Preparing Boys for Life

Award-winning writing

Twelve Haverford School student writers earned two Gold Keys, four Silver Keys, and eight Honorable Mentions in the categories of Journalism, Personal Essay/Memoir, and Short Story. Located at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, the Philadelphia Writing Project judges The regional Scholastic Writing Award entries.

“Recognition like this is fuel to a young writer,” said Tom Stambaugh ’90, chair of the English department. “Most boys are primarily writing for their teachers or perhaps their classmates. When outside readers, especially those from what our boys might call ‘the real world,’ appreciate a student’s work, the student writer feels validated ― others have heard his voice.”

Index writers and editors working on student newspaper


A national Gold Key went to V Former Yan Graf for "European Migration: The View from North Africa" at the judging in New York City. VI Former Nelson Liu earned a regional Gold Key for "The Solitude of the Road."

For this piece in particular, I wanted to branch out from the conventional personal narrative. Instead of writing about some profound moment that completely changed my worldview, I decided to focus in on the mundane and routine. It was a fun challenge shaping this idea of the road, of routine, into a larger narrative about my life. It feels good to be recognized for my work, but I think this also speaks to how Haverford's English curriculum really develops us as writers and encourages us to reach beyond our comfort zones.

Nelson Liu

Gold Key

Yan Graf, Journalism “European migration part I: a view from North Africa

Nelson Liu, Personal Essay/Memoir, “The Solitude of the Road

Silver Key

Nick Chimicles, Journalism, “Students, administration wrestle over fan behavior

Nick Chimicles, Journalism, “Administrators, students seeing early successes in substance abuse education efforts

Toby Ma, Short story, “The Soldier

Neetish Sharma, Personal Essay/Memoir, “We All Bleed Red

Honorable Mention

Sam Chase, Personal Essay/Memoir, “The Perfect Spot

Jackson Overton-Clark, Personal Essay/Memoir, “Champion

Ryan LaRocca, Journalism, “J.R. Leitz emerges as leader in the pool

Neetish Sharma, Journalism, “Mr. Andrén grabs upper school helm

Vincent Scauzzo, Journalism, “You gotta drive it: Tesla Model 3 Review

Charlie Towle, Personal Essay/Memoir, “In the Dark

Sam Walker, Personal Essay/Memoir, “117 Salt Marsh Way

Spencer Yager, Personal Essay/Memoir, “The Pursuit of Failure”

The idea of covering a facet of the world that few others have witnessed, as well as my love for traveling, inspired me to try my own hand at investigative journalism. I knew, even during the planning phases of my trip to Morocco, that this was going to be a risky and time-consuming effort. Winning this award has really shown me that doing something new, no matter how hard it may be, is always worth it and that I should keep pushing my own boundaries. It will continue pursuing new stories, wherever those may be.

Yan Graf

To see the Scholastic Art Awards, please visit