Central Academy Students Win Creative Writing Awards

Sarah Ramundt, Tyler Foley, and Grace Payer

Four Central Academy Advanced Creative Writing students received recognition from the University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Center for their entries in the 2012 Midwest Region Scholastic Writing Awards, including earning top honors in the competition.

Roosevelt High School senior Tyler Foley was awarded the Gold Key for his personal essay, “Jenga.” The Gold Key is the highest level of achievement on the regional level.  Approximately 7 to 10 percent of all regional submissions are recognized with Gold Key Awards and all are considered for national-level recognition.

The other students receiving awards were Roosevelt High School seniors Jeannene Clark, Grace Payer, and Sarah Ramundt. They received Honorable Mention for their works. Approximately 15 to 20 percent of all regional submissions receive Honorable Mention.

The students participate in Central Academy’s Advanced Creative Writing class with teachers Jean Ellerhoff, Amy Finnegan, and Diane Morain.

“Scholastic now holds the copyright for our students’ submissions, and some of them will eventually be published on the Scholastic website,” said Ellerhoff. “This is a great opportunity for our students to receive feedback and gain exposure for their work.”

Diane Morain, Jeannene Clark, Amy Finnegan, and Jean Ellerhoff

The Belin-Blank Center serves as the Iowa Affiliate and the Midwest Region-at-Large Affiliate of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Teens in grades 7 through 12 submitted works in 30 categories, including animation, poetry, sculpture, fashion design, journalism, photography, novel writing, science fiction, and video game design. Submissions were judged by luminaries in the visual and literary arts, some of whom are past award recipients. Panelists look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have an impressive legacy dating back to 1923 and a noteworthy roster of past winners including Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Richard Avedon, Robert Redford and Joyce Carol Oates.