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Seven Hills Claims Tremendous Showing in Scholastic Writing Awards 2021

Article provided by the Upper School English Department

At Seven Hills, the pen is mightier than even a pandemic. In December 2020, Seven Hills students entered their poems, essays, and other written works in the 2020 Scholastic Writing Competition, and last week they received almost 60 recognitions—the most in the Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky region.

Approximately 80 students entered the competition, a remarkable feat given the unique challenges this year. The Upper School’s Literary Magazine Club, Inspire, set up workshops and promoted the event.  

“Putting the world into words helps us understand it, and putting words into the world brings a community together,” explained Inspire editor and junior Jenny Hu

“Especially right now during the pandemic, the literary magazine team saw writing as a crucial form of self-expression, and Scholastic was a perfect venue for it. As we helped our peers submit, it was amazing to see everyone finding comfort and pride in their creations,” Hu added. 

Seven Hills won prizes for writing in a host of genres, including poetry, short story, personal narrative, flash fiction, journalism, and critical essay. Though the regions have some flexibility, they generally recognize approximately the top five percent in any one category with a Gold Key, the next five percent with Silver Key and another 10-15% with an honorable mention. Regional Gold Key recipients automatically go on to the National Scholastic Writing Competition, the oldest and largest student writing contest in the country.

Seven Hills students led the way in the Critical Essay category, garnering nine of the 12 Regional Gold Keys awarded this year.

Junior Jenny Hu will compete at the national level for the third time in three years after earning Gold Keys in both Short Story and Flash Fiction. Jenny’s seven recognitions were the second highest total in the region, and she was also one of only two students in the entire region to be recognized in both creative and critical writing.  

Junior Lucy Schneider received two recognitions for writing she did as part of an independent study course she designed, Perspectives on the Holocaust: Second Generation and Beyond.  

“As a teenage girl in high school I have caught myself thinking about my purpose in this world and where I stand among my peers. When I truly think about it, being Jewish is a big part of my identity. As a Jew, we have many morals and values to live by and learning about the continuous Jewish ‘Struggle’ through my research paper in sophomore year made me ask myself what I was contributing to my community. Having the opportunity to continue my research and expand my knowledge of Jewish Literature has made me feel more connected to my religious beliefs and helped me remember, even when I am at a secular school, to not hide half of my identity. Being able to talk it through with Mr. Beyreis and express my thoughts has been a wonderful experience for me. Being in a casual setting, just one on one, and talking about my family and my experiences as a Jew has truly helped me find my purpose in my Jewish community and it has helped me explore Judaism from a more personal prospective,” Schneider said.

The competition is open to grades seven through 12, but there is no junior division for younger students. Despite having their work read next to submissions by students two and three years older, Seven Hills freshmen earned 13 recognitions, more than most schools in our area.

“Perhaps this year more than ever, the act of writing and then sharing that work with others makes a vital contribution to our society. I’m grateful to the Art Academy of Cincinnati for sponsoring the regional event again this year, and I am proud of every, single Seven Hills student who had the courageous vision to distil their ideas and imagination into words and then put them out there for others to read,” English Department Chair Mark Beyreis said.

For a complete list of Seven Hills students earning prizes this year, visit the Art Academy of Cincinnati website: 

Regional Gold Key recipients will hear in March the results of the national round, the second and final round of the Scholastic Writing Competition.  

Congratulations to all the Stinger writers who entered their work in the contest.


First Last Award Category
Lina Asfaw Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Logan Bien Gold Key Critical Essay
Elias  Buttress Gold Key Critical Esasy
Diairra Daniels Gold Key Critical Essay
Ellie  DeLyons  Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Mallory Dorsch Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Tairen Fenhoff Gold Key Critical Essay
Alex Frohn Honorable Mention Poetry
Megha Gaitonde Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Annelise Hawgood Silver Key Critical Essay
Annelise  Hawgood Gold Key Critical Essay
Rosalie Hoar Gold Key Critical Essay
Jenny  Hu Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Jenny Hu Gold Key Short Story
Jenny  Hu Honorable Mention Short Story
Jenny Hu Honorable Mention


Jenny Hu Silver Key

Short Story

Jenny Hu Honorable Mention


Jenny Hu Gold Key Flash Fiction
Annie Icenhower Honorable Mention Critical Essay
David  Kiley Silver Key Personal Essay & Memoir
Catherine  Kogan Silver Key Critical Essay
Savoy Lackey Silver Key Critical Essay
Abigail  Li Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Edward Li Gold Key Short Story
Nandini Likki Gold Key Poetry
Nandini Likki Honorable Mention Personal Essay & Memoir
Maya  Martinez Silver Key Poetry
Martina Miquelarena Silver Key Critical Essay
Anna  Papakirk Silver Key Critical Essay
Anna Papakirk Gold Key Critical Essay
Neel  Param Silver Key Critical Essay
Kaiya Park Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Kaiya  Park Gold Key Critical Essay
Olivia  Pohl Silver Key Critical Essay
Aditi Purushothaman Gold Key Poetry
Naina Purushothaman Honorable Mention Journalism
Naina Purushothaman Honorable Mention Poetry
Naina Purushothaman Silver Key Poetry
Naina Purushothaman Gold Key Poetry
Victoria Quinn Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Phoebe  Rubenstein Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Lucy  Schneider Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Lucy Schneider Honorable Mention Journalism
Siddha Shah Honorable Mention Personal Essay & Memoir
Uma Shenai Gold Key Critical Essay
Jaden Sims Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Susie Stahl Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Julia  Tamai Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Julia Tamai Silver Key Critical Essay
Zayd  Tayeb Honorable Mention Critical Essay
Edie Tesfaye Silver Key

Critical Essay

Jenna Villar Honorable Mention

Critical Essay

Gabrielle Walker Silver Key

Flash Fiction

Nathan  Walker Honorable Mention

Flash Fiction

Carolyn  Wolujewicz Silver Key

Critical Essay

Mikul Wyer Silver Key