The Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest:
Celebrating 25 Years of Student Success
Now in its 25th year, the National Handwriting Contest is an annual event sponsored by Zaner-Bloser to promote legible handwriting. The contest is free to enter and open to all students in Grades K–8. The contest includes a Special Needs category, the Nicholas Maxim Award. Students can win many great prizes, including cash and trophies. Zaner-Bloser estimates that 300,000 students participate in the contest each year.
Free Resources for Handwriting Practice
Before your students put pen to paper on their National Handwriting Contest entry form, let them practice the Keys to Legibility and handwriting skills that will make them handwriting all-stars! Here are some helpful free tools and ideas to get you started:
Prepare your students for the contest with our ready-made Practice Masters for selected letterforms.
Give your students practice where they need it most and create your own worksheets. The free version of the ZB FontsOnline PlusTM application includes editable templates with grade-specific guidelines and Zaner-Bloser’s manuscript and cursive alphabets. Try it now.
Fine and Gross Motor Skill Development Activities
Strengthen the motor skills that lead to improved handwriting with these effective activities developed by leading occupational therapists. Learn more.
Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Stroke Descriptions
Take your students step-by-step through proper letter and numeral formation with these easy-to-remember stroke descriptions.
The Four Keys to Legibility—Shape, Size, Spacing, and Slant—are essential to legible handwriting and form the criteria for judging the National Handwriting Contest. Download these kid-friendly guidelines to help your students understand each key.
As students practice for the contest, they can use these helpful guides with grade-appropriate models of Excellent, Good, Average, Fair, and Poor handwriting to self-evaluate and improve their handwriting.