Promote Good Penmanship and Celebrate Handwriting!

Celebrate cursive and manuscript excellence with the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest. Approximately 2.5 million students have put pencil to paper to participate in the most prestigious handwriting contest in the United States over the past 30+years!

How Does It Work?

School-winning student entries are submitted to Zaner-Bloser for consideration at the state level. State winners go on to compete at the national level, vying for the honor of Grand National Champion at grades K–8. Winning students receive trophies, cash prizes, and the pride that comes with having the best penmanship in the nation.

Who Is Eligible?

The contest is open to all students enrolled in public, charter, private, and parochial schools in grades K–8 (K–2 entries in manuscript and 3–8 entries in cursive) and includes a special-needs category created in honor of Nicholas Maxim, a past participant whose passion for writing inspired the award.

How Do We Get Started?

  1. Download official entry packets* from the How to Enter page.
  2. Organize and host your school contest. Select one winner at each participating grade. Identify your Nicholas Maxim winners for manuscript and cursive if applicable.
  3. Submit your entries for official evaluation!

* Official entry packets contain rules, school information form, directions on how to enter, and grade-level and Nicholas Maxim Award entry forms. Download all PDFs on the How to Enter page to ensure you have complete information.

How Do We Submit Entries?

You can submit your school-winning entries two ways—online or by mail. Directions for both are included in the official entry packets/How to Enter document. All entries are due Valentine's Day … because we love handwriting.

We're proud to recognize student excellence in manuscript and cursive writing. We hope you will join us!

Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest fast facts sheet.

2016 Handwriting Contest Winners

Drawing of envelope