Jillian Risavi and Ali Durkin
The 2017 Scholastic Writing Awards gave students the opportunity to display their writing and creative talents. Nine of the many talented Jamesville DeWitt high school students were recognized at this year’s show. These skilled students won 22 awards total consisting of one Gold Key, eight Silver Keys, and 12 Honorable Mentions.
Unlike the annual Scholastic Art Awards, where art pieces are submitted from the Central New York area, the Writing Awards consist of pieces submitted from what is called the Northeast Region-at-Large. The pieces of writing are submitted from contenders from across the world. There is a high concentration of contenders from the northeast area of the United States, however there are pieces sent in from the rest of the country, and other countries around the world.
Junior Celia Reistrom was the only student to win a Gold Key out of J-DHS. She also won a Silver Key and an Honorable Mention for her work. Other Silver Key award winners include sophomore Sofia Liaw, and juniors Ailin Liebler-Bendix and Michale Schueler. Sophomores who earned an Honorable Mentions were Tyson Echols, Sofia Liaw, and Alan Gao. Juniors who won Honorable Mentions were Emma Prosak, Michale Schueler, and Lojyne Zikry. The only freshman to win an Honorable Mention was Abigail Morgan.
Also in comparison to the art awards, writing pieces must be submitted individually by the students themselves, as opposed to having teachers submit their students’ pieces. “This is more up to the students, if they want to submit their piece or not,” said English teacher Matthew Phillips. “Sometimes students don’t submit their pieces as much because they don’t feel they should,” Mr. Phillips said.
Sophomore Sofia Liaw has been writing pieces ever since she was 4 years old and has successfully won seven awards for her pieces submitted. “Taking creative writing with Mr. Phillips my freshman year as well as (joining) Rambunctious was a big contributor to improving myself as a writer,” said Liaw. This was her second time submitting her work into the show, coming out with a single Honorable Mention in the previous year. She was extremely happy about her outcome the second time around. Honorable Mention winner Abigail Morgan really enjoyed her creative writing class since she’s always had an interest in writing. “I entered the contest because I’ve always wanted to get my out there to see how I’d do,” said Morgan.
Some of the students who won awards are currently in the creative writing class, but some students who submitted their work created their pieces outside of school, such as Reistrom who was a Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mention winner. “I entered into Scholastic last year so I decided I wanted to do it again, ” says Reistrom, who is extremely happy that her poem “1,2,3” won a Gold Key. Reistrom’s poem will continue on to compete at a national level against all other gold key winners. Junior Emma Prosak received Honorable Mention for her short story, “Left Behind” which she wrote in her free time as well, when she was bored at home with “nothing to do.” Junior Ailin Liebler-Bendix came out winning two Silver Keys for her pieces. She originally did not want to enter her pieces, but is now pleased she did, coming out with two awards for her first entry in the competition.
Scholastic Writing Awards 2017
Jamesville-DeWitt High School 22 awards
Celia Reistrom “1, 2, 3.” Poem
Sofia Liaw “Of Silence and Shatterings” Memoir
“In Pursuit of Passion” Poem
Ailin Liebler-Bendix “Broken Hair Clips to a Broken Woman” Poem
“Calculated Silence” Poem
Celia Reistrom “How to Deal with Anxiety” Poem
Michael Schueler “Flight” Dramatic Script
Tyson Echols “Mama & the Body” Fiction
“Forever and Always” Fiction
“Mama & I” Poem
Alan Gao “The Start” Poem
Sofia Liaw “My Honest Poem” Poem
“Reveiller vs. Lever” Poem
“Coaxed Chaos” Poem
Abigail Morgan “Blackout” and “Quantity Over Quality” Poem
Emma Prosak “Left Behind” Fiction
Celia Reistrom “Silenced” Poem
Michale Schueler “About Time” Poem
Lojyne Zikry “Mundane” Poem