Creative Writing Pieces Win Awards

By Jiayin Zeng ‘15

Creative Writing Students won various awards ranging from art, to poetry, to writing this year.

Thirteen students won the annual Holocaust Memorial Essay, Poetry, Performance and Art Contest sponsored by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz in honor of those who died in the Holocaust.

“I joined the contest because I wanted to write something meaningful,” said Dina Deng ‘15. “Thinking about the family and friends they lost, they aren’t necessarily lucky, but for them to be able to get through life everyday, they are such strong people. They are survivors.”

For eight years, Midwood won first place, but this year it placed second.

The junior winners, Jasmine Ruan, Rachel Dragoy, Hai Shan Wang, Nahida Alam, Briana Belfer, Dina Deng, Monica Chu, Tracy Chiu, Jocelyn Yeung, Sarah Walsh, and Kitty Cheng, and the senior winners Brittny O’Garro and Breanna Maresca, were awarded with $100 prizes. The school was also presented with five laptops.

“I believe that the contest is important because it shows how students can demonstrate their respect for the victims of the Holocaust,” said Chu ‘15. “It also shows a sense of never forgetting what happened in the past in order to look into the future with optimism.”

For the annual City College Poetry Contest, there were over 2,000 entries, but there were only four prizes. Victoria J. Lopez ‘15 won third place and was awarded with a $200, and

Brianna Soleyn ‘15 received an honorable mention with her poem “7 Steps”.

“This is a prestigious contest for juniors,” said Ms. Sharon Lustbader, an English teacher.

Out of the entire junior class, only five names were submitted for the National Council of Teachers of English Writing Contest (NCTE). Each student submitted two pieces of writing, which were read by national judges. Papers were judged on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development, and style. Winner Olivia Baerga ‘15 received a Certificate for Superior Writing for her historical fiction piece that takes place in the 20s during Prohibition.

“Winning always feels good, but it feels even better knowing that someone out there appreciated what I did,” said Baerga ‘15. “It’s really fulfilling.”

Elizabeth Lewis ‘14 won two writing contests with her short story “Waiting for Spring”. She received $250 for the Sharon Lustbader Writing Prize and $500 and an Artist Recognition Award for the Penguin Random House Creative Writing Contest.

The winner of the Police Athletic League Contest (PALC), which only had 10 available positions for winners in the city, was Khaliah Wrighton ‘14. The contest was held for officers to honor students who have ideas about how to solve problems in the city. Winners had the chance to run a position they were assigned to for one day in the police department.

Tasnim Halim ‘14 won first place prose with her piece “Chicago Reaper” as well as an honorable mention in poetry with her poem “Empty Bottles” in the Brooklyn Public Library Teen Writing Contest.

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