The Scholastic Writing Awards recognized 21 Haverford School students for outstanding creative writing. Judged locally by the Philadelphia Writing Project, Philadelphia’s oldest teacher network dedicated to the teaching of writing, these 21 students earned six Gold Keys, nine Silver Keys, and sixteen Honorable Mentions in the categories of Journalism, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Critical Essay, Personal Essay & Memoir, Poetry, and Short Story.
“Though the pandemic had challenged many of our programs, students have been able to write, gather feedback, and work through the revision process to create successful pieces,” said Tom Stambaugh ’90, chair of the English department. “Many of our most confident writers entered the Philadelphia-area Scholastic Writing contest.”
Five students - Zachary Hoyt, Alex Hull, Mitav Nayak, Jackson Phelan, and Josh Khutorsky - were awarded the six Gold Keys. They will move on to national judging in New York City. National Medalists will be announced in late March.
“Humanities teachers are thrilled that students can share their voices, research, criticism, and creative work with an audience beyond the School’s walls,” shared Stambaugh. “The students recognized can feel further validated that their words matter - and that others are listening. We are all so pleased that our writers carry on the School’s rich tradition of literary excellence.”
Humanities teachers are thrilled that students can share their voices, research, criticism, and creative work with an audience beyond the School’s walls. The students recognized can feel further validated that their words matter - and that others are listening. We are all so pleased that our writers carry on the School’s rich tradition of literary excellence.
One of the Gold Key winners, V Former Mitav Nayak, earned two Gold Keys for two separate pieces in the Critical Essay category. His first essay titled “McMurphy: An Unintentional ‘Hero’” was an analysis of whether the protagonist, McMurphy, in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest should be considered a hero in the reader’s eye. His second piece, “Immigration and the Power of Storytelling” focused on how storytelling and stories can have a profound effect on people, particularly immigrants and children of immigrants.
Nayak reflected on the role his teachers at Haverford have played in giving him the confidence to enter his works into the Scholastic Writing Contest.
“My teachers at Haverford have always been incredibly supportive as I've worked really hard over the years to improve my writing skills,” Nayak explained. “There is so much time and effort that goes into perfecting every essay or article, so it feels great when outside readers and judges recognize the work, and it motivates you to continue writing. I think Haverford is great at encouraging students' work, and submitting their pieces to places like the Philadelphia Writing Project is one of the ways they do that.”