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PHS Junior Wins Top Writing Recognition

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PHS Junior Wins Top Writing Recognition
Posted on 03/12/2021
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Portland High School junior Eden Swails has won a Gold Medal for her poetry in the 2021 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards contest, which is presented by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. That puts her in the top 1 percent of all the 80,000 students who participated, according to PHS English teacher David Levasseur.

Eden earlier won a regional Gold Key from, which put her in the running to win the national Gold Medal. She won for her poem,  "Arachnaphobia." Read Eden's winning poem HERE.

Eden, a student in Jane Wellehan's English class, wrote the poem in response to Langston Hughes'  "Theme for English B." 

Students read and discussed the poem as a class. The poem contains the words: "Go home and write/a page tonight/And let that page come out of you—/Then, it will be true." The students were told to follow those instructions.

Eden's work will be  published in Scholastic's Online Galleries at artandwriting.org in June. Her name will also be listed in the Yearbook 2021, a companion publication to The Best Teen Art and The Best Teen Writing anthologies, which feature a selection of work by National Medalists, Levasseur said.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is the oldest and most prestigious recognition program in the U.S. for students. The contest and awards are open to all students in grades 7-12. The program, meant to recognize artistic and literary excellence in teens, has been running since 1923. All works are considered for Gold Key, Silver Key, Honorable Mention, American Visions Nominee, and American Voices Nominee Awards. All Gold Key winners are automatically considered for national awards.