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Langston Hughes
Youth Oratorical 


Theme: "As I live I learn…”


Contest Date:  Saturday, February 3, 2024

Time: 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location: The Cultural Center at the Opera House

121 N. Union Ave, Havre de Grace, Maryland 21078 


Submission deadline:

January 7, 2024



 Contestants are required to deliver a 4 to 5 minute speech using the theme:

“As I live I learn…"





Date and Time: Saturday, January 20, 2024, at 1:00 p.m.

Location: Havre de Grace Colored School Museum and Cultural Center, Inc.,

555 Alliance Street, Havre de Grace, MD 21078

(Virtual coaching sessions will be held with individual students upon request.)



(Harford County Middle and High School Students Only)

1st place:

$500 each

2nd place:

$300 each

3rd place:

$200 each

Top 10 runners up:

 $100 each

Scholarships are payable to the student. All contestants must be present to receive their award.

(Scholarships are awarded by a sponsor.  No donations or grants are used to fund the awards.)



Contestants must be a Harford County resident.

Contestants must be in grades 6 through 12, including homeschooled students.

Contestants must provide a valid school ID or proof of age.



Contestants must deliver a speech related to the official theme, "As I live I learn..." and include the phrase at least once.

Speeches should be inspirational, with no politics or offensive language.

Speeches must be between 4 and 5 minutes in length.

Penalty of one point for speeches under 4 minutes or over 5 minutes.


No props, costumes, clothing, or prompters are allowed.

Speeches must be delivered in English.

Copyrighted or quoted material must be verbally identified.

Contestants must prepare their own speeches.

No usage or reading from notes during the presentation.



Failure to use the official topic results in a deduction of 3 points.

Failure to identify non-original material leads to disqualification.

Use of props, costumes, or prompters results in disqualification.

Time penalties of 1 point for every 15 seconds over or under the allotted time.



Poise, appearance, and personality: 20 points.

Content of speech, including subject adherence, theme, content, and logic: 35 points.

Delivery and presentation, including voice, volume, pronunciation, gestures, eye contact, sincerity, and emphasis: 35 points.

Overall effectiveness, including appeal, impression, attitude, and effect: 10 points.

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