Birchwood Scholastic Award Winners

Birchwood School of Hawken proudly announces that eight of its students earned regional writing recognition from the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. All of the Birchwood winners are in the eighth grade.

Taught by language arts subject specialists Lorraine Tzeng and Jennifer Seward, the Birchwood students garnered two Gold Key, one Silver Key and five Honorable Mention awards.

The winning students from Birchwood are:
  • Joshua Gordon received a Gold Key for his Flash Fiction (up to 1,400 words) entry titled “For Civilization.”
  • Ashton Khoury’s Flash Fiction entry “The Love for the Game” earned him Gold Key honors.
  • Caroline Lu won a Silver Key in the Personal Essay & Memoir category for her piece, “Atropa Belladonna.”
  • Ishika Chand earned Honorable Mention honors for her Short Story entry “A Name is More Than a Label.”
  • Honorable Mention status went to Ayat Jaffar for her Personal Essay & Memoir submission, “An Everlasting Friendship.”
  • Stephen Parrino took home an Honorable Mention in the Science Fiction & Fantasy category for his story “Bland Land.”
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy entry “The Escape” earned an Honorable Mention for Haadeya Salman.
  • Jonathan Samulak brought home an Honorable Mention in the Science Fiction & Fantasy category for his story “Imagine You Were Dan.”
Works are judged on originality, technical skill and emergence of personal vision or voice.

According to Seward, students delve deep into the writing process in preparation for the competition. “They devote about six weeks to conceiving an original idea, drafting a piece, then painstakingly revising it, as true writers do,” she said. “That’s an accomplishment in itself! For this group of students to also receive these distinctive recognitions is such triumphant validation of their creativity and perseverance.”

Each work of art and writing is blindly adjudicated, first locally through the more than 100 affiliates of the Alliance for Young Artists, and then nationally by panels of judges comprised of renowned artists, authors, educators, and industry experts.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards recognize student achievement in the visual and literary arts in 28 categories, including drawing and illustration, photography, flash fiction, poetry, film and animation, journalism, and more.

Founded in 1923, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the nation’s longest-running, most prestigious educational initiative supporting student achievement in the visual and literary arts. The program has an impressive legacy of being the first to acknowledge creative talent and is today’s largest source of scholarships for creative teens.

The awards are open to creative teenagers in grades seven through 12 from public, private, and home schools throughout the U.S. and its territories, as well as American-run schools abroad and students who make art and writing through community organizations.