Arts Festival will be on display throughout the festival’s public viewing. The “Reading Room” will have available for the public to read the entries from April 2 – 4 daily, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Winners will be recognized at the awards ceremony, Thursday, April 4 at 7 p.m.