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, 2019.  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, 2019, but must be received no later than March 31, 2019 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, 2019

- In memory of Eva Hutson -


Text for Competitors Age 12 and Under:

The Bald Man and the Fly

There was once a Bald Man who sat down after work on a hot summer's day.
A Fly came up and kept buzzing about his bald pate, and stinging him from time to time.
The Man aimed a blow at his little enemy, but his palm came on his head instead.
Again the Fly tormented him, but this time the Man was wiser and said:

"You will only injure yourself if you take notice of despicable enemies."

An Aesop Fable

Text for Competitors Age 13 and Over:

The Song of the Lark

Winter was long in coming that year. Throughout October the days were bathed in sunlight and the air was clear as crystal. The town kept its cheerful summer aspect, the desert glistened with light, the sand hills every day went through magical changes of color. The scarlet sage bloomed late in the front yards, the cottonwood leaves were bright gold long before they fell, and it was not until November that the green on the tamarisks began to cloud and fade. There was a flurry of snow about Thanksgiving, and then December came on warm and clear.

By Willa Cather