Declamation Rules

Please click the button to the right for each rule in declamation category.

Declamation General Rules

These rules have been made to protect all schools and contestants.

  • A student may not perform the same poem or prose selection in both the Memory and Reading competitions, and a student may not perform the same poem or prose selection that he/she has performed in any previous year.  Failure to provide at least 2 copies of the piece to the judge will result in a 10 point deduction from the cumulative score. 
  • It is illegal for the same student to use the same piece for prose/poetry memory that he/she uses for prose/poetry reading.
  • Each school must provide an alpha list of students, including the names and authors of poetry, prose, skits, plays, duets and puppet shows.
  • Enter fifth year students in the fourth year categories.
Declamation Critique Sheets

Please click the link below to download critique sheet in given category.

Sign-in Sheet

Poetry Memory

Poetry Reading – Digital Submission Event

Prose Memory

Prose Reading – Digital Submission Event

Poetry and Prose Memory

Entry Limit: Three contestants per level (except for the Advantaged level, where the limit is two contestants), per school: Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, & Adv. 

Length and Time Limits:
Level 1:  16-24 lines OR 1-2 min.  Level 2:  20-32 lines OR 1.5-2.5 min.   Levels 3 & 4:  24-46 lines OR 2-3 min.

The selection must be by a German-speaking author, i.e., originally published in German.  It may not be a translation from a non-German speaking author, even if it has been published, but it may be by a non-German who writes in German, e.g., Kishon. Piece may be edited to fit time or line limits (see above).  Prose Memory is dramatic interpretation, but without costumes and props.  The contestant may use one chair and may move during the presentation.  The title of the selection and the author must be listed along with the name of the student performing it on the alphabetical student list at the time of registration.  At least two copies of the selection must be presented to the judges at the contest.  Prose Memory selections may not be used as Prose Reading selections or vice versa by the same person.

Poetry and Prose Reading - Digital Submission Event

This event is submitted and judged virtually. The entry is due one week prior to contest day. Websites will be updated each year to reflect the submission due dates.  Instructions for uploading the entry will be published on the contest website and/or distributed to teachers each year.

Entry Limit: 3 contestants per event (Poetry & Prose), per level (Levels 1, 2, 3 & 4), per school

Length and Time Limits:

  • Level 1:  16-24 lines OR 1-2 min.
  • Level 2:  20-32 lines OR 1.5-2.5 min.
  • Levels 3 & 4:  24-46 lines OR 2-3 min.

The selection must be by a German-speaking author, i.e., originally published in German.  It may not be a translation from a non-German speaking author, even if it has been published, but it may be by a non-German who writes in German, e.g., Kishon. Piece may be edited to fit time or line limits.  Poetry/Prose Reading is judged on the basis of reading and not on any interpretation by the contestant, other than the use of voice changes, eye contact, facial expressions, and some use of hands.  No props or costumes may be used.  The contestant may not walk around.  The title of the selection and the author must be listed along with the name of the student performing it on the alphabetical student list at the time of registration.  Poetry/Prose Reading selections may not be used as Poetry/Prose Memory selections or vice versa by the same person.

Submission Process:

  1. Record yourself reading the selection (or have someone else record you). Don’t forget to say the title and author. You may do as many “takes” as you want until you’re satisfied with the result, but the submitted recording must be a single continuous unedited take, not a spliced-together compilation of the best parts of multiple takes.
  2. Upload the video of your reading to YouTube or Vimeo.
  3. Create a single Word document or Google Doc, etc. with the full text of the selection, including title and author.  To get the text of your reading selection into the document, you can cut and paste it if you have access to an electronic version of the piece or simply take a (clear!) picture or pictures of the text if you are working from a hard copy and paste the picture(s) into the document.
  4. Include a title page with your nameyour school, the name and level of the event, e.g., “Poetry Reading 2,” and a hyperlink to your YouTube/Vimeo recording. **If you are concerned about privacy and want to password-protect your video, include the password with the hyperlink in the document.
  5. Convert this document to a PDF file and upload it according to the instructions provided. Do NOT upload the video itself; the judges will access your video via the link that you include in the PDF.