Senior, junior win writing competition

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”Jordan Robins” align=”alignright” width=”157″][/media-credit]by Leah Budson

Three years ago the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards competition added writing as one of the mediums that students may submit.

This year two students from this school received awards for their work. Senior Abby Holtzman earned a Gold Key for her portfolio, and junior Malini Gandhi earned two Silver Keys for her short story and her memoir.

A state committee of writers and educators judged the pieces. Students could receive Honorable Mentions, Silver Keys or Gold Keys. Gold Key pieces will advance to national judging. National winners will be notified in the third week of March.

Students from grades seven through twelve may submit writing pieces that are dramatic script, flash fiction, humor, journalism, personal essays or memoirs, persuasive writing, science fiction or fantasy, poetry or short stories.

Holtzman earned a Gold Key for her seven piece portfolio, made up of non-fiction, fiction, poetry and ten-minute plays. Only seniors can submit portfolios, which are collections of four to eight different pieces made up of any combination of genres.

“I found out about the competition from friends who had submitted art,” Holtzman said, “I wish English classes actively encouraged students to submit writing, like art teachers do for their students.

“It was easy to submit, and the writer’s statement portfolio applicants had to include ended up being helpful to write–it made me think deeply about a lot of things.

“I highly recommend other students to submit writing in the coming years–we have so many talented writers in this school, but nobody seems to know about the competition,” she said.

Gandhi won for her memoir “On Ender and Waves,” which “reflects on a fateful day my family spent in Bar Harbor, Maine years ago,” she said. The piece tells how her family begrudgingly left the shore, “and about five minutes after we left a giant rogue wave swept the entire crowd of people off the rocks where we had been, ultimately killing three.

“The memoir captures a string of fleeting, merging images from that day and the soft but powerful influence a single moment, movement or decision can have,” Gandhi said.

Books of selected Gold Key pieces will be on exhibit at the State Transportation Building from Monday, Feb. 13 through Friday, April 20, open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. A ceremony to honor the winners will be held on Sunday, March 11 at the John Hancock Hall. The national winners’ pieces will go on exhibit in New York City, and an awards ceremony will be held at Carnegie Hall.