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Sokol Awards Contest Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Sokol High School Literary Awards?

Who is eligible?

What are the prizes?

How do I enter the contest?

How many entries may I submit?

Are there limits on the length of my entries?

When is the 2018 deadline?

Who judges the entries?

When and how are the winners notified?

When and where is the 2018 awards ceremony?

 

 


 

 

What are the Sokol High School Literary Awards?

Since 1958, the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library has sponsored a creative writing contest for high school students in grades nine through twelve. In 1985, Mr. & Mrs. Eli Sokol established an endowment, through the Rochester Area Community Foundation, that makes it possible for the Friends & Foundation to award monetary prizes to the poetry and prose winners and honoraria to the final judges. A special performance prize was added in 2014 to the traditional prose and poetry prizes. Through the Sokols’ foresight and generosity, the Friends & Foundation will be able to encourage young writers for generations to come.

 

Who is eligible?

Any high school student in grades 9 – 12 who lives in or attends school in Monroe County is eligible to apply. Entries from Home Schoolers are welcome!

 

What are the prizes?

The poetry and prose categories each have three cash prizes: $300 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third place.

The performance category has one cash prize of $300. If a group wins the performance prize, the prize is equally divided by the number of people in the group.

 

How do I enter the contest?

For the poetry and prose categories:

Email two attachments together to Sokol.Contest@libraryweb.org:

1. The original work in a word document with no name or identifying information.  Work must be typed, double spaced, in 12-point font, and each page should include the work’s title and page number.

2. A separate cover sheet in a word document including the Title, Student’s Name, Address, Telephone, School, and Grade Level.

For the performance category:

Email three attachments together to Sokol.Contest@libraryweb.org:

1. The original performance text in a word document with no name or identifying information.  Work must be typed, double spaced, in 12-point font, and each page should include the work’s title and page number.

2. A link to the You Tube video of the performed original piece. Production quality is not considered in judging, but the sound must be clear.

3. A separate cover sheet in a word document including the Title, Student’s Name, Address, Telephone, School, and Grade Level.

Submit only one entry per category (Poetry, Prose, or Performance). A performance entry may also be entered as either a poetry or a prose entry in written form. However, if a student chooses to submit it in one of those categories, the performance piece must be submitted separately to also receive consideration in that category. 

If a student does not have access to email, please call the Friends & Foundation office at 585.428.8350 to make special arrangements.

 

How many entries may I submit?

A student may enter one original piece in each of the three categories. A performance entry may also be entered as either a poetry or a prose entry in written form. However, if a student chooses to submit it in one of those categories, the performance piece must be submitted separately to also receive consideration in that category. 

 

Are there limits on the length of my entries?

There are no specific limits.

Poetry entries are typically 1 – 4 pages in length.

Prose entries are typically 6 – 10 pages in length and are short fiction, not essays.

Performance entries are typically 2 – 10 minutes long and can be professionally produced or simply recorded on a phone and posted on You Tube. Production quality does not matter. Judges are evaluating the quality of the original work.  

 

When is the 2018 deadline?

The deadline for submission is Wednesday, January 31, 2018. 

 

Who judges the entries?

The Sokol Committee judges the first round in February, selecting 8 – 12 finalists in each category to forward to the final judges, who are published authors and experts in their respective genre. The final judges review the finalist entries in March and select the top three entries in poetry and prose and the top entry in performance.

 

When and how are the winners notified?

The final judges will determine the contest winners in March.

The Friends & Foundation will call the winners in mid-late March to notify them of their award and hold a short biographical interview for the program booklet. Winners are also encouraged to submit names and addresses of family, friends and teachers whom they would like to invite to the awards ceremony.

Winners will receive their cash award and a letter of congratulations from the final judges at the ceremony.

Finalists will receive a letter in mid-late March from a Sokol Committee member, usually the member who advanced their work to the final judges.

All entrants will receive an email notification of the winners in late March. The winners will also be listed on the web page: www.sokol.ffrpl.org

 

When and where is the 2018 awards ceremony?

The 2018 awards ceremony will be on Thursday, May 3 at 4 pm in the Kate Gleason Auditorium of the Central Library, 115 South Avenue in downtown Rochester. The ceremony is free and open to the public. Poetry and prose winners read their entries, then hear the judges’ comments about their work. Performance winners either perform their piece live or a produced broadcast. Winners receive their cash prizes at the ceremony.







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