Middle Schoolers Excel In Power Of The Pen

Students from Harding and Garfield middle schools showed their creative flair and grace under pressure at the District Power of the Pen Writing Competition held late last month at North Royalton Middle School, where two of the teams placed in the top five. Of the 26 teams competing in the two grade-level competitions, Harding’s 8th grade team placed third and Harding’s 7th grade team took fourth.

The creative writing contest is made up of three rounds where writers are given prompts to jump-start a story. Prompts from this year’s competition included "Explain the miracle of snow from a dog’s point of view" and “Create a variation of a familiar game; give it a new name.” Sounds kind of tough, right? And, the writers only have 40 minutes to complete their essay or short story.

Awards are given for the top 15 individuals, as well as Best of Round awards for the top story in each round.

Out of the 146 7th grade and 141 8th grade writers at the competition, the following writers earned medals by placing in the top 15:

  • 10th place: Grace Werner (7th, Garfield)
  • 11th place: Veronica Gordon (8th, Harding)
  • 12th place: Jonny Latsko (8th, Harding)
  • 17th place: Sage Petrone (8th, Garfield)

The next step for the statewide competition is the Regional Tournament at St. Joseph Academy on March 24. The top 50% of writers at the District level advance to Regionals. Lakewood teams will be sending an impressive 17 writers, or 66% of the four teams, to compete at Regionals. Good luck to all the talented writers!

The following are the schools’ Power of the Pen team members (Asterisks denote regional qualification):


8th Grade: Allie Donegan*, Erin Gregg, Ella Howells*, Tess Marjanovic, Katelyn Martin, Sage Petrone*, and alternate Kate McHugh; coach Barb Lynch

7th Grade:  Ian Bell*, Alexis Fallon*, Abigayle Samko*, Evan Suttell, Maura Therber, Grace Werner*, and alternates Elan Dimacchia and Rhianna Zuby; coach Dan Smith


8th Grade: Amanda Cabot*, Veronica Gordon*, Zak Inak*, Jonny Latsko*, Tess Moran*, Jimmy Toner, and alternate Olivia Berger; coach Ruth Pangrace

7th Grade: Kent Adams, Lauren Klann*, Melina Lawrence*, Elena Mulready*, Hannah Salo* Abbey Stone*, and alternate Liam Gamez; coach Pam Sheils

Read More on Schools
Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 10:02 PM, 02.21.2012