Eighteen Birchwood 8th grade students received Awards and recognition from the 2022 Regional Scholastic Writing Awards competition. They were selected from hundreds of local participants from area schools in seventh through twelfth grade. Four students received the Gold Award which qualifies their work to advance to the national competition. National Awards will be announced on March 17, 2022 at artandwriting.org.
Birchwood students submitted narrative pieces in various categories: memoir/personal essay, short story, humor, science fiction, fantasy, or flash fiction (shorter than 1400 words). The winning entries were chosen by the panelists for creativity, technical skill, and emerging voice. The top ten percent were recognized and invited to attend a virtual award ceremony on Facebook Premiere on Saturday, January 15. Congratulations to these students for their incredible achievement:
Isabella Bixler (Fairview Park) received the Gold Award for her Science Fiction/Fantasy entry “Ophelia’s Sister”
Jasmine Chen (Westlake) also received a Gold Award for her Short Story “Last Words”
Fayez Issa (Westlake) received a Gold Award for his Flash Fiction piece entitled “The Fire Beings”
Aanya Lakireddy (Strongsville) also received a Gold Award for her Personal Essay & Memoir, “Who are You?”
Zev Balanson (Cleveland) earned a Silver Award for his Flash Fiction pieced “A Walk Through the Forest “
Jaiden Burkholder (Chagrin Falls) wrote “Fear is a Wall” and received the Silver Award in the Science Fiction & Fantasy category.
Omar Elbadway (Avon) received a Silver Award for his Personal Essay & Memoir “More than a Game.”
Adharsh Narendrakumar (Westlake) also earned a Silver Award for his Personal Essay & Memoir “Playing Cricket.”
Areesha Nouman’s (Westlake) short story entitled, “Fitting In” also received a Silver Award.
Tarunika Saravanan (Westlake) also earned a Silver Award for her Short Story “Declawed”
Nicolas Shang (Cleveland) received a Silver Award for his Science Fiction & Fantasy piece entitled, “The Traitor”
Alex Sideris (Cleveland) was awarded a Silver Award for his Flash Fiction story entitled, “The Night.”
Safa Bahadur (Cleveland) earned Honorable Mention for her Personal Essay & Memoir entry “Delicate Arch.”
Angela D’Souza (Rocky River) also received an Honorable Mention for her Science Fiction & Fantasy entry entitled, Short “Invasion.”
Mariana Del Rio (Strongsville) received an Honorable Mention award for her Short Story “Piragua.”
Brooke Gemechu (Avon) also received Honorable Mention for her Science Fiction & Fantasy piece entitled, “The Chip.”
Siya Lakireddy (Strongsville) earned Honorable Mention for her Personal Essay & Memoir “The Speech That Changed My Life.”
Ben Miyares (Rocky River) also received Honorable Mention for his Short Story “A Journey of a Thousand Miles.”
These students were coached by Birchwood Language Art teachers, Lorraine Tzeng, Jennifer Seward, and Maysan Haydar. Lorraine spoke of the success and dedication of her students in this way, “It is a long journey from the first draft to the final copy. Students put a lot of effort into revising and reworking their stories with gratifying results."