Happy National Handwriting Day 2021!
Today we celebrate penmanship and specifically cursive writing. Cursive used to be the norm and recently it has been taken out of schools and so there are some people who cannot even read cursive! It is such a shame as there are so many benefits to writing in cursive: speed of expression, beauty of form and the improved cognitive function.
The Paper Seahorse celebrated by having our first ever cursive contest. Here are the winners. They were selected by yours truly, as well as two very qualified handwriting experts, Master Penman Michael Sull and Director of the American Cursive Instructor Certification Program, Marie Hornback. We are very grateful for their participation, time and expertise.
This first ever contest had entries from Japan, India, Australia, Canada and the United States. To everyone who entered, you are all winners as you put pen to paper and are each keeping handwriting alive. We are so proud of all of you!
1st place: Tishya Pansari
Runner up: Diksha Mehta
1st Place: Tina Chaney
Runner up: Andrew Wang
1st Place: Alejandra Castano
Runner up: Joan M. Damron
Honorable mention: Linda Evans
1st Place: Laxman Bawankule
1st Place: Ronda Willows
Runner up: Lynda de la Rosa
Honorable Mention: Mary Tait
It is important to note that Spencerian and Cursive writing were never intended to be unaltered or unchanged from one person to another. The foundations of these styles are all directly based on the natural characteristics of curvature, movement, contrast and variety. Our choice for 1st place is a perfect example of this in the adult category. Here is Mr. Sull's comment about this year's winner in the Adult category:
"I feel very strongly about Rhonda Hillows deserving 1st Place in the Adult Category. As an adult, I expect a person to write very legibly with easy-to-read letter forms, but also with consistency not only in slant and letter spacing, but also in any individualistic “touches”, “accents”, or flourished/extended strokes that in no way compromise legibility. This sense of “individuality” in a person’s handwriting is what makes handwriting so very special, personal, and recognizable. An adult’s handwriting should not be judged to the same reference as a child’s. Rhonda’s writing is a perfect example of the characteristics I just mentioned. Her cursive is perfectly legible, consistent, and very unique (personal/individualistic). No other contestant comes close to her in this regard."
We couldn't agree more, an adult's personal expression of themselves through handwriting is a glorious, spontaneous and intimate thing. One to be celebrated as is the American spirit. Self expression and American Cursive Handwriting go hand in hand. To me, taking pride in penmanship is taking pride in you and your unique personality. It celebrates you and all your wonderful traits. Something we could all do more of more often.
Of course learning the solid basics and letterforms is just as important when growing up and learning cursive. As they say, you have to learn all the rules so you can break them later on.
We hope this exercise encouraged creativity in all its forms. We also hope that mindfulness is the by-product you received from taking the time to write by hand.
The winners below will receive a certificate of participation, a special gift from The Paper Seahorse and a name plate created by Michael Sull.
However you celebrate National Handwriting Day, we hope you will enter again next year!
Learn more about our contest here.
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