In honor of William Stafford’s centennial birthday, Ooligan Press is organizing a statewide writing competition for seventh- through 12th-grade students.

The press will provide all contest participants with an assortment of William Stafford’s poems, one of his essays on the writing process and three sets of lesson plans written by local teachers. Using Stafford’s writing as inspiration, teachers will help students create and revise their own poems and essays.

Teachers can mail submissions of their students’ work to Ooligan Press from now through April. A judging panel will convene in January and in June to read students’ submissions and select pieces for publication. These selections will be collected in an anthology and released in January 2014 to help launch the yearlong celebration of William Stafford’s birth. Public reading opportunities will be available to students whose work is published in the anthology.

Ooligan Press is affiliated with Portland State University and staffed by students pursuing master’s degrees in an apprenticeship program under the guidance of a core faculty of publishing professionals. As a teaching press dedicated to the art and craft of publishing and rooted in the rich literary tradition of the Pacific Northwest, Ooligan Press is excited and pleased to be able to provide this opportunity for Oregon’s students.

“We believe that the beauty, grace, and subject matter of Stafford’s writing will speak to students, and hope that the opportunity to be published will stimulate them to write,” said Laura Larrabee, one of the managers for the William Stafford project.

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