The SpiRIT Writing competition is for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in grades 10-11 as of spring 2022. To participate, students can submit a writing project of up to 2,000 words based on the theme of the competition. This year the theme is... anything! Students may write a fictional story, a research paper, an autobiography--any topic they'd like. The sky is the limit!
Registration for the SpiRIT Writing competition opens on December 1, 2021 and students have until March 15, 2022 to submit their original written works. The winner of the competition will be selected and will receive a cash prize!
Teachers are encouraged to get their students to sign up. Each school district or school for the deaf may submit up to two entries from deaf or hard-of-hearing students enrolled in grades 10-11.
Rules and Eligibility
Am I eligible?
You must be deaf or hard-of-hearing
You must be enrolled in 10th or 11th grade as of spring 2022
This year's theme is: write about any topic that interests you. You could write anything, as long as it is under 2,000 words.
Formerly the National Dalgarno Essay Contest
The SpiRIT Writing Contest owes its existence to an earlier writing competition sponsored at RIT/NTID entitled the National Dalgarno Essay Contest. This competition was established and personally sponsored for ten years by the late Professor Emeritus Edward Scouten, and his wife Eleanor, who shared a passion for English literacy and the education of deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
Professor and Mrs. Scouten originally named the essay contest after George Dalgarno, a Scottish school teacher and the inventor of the first sign language alphabet. In 1680, Dalgarno published a book in which he presented many theories about the different ways to teach language to people who were deaf. Among those theories was Dalgarno’s firm belief that deaf children could learn to understand and use written English if given the opportunity. Mr. Scouten, in his many years of teaching English at NTID, based much of his philosophy of teaching on Dalgarno’s original theories of the relationship between English, language and deafness.
SCOUTEN ENDOWED INTERNSHIP IN ENGLISH LITERACY
Established in 2004, this endowment provides support for an internship with the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of the Rochester Institute of Technology. The purpose of the internship is to provide mentoring in best teaching practices to promote English literacy. Learn more about the Scouten Endowed Internship in English Literacy.
RIT SpiRIT Writing Contest
Rochester Institute of Technology
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Lyndon Baines Johnson Building
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York 14623-5604