1st Annual In-The-Loop Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Spoken Word Contest.
Original works of poetry/spoken word, rap, and essay.
“Give Peace a Chance. Be the Change”
Monday, January 20, 2020, 1pm
Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church, 4640 Edmondson Ave.
Prizes for Elementary (grades 4 & 5), Middle, and High School. 1st ($100), 2nd ($50) and 3rd ($25)
1) Spoken word must be presented by the student in-person and presented without electronic devices, or papers, except for a notecard, if needed. Students are encouraged to memorize their offering to maximize the quality of their presentation.
2) Content of spoken word offering must be the students original work, developed independently, with support as needed from responsible adults (parents/guardians, teachers, and as offered to each contestant, by contest organizers at scheduled preparatory sessions, available to all contestants. Judges will be attuned to offerings
where the student does not appear to understand what is being spoken and, in their individual opinions, the content does not appear to be at the grade level of the student.
3) Prizes will be awarded to nine contestants:
a) First, second and third prizes will be awarded according to total points accumulated, according to an average of three judges’ scores, given according to established criteria,
b) Each type of spoken word will have five criteria, each with a maximum of 10 points, so that that the total accumulated points will not exceed 50 points, regardless of spoken word type,.
c) Within a grade level, the three individuals with the highest point average, win first, second or third prize, respective to the points awarded.
Example: Among 4th and 5th graders, the top three points achieved are: a RAP contestant achieves an average of 41 points, a poet achieves 36 points, and an oratory contestant achieves 32 points. The RAP contestant is awarded first place, the poet, 2nd place, and oratory contestant is awarded 3rd place.
4) Judging will be performed by individuals selected by the organizers. Judges will be :
a) Vetted for any personal conflicts of interest, prior to being approved as a judge.
b) Provided with instruction to ensure a common understanding and fair use of the established criteria.
Decisions by judges are final. There is no appeal process, though contestants/parents/guardians are encouraged to share their concerns and recommendations for future improvement of the contest.
5) Judging criteria: (note some elements are common to all types of spoken word, while others are unique to the
type of spoken word):
Criteria for All types of spoken word:
(1) Delivery of the word. (Elocution)—The ability of the listener to understand each word that is spoken in terms of correct pronunciation, clearness of diction and phonetic expression, and volume.
(2) Message—What the ‘words’ say. The message is understandable, clear and engaging. That is, listeners are affected by the spoken word offering on a personal level (emotionally, intellectually, culturally, relevancy, etc.), and the message is aligned with the contest theme.
Additional Criteria for Specific Spoken Word Type:
(3) Strong rhythmic beat
(4) Flow—staying on the beat and switching the timing to add more emphasis to certain phrases or performing more complex rhythms.
(5) Expression—use of a range of emotions in the delivery of the message.
POETRY—as spoken word:
(3) Poems do not have to rhyme, but should have a rhythm or pattern
(4) Should Lift the listener out of the ordinary and give glimpses of a better reality.
(6) Should engage the heart of the reader
(7) Be from the heart and offer hope from a seemingly painful experience
(8) Help the listener feel a oneness with the poet and the poem
ORATORY can have all of the elements above, but is more prose-like, or continuous speech without rhythm or patterns, though those elements can be included in parts to make the oratory stronger.