I am happy to report that I have four Western regional winners (8 states) in the oldest and most prestigious writing contest for youth, grades 7 – 12, in the United States. Alumni recipients include such notable writers as Truman Capote, Stephen King, Sylvia Plath, and Robert Redford.
Alexa N., a senior at Harvard-Westlake, has won a regional Gold Key for her personal essay, “On the Road Again,” which chronicles her recovery from the trauma of being hit by a car. This entry will go on to national competition.
Charlotte D., a sophomore at Marlborough, has also won a regional Gold Key for her personal essay, “A Danischefsky in a Haystack.” This story details the harrowing escape of Charlotte’s Jewish great-grandfather and his brother from the Cossacks in the early part of the 20th century. Her entry will also go on to national competition.
Josh F., a senior at Beverly Hills High School, has won a regional Honorable Mention for his essay, “Legacy,” which poignantly explores the legacy provided
to Josh by his medical researcher grandfather, Papa Samy.
Eli A., a senior at Beverly Hills High School, has also won a regional Honorable Mention for his essay, “1190 Chairs.” This essay explores how the mundane task of setting up 1190 chairs over a several week period at Stanford University when working as a research fellow provided an important life lesson about earning real respect.
All of these students, along with my other students whose work did not win a Scholastic award, have spent many hours perfecting powerful pieces of writing. I am proud of all my students for their hard work. I am delighted that Scholastic has chosen to honor at least a few of the many who are so deserving.
The national winners will be announced in March, 2017. All entries winning a Gold or Silver Key nationally will be invited along with their teachers to a celebration at Carnegie Hall in New York City in June. Fingers are crossed for our Gold Key winners. I have been to Carnegie Hall before for this event and it is wonderful. I wouldn’t mind going again!
Congratulations to all.