Hastings College announces recipients of Nebraska Scholastic Writing Awards

Hastings College will recognize 18 outstanding young writers from across Nebraska in its inaugural year as an affiliate of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the country’s longest-running and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative students in grades 7-12.

Scholastic Writing AwardsAward recipients, along with their families and educators, will be recognized at a regional Awards Ceremony at Hastings College on Monday, February 17. The event will be held in Fuhr Hall from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. and will feature Matt Mason, the Nebraska State Poet, as the keynote speaker. There will also be a preceding dinner for invited guests.

Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention works will be available in a publication from Hastings College Press, and Gold Key works will advance to national adjudication.

Students age 13 and above from all 93 counties of Nebraska were invited to submit original work in any of the Awards’ writing categories, including flash fiction and poetry. Works were judged by a panel of Hastings College faculty, staff and students.

2020 Writing Award book cover“It was such a pleasure to read poetry and prose submissions from so many talented young Nebraska writers,” said jury member Eric Tucker, editor of Plainsongs and instructor of writing at Hastings College.

Students receiving awards are listed alphabetically below:

  • Olivia Achtemeier of Beatrice: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Gold Key; Poetry, Silver Key
  • Landon Boettcher of Franklin: Novel Writing, Honorable Mention
  • Tess Bowler of Omaha: Personal Essay & Memoir, Silver Key
  • Daisy Friedman of Omaha: Poetry, American Voices Nominee, Gold Key, and Silver Key; Personal Essay & Memoir, Silver Key
  • Malik Gillespie of Omaha: Writing Portfolio, Silver Key; Critical Essay, Silver Key; Poetry, Silver Key; Flash Fiction, Honorable Mention
  • Elizabeth Grantham of Omaha: Flash Fiction, American Voices Nominee and Gold Key; Science Fiction & Fantasy, Honorable Mention; Poetry, Honorable Mention
  • Alia Hirsbrunner of Lincoln: Flash Fiction, Silver Key and Honorable Mention
  • Kylie Ketelsen of Omaha: Poetry, Honorable Mention
  • Jayden Leonard of Hebron: Critical Essay, Honorable Mention
  • Emma Mirnics of Omaha: Writing Portfolio, Gold Key; Short Story, American Voices Nominee and Gold Key; Poetry, Honorable Mention
  • Maryam Muayad of Lincoln: Poetry, Silver Key
  • Ellen Pan of Lincoln: Personal Essay & Memoir, American Voices Nominee, Gold Key, and Honorable Mention; Short Story, Silver Key; Science Fiction & Fantasy, Honorable Mention
  • Alora Schneider of Lincoln: Poetry, Silver Key
  • Eddie Schweikert of Omaha: Humor, Silver Key; Writing Portfolio, Honorable Mention
  • Jenna Smith of Lincoln: Poetry, Silver Key
  • Clarissa Tan of Lincoln: Critical Essay, Gold Key
  • Elise Vahle of Grand Island: Poetry, Honorable Mention
  • Jingming Yu of Lincoln: Poetry, American Voices Nominee, Gold Key and Honorable Mention

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards program was established in 1923 and has fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students, including distinguished alumni Tschabalala Self, Stephen King, Kay WalkingStick, Charles White, Joyce Carol Oates, and Andy Warhol, all of whom received recognition in the Awards when they were teens.

For Gold Key works, the opportunities for recognition continue when the works are adjudicated again on a national level by a panel of leading creative professionals. National Gold Medalists will be announced in March 2020 and will be honored during a special awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City on June 4. All National Medalists are eligible for additional opportunities, such as inclusion in the Art.Write.Now.Tour traveling exhibition, and in the The Best Teen Art and The Best Teen Writing anthologies. National Medalist poets are considered for the National Student Poets Program, the nation’s highest honor for young poets presenting original work.

Hastings College is Nebraska’s premier private college. A four-year residential college that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement, Hastings’ student-centered initiatives include providing books, an iPad Pro and a two-week study abroad experience at no additional cost. A block-style semester schedule allows professors and students to focus on fewer classes at a time and promotes hands-on experiences. Discover more at hastings.edu.

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