This year St. Mary’s Academy students won an astounding record number of awards in the Scholastic Writing Awards contest: 47 students won awards for 79 individual pieces and three portfolios. Scholastic is one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious art and writing contests whose previous winners include such acclaimed writers as Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Joyce Carol Oates, and more. This achievement is especially impressive in that St. Mary’s students were competing in a large West Region area, which includes six western states. They collected more awards than any other school in Oregon. Furthermore, girls from each class won recognition, and in a wide variety of genres: poetry, short stories, personal essay, flash fiction, memoir, humor, and critical essay.
Ten students won eleven Gold Key Awards, the highest honor, and one which sends their work to judging at the national level! These student writers are Madeleine Adrience, Marcy Bachman, Kathryn Blessington, Zoe Felix, Alicia Hannigan, Claire LeBlanc, Ivy Long, Marika Meijer, Kate Samuels (two gold keys), and Lauren Yanase.
We are so proud of these young writers, and all who entered this competition. It takes courage to pour one’s heart into personal writing, be it fiction, poetry, or non-fiction, and courage to submit one’s writing for outside evaluation. These awards validate the talent, creativity, and hours of work, often solitary, that these young women offer to pursue their passion. St. Mary’s works hard to offer a climate that nurtures the talent and passion of our students, and we could not be happier to celebrate our writers’ success!