Many high school students groan at the thought of writing poetry. However, this is not the case for sophomores Vivienne Tran and Emma Williams, who were selected as regional award recipients for the poems they entered in the 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
Eligible applicants in their region ranged from California to Colorado and from grades seven to twelve. The judging criteria included originality, technical skill and the “emergence of a personal vision or voice”.
Tran received two Silver Keys and an honorable mention for her poems. One of her Silver Key poems, titled “They Say”, centers around verbal and physical abuse in relationships.
“I wanted to shine a light on that issue because it happens all the time, behind closed doors and even in public,” she said. Tran also earned two honorable mentions in the photography category.
Williams received a Gold Key for her poem “Paper Tiger” about her struggles with anxiety and a silver key for her poem “Forgive Us”. She also earned an honorable mention for a short story about a Jewish family escaping Nazis, a prelude to the Holocaust.
Gold key recipients are evaluated for awards at the national level. The organization will announce the national medalists on March 13.