High school students honored with WMU writing awards

Share |
Photo of a pen on paper.

The competition accepted journalistic, non-fiction and creative works.

KALAMAZOO—Seventeen Midwestern high school students recently received an award from Western Michigan University for exemplary writing entered in WMU's inaugural Best Midwestern High School Writing competition.

The awards were presented Saturday, June 1 at a reception honoring the top submissions from across a six-state region. Authors of the winning creative, nonfiction and journalistic writing entries received cash prizes and publication in the honors college's literary magazine, The Laureate. First-place winners received $500, while those coming in second and third place won $300 and $150, respectively. The teachers of winning students also will receive a stipend to use for classroom resources.

WMU's Lee Honors College, in partnership with the Department of English and its Third Coast Writing Project, created the writing competition to demonstrate that young writers can display extraordinary talent for the craft. Organizers of the contest hope it will grow to attract student entries from across the nation. It is the brainchild of Charles and Lynn Zhang, longtime friends of WMU and of the honors college, who pledged financial support to launch what will become an annual program.

Contest winners

Journalism

  • Jeffery A. Zuckerman of Beachwood (Ohio) High School, first place for "Beachwood Responds to Chardon Tragedy"
  • Catherine E. Perloff of Beachwood (Ohio) High School, second place for "Survey Shows Disabled Students are Bullied More"
  • Melissa Layton of Centerburg (Ohio) High School, third place for "Transition from High School to College Challenges Students"

Non-fiction, grades nine and 10

  • Sami S. Ahmad of Portage (Mich.) Northern High School, first place for "Paradigm Shift and Thought Imposition"
  • Samantha N. Roach of Lowell (Ind.) High School, second place for "Acceptance: Why Is It So Hard?"
  • Sisira Kavuli of Portage (Mich.) Northern High School, third place for "Greenhouse Gas Emissions"
  • Andrew J. Angel of Portage (Mich.) Northern High School, honorable mention for "If God is God, then Super-God is God's God"

Non-fiction, grades 11 and 12

  • Elizabeth Ketchum of Gobles (Mich.) High School, first place for "The Mirror of Her Words"
  • Melissa Layton of Centerburg (Ohio) High School, second place for "Struggles for Power: The Plague of Humanity"
  • Sophia C. Bouma-Prediger of Black River Public School in Holland, Mich., third place for "Effects of Domestic Violence on Children and Teens "

Creative writing, grades nine and 10

  • Caroline J. Clauson of Xenia (Ohio) Christian High School, first place for "A Night at the Circus"
  • Akanksha Panda of Okemos (Mich.) High School, second place for "Malaria Crisis"
  • Imani S. Hayden of Kellogsville High School in Grand Rapids, Mich., tied for third place for "The Unexpected"
  • Farzad R. Razi with the Academically Talented Youth Program at WMU, tied for third place for "The Caldwell Mansion"

Creative writing, grades 11 and 12

  • Gauri Rangrass of Portage (Mich.) Central High School, first place for "Man of the Tiger House"
  • Samantha A. Schmidt of Freeland (Mich.) High School, second place for "Chosen"
  • Payge M. Nestle of Shepherd (Mich.) High School, third place for "Revenge is Best Served Cold"

Related article
WMU launches Best Midwestern High School Writing contest | Nov. 9, 2012