Recognition Of Morgan’s Talented Writers

Tarik Hasic, Kailina Olcott, and Gianna Strunjo, Victoria Le, Zoe King, and Kaylynn Gooding


You’re Running Out of Time by Kailina Olcott

Morgan has many talented students in sports, literature, science, math, technology, and more. This year, Morgan had seven students who earned recognition for their writing. Some of these Morgan students have even had their works published.

The 35th Connecticut Students Writer’s annual contest recognized three Morgan students, Tarik Hasic, Kailina Olcott, Gianna Strunjo, and Zoe King.

Gianna Strunjo

Junior Gianna Strunjo submitted Voices a story about a man in a psychiatric hospital who was hearing voices, but everyone thought he was crazy. The doctor was trying to talk to him, but he kept telling them he was going to hurt them. Eventually, the doctor ends up hearing the same voices. While writing, she had a magical place in mind. The biggest challenge was getting the idea. Once she had the idea, it was much easier to write. She wrote it during November, and it only took her a couple of hours. The piece is special to her. She enjoyed writing this piece, and she believes it has truth to it for everyone.

Junior Zoe King submitted her poem “Rag Dolls”. Zoe and Gianna earned an honorable mention for their work. Zoe also won an honorable mention for the letter she submitted to the Letters About Literature contest. She wrote her letter about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

Kailina Olcott

Senior Kailina Olcott is a platinum winner for her art piece, You’re Running Out Of Time, Alice, and is on page 147 of the magazine. She used drawing pencils and colored pencils. The drawing is of an hourglass with reflective light. It was a melted clock, and as it melted, it changed to colored pencil. At the bottom is Alice from Alice and Wonderland.

Kailina said, “It feels cool to have my work recognized. I have never won anything for a magazine before. I was pretty surprised when I was recognized. The biggest obstacle for me was creating Alice.”


Tarik Hasic

Senior Tarik Hasic won Platinum for his non-fiction piece Refugees, which can be found on page 146 of the magazine. Tarik said he was very surprised that he won an award, but it felt good. Tarik had been working on his college essay for over two years. As he was creating his essay, he realized that he enjoyed writing and decided to submit it to the contest. Tarik said that creating his work was challenging because he wanted to make sure that it was perfect since he was submitting it to college, and he had to adhere to the 650 word requirement. Tarik wanted to capture the story of his parents and family, who were refugees from Bosnia.

Each year, the SHED, the Shoreline Heads of English Departments, collectively hold the Shoreline Writing Contest. This year the contest recognized senior Victoria Le.

Victoria won a Journalism award for “Struggles Faced by Asians in America” which was published in The Morgan PawPrint. In her article, she highlighted the discrimination Asian people face around the world and interviewed Asian Morgan students for their stories.  The article included a podcast and research she completed for an ECE English project.

Former PawPrint Staff Victoria Le

Senior, Victoria Le, said that it feels good to have her work recognized because she was never recognized for anything before. She wrote the article because discrimination was especially prevalent during the early days of COVID-19. She said she had the article in mind for four months until she finally decided to work this article. The article took her a month to create. Her piece is special to her because it hits close to her heart, and the topic isn’t talked about enough, so she wanted to bring awareness to it. Victoria will attend an awards ceremony in June in Old Saybrook.

Senior Kaylynn Gooding’s work was recognized by literary magazine Write On, Black Girl. Kaylnn submitted her poem named “Content”, which was published in the literary magazine. Write On, Black Girl, is a writing retreat that recognizes narratives written by black girls and young women.