Creative Writing Students Advance to National Competition

Grace Gorham, Features Editor

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For the third consecutive year, Creative Writing Club will send Susky students to the national portion of the Scholastic Arts and Writing Competition.

Students first enter at the regional level, which consists of 2500 students from 70 different school districts, and have a chance to win an honorable mention, silver key, or gold key.

If they win a gold key, their piece continues on to the national level, where it can win either a silver or gold medal.

Categories for the competition range from science fiction to poetry to paintings; there are a large amount of students entered in all categories. This year, the gold key winners from Susky are sophomores Kristen Krobot and Annie Hebel.

Krobot submitted a memoir about her life experiences, and Hebel submitted a journalism piece about concussions.

English teacher Tim Groth was very happy with the diverse array of content this year.

“I’m always really impressed by the caliber of work that our students enter in the Scholastic Competition. I think everybody recognizes that it is a really major national competition, and they spend a lot of time on the work. I mean we spend basically from the beginning of the school year until December working on revising and editing those pieces, so I’m always really impressed by the quality,” said Groth.

Both Krobot and Hebel spent months working on their pieces to perfect them, and Hebel was able to work on hers at a camp she went to.

“I’ve been working on that piece since June. So, this June, I went to a camp at Boston University where we were introduced in small groups to work on investigative journalism pieces about different topics, and my group was assigned concussions. So we just had to do some article pertaining to the overlaying topic of concussions in professional sports and even just high school sports,” said Hebel. “I had four different ideas that I traded in between, and finally ended up with the one that I have now. I technically finished it that month, at the end of the camp, but I spent months revising it and perfecting it.”

English teacher Tim Groth is proud to say that students are once again continuing to the national level.

“It continues a tradition that we’ve had for the last couple years, where we’ve had students earn great recognition at the regional level, because the regional competition is pretty intense, and to get recognition at that level is very, very impressive. We performed great at the regional level, and for the third consecutive year, we’re sending students to the national competition as well,” said Groth.

Krobot and Hebel have different outlooks on how they think their pieces will do in the national competition.

Krobot has less faith in her piece because she had read the other memoirs, and felt like they were better, but she knows that Groth believes her piece is well written.

“If we’re being honest… I feel like I’ve read the other memoirs, and I feel like those are really good, but I also feel like nothing I ever write is that good, but Mr. Groth has a lot of faith in me, so, we’ll see,” said Krobot.

Hebel knows that her piece this year is much better than two years ago, and she is optimistic about getting at least a silver medal, which is what she earned last time.

Groth is confident that both of the pieces will do well at the national level.

“I’m biased, but I think they’ll do great. Obviously, when you go to the national level, you’re up against other very strong pieces of work, but I think that both of them have a great chance of earning recognition at the national level,” said Groth.

If Hebel or Krobot win a gold medal at the national level, they will get to attend an awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall, with notable people in attendance such as Michelle Obama.

Winning the award means a lot for Krobot, especially with the hard process she went through while writing it.

“It was really emotional for me, because it kind of showed me that the amount of time I spent on this was for something more than myself, and that it was kind of proving that what I went through was not just damaging to me, but it was more inspirational and inspiring, and something came from it,” said Krobot. “It was a really taxing process, I spent months on it and I know that Annie spent a long time on hers. In Creative Writing Club, I went there almost every week, and I sat down and talked to Mr. Groth and other people in the club, and just tried to get some feedback or at least how to start writing it, and posting it on Classroom and getting a lot of feedback was helpful.”

For Hebel, it means a lot for her to win an award for doing something that she loves and might want to pursue as a career.

“It means a ton. Journalism is something that I don’t really know if it’s what I want to get into, but it just means a lot that I’m getting recognized for work that I’m super proud of,” said Hebel. “I especially like to write journalism just because it’s such a neat experience to get to help people see things in a different way, to present them with information that might change their opinion about something. And even getting to meet super cool people, like I got to interview the head of CTE research at Boston University, very few people can say that, let alone high schoolers. I’ve gotten to do a lot of cool stuff, meet a lot of cool people, it’s great.”

 

Listed below: all Susquehannock students who received an award

Ian Achterberg Susquehannock High School Honorable Mention Personal Essay/Memoir “Migraine Dream”

Cassidy Bolio Susquehannock High School Silver Key Short Story “a me tibi”

Lucy Curran Susquehannock High School Honorable Mention Drawing and Illustration “Focused”

Reagan Gorham Susquehannock High School Silver Key Novel Writing “Salt By The Sea”

Ryan Hartley Susquehannock High School Honorable Mention Poetry “Thought Tints”

Ryan Hartley Susquehannock High School Honorable Mention Photography “I See Nothing”

Ryan Hartley Susquehannock High School Honorable Mention Photography “Three Dimensional”

Andrea Hebel Susquehannock High School Gold Key Journalism “Concussed: The Silent Epidemic”

Kristen Krobot Susquehannock High School Honorable Mention Poetry “Loneliness Looks Good On Me”

Kristen Krobot Susquehannock High School Gold Key Personal Essay/Memoir “Little Girl”

Elinor Pugliese Susquehannock High School Honorable Mention Poetry “Here For Real”

Rachael Scott Susquehannock High School Silver Key Poetry “Doldrums”

Rachael Scott Susquehannock High School Silver Key Poetry “The Rose Garden”

Rachael Scott Susquehannock High School Honorable Mention Poetry “To Arthur”

Ellie Stevenson Susquehannock High School Honorable Mention Short Story “Child of Destruction”

Megan Watkins Susquehannock High School Honorable Mention Photography “Off Duty”

David Wentzel Susquehannock High School Honorable Mention Flash Fiction “The Hands of Consequence”

David Wentzel Susquehannock High School Silver Key Poetry “Altar of the American Dream”

David Wentzel Susquehannock High School Silver Key Short Story “Ain’t no Angel”

David Wentzel Susquehannock High School Honorable Mention Short Story “Kings Stay King”

David Wentzel Susquehannock High School Honorable Mention Painting “Thrills of Music”

David Wentzel Susquehannock High School Silver Key Painting “Demand of Disaster”

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Creative Writing Students Advance to National Competition