Garfield writers with their Power of the Pen awards (from left): Isabel Ostrowski (4th place), Elizabeth Shuga (1st place) and Sarah Bene (17th place).
It was a one-two punch for Harding and Garfield middle schools at the Power of the Pen district competition on Jan. 26 as Harding 8th grader Kent Adams and Garfield 7th grader Elizabeth Shuga each captured first place in their respective grade levels. Led by Adams, Harding’s 8th grade team also won second place overall.
More than 300 writers from 26 schools were part of the creative writing contest at North Royalton Middle School. The competition is made up of three rounds where the writers are given prompts to jump-start a story. A sample of the prompts for this year's competition were: "If you can laugh at yourself, no one else will beat you to it" and "Leftovers - Describe some you are left with." The writers only have 40 minutes to complete their essay or short story.
At the end of the rounds, awards are given for the top 15 individuals as well of “Best of Round” awards for the top story in each round. Garfield 8th grader Grace Werner and Harding 7th graders Saige Rook (Round 1) and Claire Walkosak (Round 2) all earned “Best of Round” awards for their stories.
Besides first-place winners Adams and Shuga, the following writers earned a medal or trophy for their performances:
4th place: Caleigh Sheehan (8th, Harding)
4th place: Isabel Ostrowski (7th, Garfield)
8th place: Claire Walkosak (7th, Harding)
10th place: Saige Rook (7th, Harding)
14th place: Elena Mulready (8th, Harding)
17th place: Sarah Bene (7th, Garfield)
The next step for the statewide competition is the Regional Tournament at St. Joseph Academy on March 16. The top 50% of writers at the District level advance to Regionals.
The following are the schools’ Power of the Pen team members:
8th Grade: Ian Bell, Abigail Iler, Muayad Shahin, Evan Suttell, Grace Werner, Rhianna Zuby
7th Grade: Sarah Bene, Grace Cooper, Elizabeth Shuga, Isabel Ostrowski
Garfield Co-Coaches: Haley McDonough & Maggie Eiben
8th Grade: Kent Adams, Lauren Klann, Elena Mulready, Julia Neff, Caleigh Sheehan, Abbey Stone. Alternate: Sophie Mack
8th Grade Coach: Ruth Pangrace
7th Grade: Max Evans, John Kompier, Veronica Lee, Sophia Parker, Saige Rook, Claire Walkosak
7th Grade Coach: Pam Sheils