The sijo is a traditional three-line Korean poetic form organized technically and thematically by line and syllable count. Using the sijo form, write one poem in English on a topic of your choice. Only one entry per applicant is permitted.
read about sijo
- Adult sijo division, open to everyone age 19 and older
- Pre-college sijo division, open to students age 18 and younger
| sijo examples
| sijo teaching materialsEssay CategoryAdult division
(age 30 and younger) & Senior division
(grade 12 and younger)
Topic: Hwang Sun-won's short story "Cranes
Hwang Sun-won (1915-2000), one of Korea’s great 20th century writers of fiction, published “Cranes” in 1953, just as the Korean War ceasefire was coming into effect. The story has been seen and even criticized for being too optimistic—even naïve—about the possibilities for future reconciliation between the two Koreas, which, as recent news stories tell us, remain extremely hostile toward one another.
In a carefully developed essay, point out those parts of the story that do seem to suggest the possibility or hope of future reconciliation between the two main characters and, by extension, the two Koreas. But noting that now, more than a half-century later, hostile actions continue to occur, while still there is no peace treaty, show how Hwang’s story might be read as a more complicated rendering of the situation on the Korean peninsula than naïvely optimistic.
(grade 8 and younger): 2020 Korean folktales
Submit applications through our online system
- Select one folktale from the list and explain your interpretation of the story. What is its importance? Why do you think it was created? Which Korean folktale character do you relate to best and why? Would you make the same decisions as that character?
- If you could change one of these folktales, what would you change and why? Do you disagree with something the tale is trying to convey?
. Submission deadline March 31, 2020, 11:59pm CDT.
Eligibility: This competition is open to all residents of the US and Canada regardless of ethnic background.