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Notable judges await high school nature writers
“Now, if we’re real quiet … ” begins a poem about an experience that thrills many outdoor lovers. The poem’s author, Tim McNulty, is one of the distinguished judges for the Dungeness River Audubon Center’s nature writing contest for Clallam and Jefferson county high school students.
The judges are waiting to see what in nature has inspired Olympic Peninsula high school students to write about their experiences. Deadline for submissions is Feb. 1.
The center in Sequim invites students in grades 9-12 to write something meaningful they’ve experienced in nature. All essays, short stories, poems, screenplays, and personal accounts of 1,200 words or less received by the deadline are judged on content, creativity, overall organization, presentation, grammar and punctuation and adherence to rules.
The judges review submissions and select the three top pieces as candidates for the grand prize. River Center Director Powell Jones will select the winner of the grand prize, a three-day cruise to the beautiful San Juan Islands, valued at about $1,200. The writers of the top three submissions receive recognition on Feb. 19 at the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society’s monthly meeting (the public is welcome) at the Dungeness River Audubon Center, 2151 W. Hendrickson Road, Sequim.
High school teachers, whether in public, private, or home schools in Clallam and Jefferson counties, have been asked to incorporate the writing exercise into their curriculum or enter a student’s prior writing.
If writing an essay, John Woolley, a retired politics and environmental teacher at Sequim High School and one of the judges of this contest, recommends the writer refer to Aldo Leopold’s “A Sand County Almanac” for inspiration. Woolley will be looking for essays with a message — how things in nature look today compared to the past, for example.
Involved with Peninsula College’s Tidepools artists’ competition, Nancy Woolley, also a contest judge, is a retired English and creative writing teacher and librarian at Sequim High School.
For more information on rules and eligibility, visit dungenessrivercenter.org/or call the Dungeness River Audubon Center at 681-4076 or e-mail RCeducation@olympus.net.