This festival is all about developing your voice -- we want to hear your unique insights on Orthodoxy. Please take some time to explore the resources available here, and contact Julie Wynn with questions. We are happy to mentor you as much as you like! Let us know if there's anything you need.


The Writing Process

Brainstorm & Research

Spend some time thinking about the topic options, and read through the articles. Think about which topics interest you most, and what you have to say about each of them.  Choose the best topic for you, and think of what your basic message will be.

Writing A Draft

Put your main message into a sentence or paragraph.  Now that you know where you are going with this, look back at your research.  Put what you have learned into your own words.  Now is the time to get lots of words onto the paper; don't worry if they are not perfect, just get them out there.  Later, you can edit and rearrange them into better form.  Read over what you've written.  Does it say what you mean to say?  Share it with your parents and/or mentor, and ask for suggestions and ideas.


Go back through your speech and make sure that it makes sense.  Is it organized in a way that the audience can follow and understand?  Should some of the points be made in a different order?  

Is there information that should be removed?  This is a speech, not a research paper, so you may not want to quote too many facts and figures.  Make sure that everything in your speech is relevant to your point.  

Is there information that should be added?  Have you left out interesting or important points?  Did you cover everything you wanted to say? Do you need to "connect the dots" between some of your points?

Look at your vocabulary.  Are you repeating certain words too often?  Are some of your meanings unclear?  Use a thesaurus to keep your wording precise and varied.

Look at your sentence structure.  Are all of your sentences following the same pattern?  Would it make sense to mix it up a bit?

Consider whether relating a story or anecdote could strengthen your speech.  

Do you have a strong finish?  You want to leave the audience with a strong, clear impression.

Read the speech aloud.  Does it flow smoothly?  Does it make sense?