You are here

Feature Story

The Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest

It's here! A healthy, educational competition that rewards everyone, builds students' self-esteem, and generates positive public relations for schools!

The National Handwriting Contest is an annual event that Zaner-Bloser sponsors to promote legible handwriting. The contest is free to enter and open to all students in Grades 1-8. Enter this year's contest and give your students the opportunity to win a variety of prize packages.

  • State Grade-Level Winners will receive a prize package for themselves and their school worth a total value of $250.
  • National Grade-Level Winners will receive a prize package for themselves and their school worth a total value of $750.
  • Each student Grand National Grade-Level Champion will be awarded $1,000 cash.
  • Each teacher of a Grand National Grade-Level Champion will be awarded a trip to the 2012 International Reading Association Conference in Chicago, IL.
  • Each school of a Grand National Grade-Level Champion will receive a $1,000 Zaner-Bloser Gift Certificate.

With prizes totaling more than $100,000, we are certain that your school will want to take part in this event! See for contest information.

Grand National Champions and Teachers Honored in 20th Annual National Handwriting Contest

At the International Reading Association (IRA) Annual Convention last May, we proudly announced that eight students from across the country earned top honors by displaying excellent handwriting skills to become the Grand National Champion winners in our 20th Anniversary National Handwriting Contest. Judges selected one student from each grade level, ranging from first to eighth grade, to represent the finest penmanship from across the country.

Last year, more than 220,000 students participated in the annual contest, and we estimate that more than 2.5 million students have participated in the contest during its 20-year history. Public and private schools held their own handwriting contests and entered the winning student for each grade level. The contest entries were judged according to our Keys to Legibility: Shape, Size, Spacing, and Slant.

The 2010-2011 Grand National Winners and their dedicated teachers included:

  • Grade 1: Jackson Hake, Tipton Community Grade School, Ms. Stacie Hake, Tipton, KS
  • Grade 2: Ysabelle Pinpin, St. Constance School, Ms. Patricia Prokuski, Chicago, IL
  • Grade 3: Karen Wang, Walt Disney Elementary School, Ms. Renee Johanson, Mishawaka, IN
  • Grade 4: Nicholas Dante Otten, Christ Household of Faith School, Ms. Georgia Simonson, Saint Paul, MN
  • Grade 5: Stephanie Felicia Thomas, Lantham Christian School, Ms. Melanie Boyce, Lanham, MD
  • Grade 6: Cassie Kriebel, St. Joseph Grade School, Mr. James Steudler, Lucinda, PA
  • Grade 7: Richard Jensen Schmitt, Jr., Woodland Consolidated School, Mr. David Sterris, Woodland, ME
  • Grade 8: Shantel Herner, Mott-Regent School, Ms. Dee Greff, Mott, ND

"Each of these eight students represents the best in their grade level throughout the entire country. Zaner-Bloser is very proud of the strong handwriting skills and dedication demonstrated by each student. We hope they inspire other children and schools to challenge themselves to reach their fullest potential in handwriting and in all their academic endeavors," said Zaner-Bloser President Bob Page.

Judges selected state winners in Grades 1-8 for both public and private schools. State winners competed against each other to become one of the 16 public and private National Grade Level Winners. The National Grade Level Winners then competed to be chosen as one of eight Grand National Champions.

Grand National winners each earned $1000 cash and a large trophy. Zaner-Bloser also awarded the teacher who worked with their champion student a trip to the IRA convention (valued at $1,850) where the winners were announced. In addition, each champion school received $1,000 worth of Zaner-Bloser educational materials.

The eight Grand National Champions were officially announced at the IRA Annual Convention on May 10, 2011, in Orlando, FL. View the video of the Grand National Champion awards presentation.

Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellent Penmanship

New for the 2010-2011 contest and for years to follow, Zaner-Bloser created a Special Needs Handwriting category for students with a cognitive delay or an intellectual, physical, or developmental disability. Each Special Needs student chosen to represent their school will receive an achievement certificate and will be entered to win the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellent Penmanship, named after the first winner of the contest. Learn more about Nicholas Maxim by reading Maine student born without hands honored for penmanship on

            © Zaner-Bloser, Inc. All Rights Reserved.      Privacy Policy