Rules & Text


  1. The text provided on this page should be written in any of the various styles of cursive handwriting rather than printed. Each performance of writing will be judged as a whole according to ease of reading. The writing should feature not only a fluent rhythmic movement but also a technically correct performance of specifications such as the slope, space, size, and shape of the letters. The goal of the work is disciplined freedom of movement.
  2. The competitor can choose the paper and the writing instrument to use as long as the paper is 8 1/2" X 11". The general layout of the entry (choice of margins and line spacing) will be taken into account along with overall neatness.
  3. Only one entry may be submitted by each competitor. The competitor must write his or her name, address, telephone number and/or e-mail address on the back of the entry, indicating age as of February 1, 2018. Students should also write the name and address of their school and the name of their teacher. Note: teachers, please submit only the top three or four entries from your class after your own local judging.<
  4. Entries may be submitted anytime after March 1, 2018, but must be received no later than March 31, 2018 at: NEBRASKA HANDWRITING CONTEST, Attention: Julie Agard, University of Nebraska at Kearney, College of Education, Kearney, NE 68849. All entries become the property of the Nebraska Handwriting Contest and will be retained with the right to use them in full or in part in exhibitions and/or publications.

The Sequel Bookshop of Kearney, Nebraska, will provide Nebraska winners a
First and Second Place Award for excellence in penmanship in each age category.

First Place - $25 Gift Certificate
Second Place - $15 Gift Certificate

Prizes to be awarded solely on the recommendations of the judges.
Award winners will be announced to the press and posted on the website by April 30, 2018

- In memory of Eva Hutson -


Text for Competitors Age 12 and Under:

The Fox and the Mask

A Fox had by some means got into the store-room of a theatre. Suddenly he observed a face glaring down on him and began to be very frightened; but looking more closely he found it was only a Mask such as actors use to put over their face. "Ah," said the Fox, "you look very fine; it is a pity you have not got any brains."

Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth.

An Aesop Fable

Text for Competitors Age 13 and Over:

O Pioneers!

When the road began to climb the first long swells of the Divide, Alexandra hummed an old Swedish hymn, and Emil wondered why his sister looked so happy. Her face was so radiant that he felt shy about asking her. For the first time, perhaps, since that land emerged from the waters of geologic ages, a human face was set toward it with love and yearning. It seemed beautiful to her, rich and strong and glorious. Her eyes drank in the breadth of it, until her tears blinded her. Then the Genius of the Divide, the great, free spirit which breathes across it, must have bent lower than it ever bent to a human will before. The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman.

By Willa Cather