Students Win National Medals for Writing

In school, students are taught how to write in English classes. Essays are given out, and they are told exactly what prompt they have to write. Most students go home and do not even dream of submitting their writing to a national writing contest, let alone winning anything. But sophomores Sophia Mautz and Rona Wang are not the average students.

“Writing poetry is a process,” Mautz said. “It comes naturally to me with an idea or inspiration, but once I start writing it down, it becomes difficult to figure out what I want to say.” Wang and Mautz both submitted their writing to the “Alliance for Young Artists & Writers” national writing contest. Mautz won a national gold medal for her poetry collection “Foreigners,” and Wang won a national silver medal for her short story “Finally Getting It”. “I never entered any writing competitions before, because I was scared I was terrible and I just didn’t know it, and I didn’t want to know it,” Wang said. “But then I fell down a mountain last summer, which made me realize, every day could be my last and life is way too short not to take risks. So I submitted it.”

National gold or silver medal winners are invited to attend the national award ceremony at Carnegie Hall on May 31 to celebrate their work. Over 100,000 students submit their pieces of art and writing to this competition every year at the regional level, and from there their work is put through further levels of scrutiny. Of the massive amount of submissions, only about 2000 students are invited to the nationwide celebration. However, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers continues to encourage every student, whether at a professional level or just a beginner, to submit. “I would say that [everyone] should go for it,” Mautz said. “I just submitted for fun, and now a whole world has been opened up to me. Don’t be afraid to be yourself in your work, either.” Wang agreed. “Do it!” she said. “Taking risks like these will pay off, and no matter the outcome, you will grow as a writer.”

Read “Foreigners” here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lXkNIAdxPiD2SAtjXOl76g1jSwYwAkFkZrlkKDf5v8w/edit?usp=sharing

Read “Finally Getting It” here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XF4uGlyIPiwBJhv69dp9P8Q6l8DmeZd39eX7XLiHIes/edit?usp=sharing

 

 

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