Three Juniors Honored with the Authors Award for Excellence in Imaginative Writing
Written By Judy Bass
Three juniors from Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School were honored recently with the Authors Award for Excellence in Imaginative Writing for their outstanding short stories. Each of the students will receive a scholarship.
The three students are:
First place winner Day Kolz (above), of Wayland, who was recognized for writing the story “Illiteracy and Inheritance.” One of the contest judges described it as “a sweet take on what it means to be someone’s son.”
Second place winner Jillian Bearden (above), of Arlington, whose story is titled “Take a Gander.” A judge “liked that it turned philosophical as it asks, ‘What is art?’”
Third place winner Ariana Calder, of Lancaster, who wrote a story called “Creative Liberties.” “Gritty, macabre and extrmely well-written” was how one judge praised it.
Kolz is an Early Education and Teaching major. Bearden and Calder are both Design and Visual Communications majors.
They are all in the honors English Composition class taught by Gregory Donovan. “All three students are at the top of the class,” Donovan said, “and each is highly creative in their own way.”
First presented in 2011 and now marking its tenth anniversary, this award was created by an anonymous benefactor to annually give three talented juniors from Minuteman what the benefactor calls “a leg up in the college admissions process.”
After discussing the 15 finalists for over two hours, Donovan said, five professional writers deemed the stories written by Kotz, Bearden and Calder to be the three best submissions.
“Hearing that my short story was liked enough to be chosen for first place makes me feel really validated as a writer,” said Kolz. “I wanted to write something that was relatable for youth and could spread the message that everyone learns in their own way. My confidence has grown due to this competition and I plan on sharing my writing more publicly now.”
Bearden said, “Growing up I'd always have some story going through my head but nothing I ever wrote down. I feel like I've always been a creative person and that's a reason why I'm pursuing a career in art. I hope to continue writing even just casually and hopefully one day I'll even create children's books.”
“Winning [a prize in] the contest means a lot to me, said Calder. “I was able to share my passion for character creation and thrillers. The effort I put in was rewarded in ways that never occurred to me as possible. Though I create characters pretty often, I don't specifically write stories creatively about them all the time (though I'll think them up), but when I get to write creatively, I love doing so.”