Speech & Debate
Contact Info

Speech & Debate Director:
Jana Riggins

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Department Phone:
512-471-5883

Department Fax:
512-232-1499

State Champions

HEAVEN LOOKS A LOT LIKE THE MALL by Wendy Mass

The genre of this work can be confusing for UIL competition.

The Library of Congress Online Catalog, under subject record, lists the work as “fiction.”

Oftentimes, it is assumed the term fiction means the literature is prose. However, the Handbook to Literature (Harmon & Holman) defines fiction as “narrative writing drawn from the imagination rather than from history or fact. The term is most frequently associated with novels and short stories, though drama and narrative poetry are also forms of fiction.”

Because visually the literature is written in verse form, additional research is required.

When accessing the publisher’s description and contributor biographical information links also provided on the Library of Congress catalog’s main record, it is clear the literary work is poetry.

Publisher’s description (written in “witty, accessible verse, the poetry novel will both move and entertain…”) and contributor biographical information (written “in sharp, witty verse”), confirms the book is poetry.

The author’s official website also confirms the book is “written in free verse.” (http://wendymass.com/books/heaven-looks-a-lot-like-the-mall/overview/)

Therefore, Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall may be used only in the UIL Poetry Interpretation contest.

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