The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint


Enter the 34th Annual Shoreline Writing Contest


Written by Julia Hornyak |

It is that time of the year again! This year is the 34th Annual Shoreline Writing Contest. Anyone can enter as long as you are currently enrolled in the Shoreline public schools, grades 9-12. All entries must be submitted to your English Department Chair, which is Paul Serenbetz, by January 15th, 2016. The deadline is coming fast. Do not worry. You do not have to create something on the spot. You can use anything you have already written in any class! No students can submit more than one entry. Work that is submitted must fall under the following categories.

  1. Short story: a short fictional narrative focusing on a simple action of experience. (Max 3,000 words)
  2. Poetry: a poem in any form or verse, rhymed of free. Length at least twelve lines. (Max 50 lines)
  3. Analysis/Criticism from Grades 9-10: a response to a work of any genre – novel, short story, essay, play, film, or poem. Possible entries: an analysis of a character in a literary work; an analysis of theme, or film critique. No research papers. (Max 2,000 words)
  4. Analysis/Criticism from Grades 11-12: Same as above.
  5. Personal Essay: personal or formal. Not limited to literary topics. (Max 2,000 words)
  6. One-Act Play: (Max 25 pages using format on reverse side, and 30 minute performance time)
  7. Humor: Including, but not limited to, parody. (Max 2,000 words)

Awards include 100 dollars for first place in each category. $70 for second place in each category, and $40 for third place in each category.

If you would like to enter, here is the form found online on the Morgan School Website. The Head of English Department, Paul Serenbetz, shares that Morgan needs more one-act play submissions. Poetry is definitely the easiest to do. Surprisingly, the most successful category for Morgan students has been literary analysis.

The judges include professional writers around the Shoreline and will correspond to the specific category. For example, a playwright would judge the category of one act plays. When asked what determines the winner and best writer for each category, Mr. Serenbetz explains that each judge must use a specific rubric pertaining to distinct aspects of each category.

IMG_9560The only past winner currently a student in Morgan is junior, Julia Horan. Julia first heard about the contest through Ms. Frydenborg and the English Department.  She was still considering composing an entry when her Freshman Honors English class was assigned as homework to bring in a writing piece for the contest. Therefore a decision was made for her to enter.  The poem Julia entered was something she had started previously as simply personal creative writing, but when she was asked for a contest entry  Julia saw it as a good opportunity to finally complete and polish it. Julia often writes on her own time, “sometimes just to clear my head and sometimes to explore my own creativity.  Inspiration for my writing comes from my daily life and experiences.  Sometimes there is personal meaning or significance, while other times I use my writing as a way to consider perspectives that may not necessarily be my own.” Julia plans to enter the contest this year again possibly in the poetry category, but also wants to try branching out and looking into other categories as well.

Julia’s advice “to anyone who would consider entering, I highly encourage you to do so!  I would say, even if you don’t pride yourself as a writer or feel confident in your abilities, it is still worth it to participate!  The entry doesn’t have to be written specifically for the contest.  Choose something you’ve already written for English class, polish it up and enter!” The following link is Julia’s piece of poetry that won the contest last year titled “Naked Eyes“. This is an example of what a winning piece looks like. Use this as inspiration to enter your own piece! Good luck to anyone that chooses to do enter!


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