Birchwood Named Regional Champion at Power of the Pen

The regional Power of the Pen competition was held virtually this year but was no less a challenge to the students who performed their best creative writing; and no less an honor to those recognized for their excellent performance.

The regional competition included 21 schools with 63 7th grade and 65 8th grade writers. Birchwood School claimed the Sweepstakes Trophy for the best combined scores from the district and regional competitions. Additionally, the 8th grade team took 1st place and the 7th grade team took 3rd place.

Individually for 7th grade, Areesha Nouman (Westlake) won 1st place, Omar Elbadawy (Avon) won 10th place, and Isabella Bixler (Fairview Park) tied for 12th place. Areesha Nouman also won a Best of Round award for her story, “Best Friends,” and a Platinum Pen award for her piece, “A Moment Like Ice Cream.”Individually for 8th grade, Sinan Haufe (Cleveland) earned 12th place overall.

Six students have qualified to move on to the state competition on May 15th, virtually hosted by Otterbein University: Areesha Nouman (7th grade of Westlake), Omar Elbadawy (7th grade of Avon), Isabella Bixler (7th grade of Fairview Park), Sinan Haufe (8th grade of Cleveland), Chloe Leng (8th grade of Hinkley), and Cadence Guo (8th grade of Broadview Heights).

Their teacher and coach, Mrs. Lorriane Tzeng described their accomplishment saying, “This event truly reflects the students’ own work where they write impromptu without teacher feedback. Though there is no way to anticipate the prompts they will be given, students have been practicing for two quarters. All they can do is try their best, and that they did.”

While Power of the Pen is known for its intense creative writing competitions, it also has a broader mission of helping young people find and develop a creative voice that is uniquely their own. They seek to inspire teachers and challenge students to embrace the art of creative expression through writing as a life skill, not just a competitive exercise. While about 7,500 students participate in their tournaments, Power of the Pen provides in-class instructional materials that reach over 120,000 students in Ohio.