High School Students Win Creative Writing Awards
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Two AHS juniors have been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for outstanding pieces of literature. Clio Thayer and Emma Colton-Heins, two writers who each spend “way too much time in their heads” both decided to enter after Thayer found the program online; a scholarship opportunity doubled with creative writings were right up their respective alleys.
The out-of-the-box ideas woven into their writings made Colton-Heins and Thayer clear candidates for recognition for their short stories, which were all fantasies or science-fiction.
While neither won the “Gold Key” award for national-level recognition, between them they scraped together four prestigious “Silver Key” awards, which denote “exceptional ability” in literature.
Colton-Heins’ short story Lost Island (a whimsical tale about an isle where people are sent if they fall astray) as well as Thayer’s stories Gone Fishin’ (where a man plays a card game with a spirit as he freezes to death), Not All There (about a girl with a split personality as an assassin), and Snow Blind (where a girl who lost her sight because of snowfall is challenged by a spirit to sell her ability to feel warmth for the ability to see) all won this prize.
Thayer had two other stories receive an Honorable Mention by the program, her similarly creative works Recovered Audio Log 692 (about how the superpower of flying could be a bad thing) and Healing Demons (in which a girl is sent to a separate dimension). “I guess I really like coming up with the weirdest possible premises for plots and exploring them”, she said.
Both students attribute much of their victories to the editing and reviewing process. “[Lost Island] had been edited a lot of times,” Colton-Heins said. “I’m sure that’s how it did so well.” Thayer concurred. “Revise as many times as possible”, she suggested. Both students relied on each other’s support for much of this process “It’s great having a friend who can edit for you,” said Colton-Heins.
Perhaps the main reason for their successes was this symbiotic revision process, but it cannot be denied that both girls have immense aptitude for English composition; they are among “America’s most creative teens”, which in the past included people from Andy Warhol to Stephen King. “I feel really proud of myself”, said Colton-Heins. “It’s a great accomplishment to win this,” Thayer agreed.
Albany High School shines, especially when it produces alumni ranging from the U.S. Ambassador in Ghana to NFL players. Emma Colton-Heins and Clio Thayer are living proof that the next generation of famed individuals is in the works right now. Maybe they’ll continue to write, and be the next Stephen King. Maybe they’ll be among the notable alumni in the future, or maybe not. What we know for sure, though, is that great things are still happening in Albany Public Schools.
To find out more about the Scholastic Art and Writing awards, please visit www.artandwriting.org/the-awards/.