About Us & Activities

The Nunn-Russo Creative Writing Competition

The Desert Branch sponsors the annual Creative Writing Competition for high school students. Students are judged primarily on their creativity and originality when writing about a topic they are given.

This year, the ESU is sponsoring the competition for high school students in the Coachella Valley. This is the fifth year of the competition and the challenge is always to find a topic that holds the interest of the students while allowing them the freedom to be as creative as possible within the topic.

This year the topic is: In Harry Potter's world, Harry and his friends attended a school of wizardry called Hogwarts. In the real world, if Hogwarts existed, would you attend? Why or Why Not? What would you study? Or would you prefer to remain a Muggie?

We think that even though the Harry Potter series of books were popular with the teens who are now college age or olders, it is felt that this new crop of students is familiar with the stories through the films and perhaps are reading the books as well.

This competition is for all high school students and offers a grand price of $500 to the winning author. The compositions require a minimum of 250 words up to a maximum of 750 words and are judged for their creativity. When the submissions are received, they are given a number so that the judges do not know the name, gender, age or school of the author. They are judged strictly on an anonymous basis which evens the playing field from the freshmen to the seniors.

This competition was originally created and funded by our member the late Marguerite Nunn and supported by our member the late Cam Russo. These two ladies were enthusiastic about inspiring students to develop their creativity through writing. The first three years of the competition were Chaired by Flavia Ralston who did a wonderful job explaining the competition to the schools and overseeing the process of selecting the winners.

The winners are announced at the ESU Desert Branch Annual Meeting in May. Winners and a guest receive a free lunch and their prizes at this luncheon.

Nancy Thomsen, Chair


The English-Speaking Union

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