Far Western Region Writing

Far Western Region Blog Contest Rules and Guidelines

Revised Deadline: January 31, 2014


We are seeking entries for the Far Western Region’s page on the Society blog, WORDY by Nature. Contestants are invited to submit a blog article of no less than 400 and no more than 800 words on the following topic:

Region, or “Standing in the Place Where You Live”: This topic calls for us to think generally about the region’s influence on literature and more specifically, about the Far Western Region’s influence on our lives. Traditional criticism classifies literature as “regional” not only because of setting, but also because such literature has less than universal appeal.  We live in a “global” society largely because of the internet, but how does where we live, work, study, and play make its mark on our thought and creativity? In terms of the writer’s craft, the short story writer Andre Dubus (1936-1999) once said that he couldn’t write about a place unless he had smelled it. And who can forget the call to introspection in R.E.M.’s 1989 hit song, “Stand,” which asks us to:

“Stand in the place where you live/Now face North/Think about direction/Wonder why you haven’t before . . .”

So think about place, and specifically, your place in the Far Western Region. What does your part of the Far Western Region offer in terms of famous writers, literary landmarks, inspiring vistas, or active hubs of creativity? What does this part of the country offer you? How has it influenced our local literature—historical or contemporary? Alternatively, how has your locale lead to some important activities for your chapter? What service projects, creative fundraisers or activities, or simply chapter/school/individual member identities are unique because of where you live?

Feel free to write whimsically or to report on actual regional events, writers, or landmarks. Entries must be accompanied by an original and relevant photograph.


A first, second, and third place prize will be offered in the amounts of $100, $50, and $30 respectively.  At the judges’ discretion, up to two runner-up entries will be considered.


  1. You must be a member of a Sigma Tau Delta chapter within the Far Western Region.
  2. You are allowed only one entry.
  3. You must send your blog entry as an attachment, and in the email to which it is attached, you must provide:
    1. Your name
    2. Email address
    3. Name of school and name of your Sigma Tau Delta chapter (see Chapter Directory)
    4. Year you were inducted into Sigma Tau Delta
    5. Whether you are planning to attend the 2014 Convention
  4. Prizes will be awarded at the 2014 Sigma Tau Delta International Convention in Savannah, and winning entries will be published on WORDY by Nature starting the week of the annual convention. Winners need not be present to win.
  5. Winners will be paid in the form of a check, so be sure to indicate to whom you want the check made out to if different from your signed name.
  6. The deadline for all blog entries is January 8, 2014, 12:00 a.m. PST.
  7. Email your completed blog entry to [email protected].

Format and Pictures

All articles:

  • Must be 12-point, Times New Roman font
  • Must be submitted as a Word document (.doc or .docx)
  • Must follow the Sigma Tau Delta Writing Style Guide and MLA
  • Should skip a line between paragraphs
  • Must be accompanied by a headshot of the writer
  • Must include a relevant original photo
  • Must identify any people featured in submitted photos
  • Should have the following header:
    • Title
      Author (list first name and last name)
      Office (if applicable: e.g., President, Secretary, Chapter Sponsor)
      School Name

Evaluation Criteria

In addition to the criteria that the article address the contest topic, and meet the requirements listed above, articles will be judged according to a rubric which incorporates many, if not all of the following criteria:


  • Inspires appreciation of words, language, and literature
  • Furthers, promotes, or highlights one of the objectives of the Society
  • Provides original content (don’t duplicate the website)
  • Shares relevant and useful information for Society members
  • Contains a takeaway or key thought for members
  • Includes a call to action or a question that promotes conversation


  • Logical, clear, and accurate
  • Written from a personal perspective (first person narrative)
  • Informative and/or persuasive in nature
  • Utilizes multimedia (pictures, videos, and web links)
  • Well written, professional, and representative of the high standards of the Society


  • Simple
  • Descriptive
  • Eye-catching, grabs the reader’s attention
  • Meets a need (the reader feels like he/she needs to read it)