Poetic Power

A Creative Communication blog

Featured Student Writer: Lily Lauben

Lily Lauben was a Top Ten Winner for our Fall 2011 poetry contest.  Lily is a 9th grader at University Preparatory School in California.  Her poem “Pen to Paper” was initially inspired by extra credit her teacher was offering.

Image“I am extremely honored to have received this recognition. I never expected that the poem that I wrote to get five points of extra credit in english class could ever be so highly praised. Those were the actual circumstances behind the poem’s creation. My teacher had told us about the contest and bribed us with extra credit. I probably didn’t need the points too badly, but it seemed like fun, and grades can always stand to be boosted, right? I’m no genius, so mine certainly could. I had looked through some of my old poetry, but all of it was too long (because once I get going, it is always really difficult for me to stop writing). None of it fit the ‘less than 21 lines’ standard. I didn’t want to cut any of the existing poems I had either; it just didn’t seem right. So, I opened up a new word document and cast about for something to write about. I am also an artist, so as I zoned out at the computer screen, the pretty white word document started to remind me more and more of a blank page in one of my sketchbooks. I always put a little piece of myself in all of my poems, just because I find it makes them easier to write. I decided this one could embody the fear I always got, staring at those blank white pages (that was beginning to creep up my spine that moment). Something about the… expectancy, and the purity of those pages always made me scared to write/draw on them. At the same time, however, I always felt draw to that blankness. It was just asking me to make that first line. So, “Pen to Paper” was born. Possibly I’m scaring people with my obsessiveness over a piece of paper, but I think we’ve all had a feeling similar before.”

As one of the Top Ten Winners, Lily’s poem was selected out of thousands of entries as one of the best in her age category.  Thank you, Lily, for sharing with us what motivated you to create your winning piece.  We hope you continue to write and create art for years to come.

For more information about our national writing contest, please visit www.PoeticPower.com.  For more information about our national art contest, please visit www.CelebratingArt.com.

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Featured Student Writer: Sarah Lynch

Today’s featured student writer is 7th grade Sarah Lynch.  Sarah attends Holy Innocents School in New Jersey.  Her poem was selected as a Top Ten Winner in our Fall 2011 poetry contest.  “I was absolutely thrilled to find out that my poem, “The Mysteries of Childhood”, was one of the ten best poems in the 7-9th grade contest. I worked really hard on my poem, and it feels great that it was recognized.”

Sarah is very talented and enjoys many hobbies.  “Aside from poetry, I love the arts. I have been performing on stage since I was eight. I love to sing, act, and of course, write! I play the piano and the ukulele, and music is one of my greatest passions. I play basketball and cross country at my school, and I love to swim in the summer!”

We asked Sarah to explain what inspired the creation of her winning poem.  She replied, “I was inspired to write my poem because I [have] always loved young children, mostly because of how they view the world. I love hearing what they want to be like when they grow up, because the things they want to do are absolutely ridiculous! In my poem, I hope that I conveyed the message that although the dreams of a child might be unlikely, I think we all need a little more of their imagination in our lives.

Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity for my poem to be recognized. I hope to enter this contest again, and I hope to write a lot more poetry in the future!”

Thank you, Sarah, for helping us get to know you a little better and telling us about what inspired your winning poem.

To learn more about our national writing contests, go to www.PoeticPower.com.

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Raise the Bar

ImageThe deadlines have now passed for entry into our spring contests.  It is always a joy to come across a teacher who really knows how to teach and you have 30 entries that are each a joy to judge.  It always comes down to the teacher.  We have some teachers who send in 50 entries and none are accepted.  In other cases, a teacher who really works with his or her students sends in 50 entries and all 50 are accepted.

There are several teachers who I wish were teaching my children.  I really don’t think these exceptional pieces of art or poetry came from schools with above average students.  Many of them come from normal neighborhood public schools.  I think a teacher took ordinary students and taught them techniques that ended in extraordinary results.

I hope as teachers see our books and realize what each grade is capable of creating, the bar can be raised. I hope next year, one teacher will look at our contest with the attitude of “Wow! I didn’t know kids could do this quality of work,” and then that teacher will take it as a challenge next year.  My hope is that for his or her class the expectations that the students and the teacher have will be raised and another class will produce extraordinary work.

For more information about our national writing contests, please visit www.PoeticPower.com.

For more information about our national art contest, please visit www.CelebratingArt.com.

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Featured Student Writer: Alexandra Swetnam

ImageOur featured student writer is Alexandra Swetnam, a junior at Whitefield Academy in Louisville, Kentucky.  Alexandra lives on a farm in a small town nearby Louisville.  Besides writing, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

Alexandra received national recognition in our national essay contest for Fall 2011 by being selected as a Top Ten Winner in her age category.

Alexandra’s family inspired her to write her essay, “On Beauty.”  Alexandra states, “In everyone else’s eyes, they are just ordinary people, but to me they are a treasure and I love them more than words can express.

I love writing because words have so much power, and it allows me to express my deepest thoughts and emotions beautifully and simply.

I am honored to be recognized as a Top 10 Winner. This essay came straight from my heart, and it is thrilling to know that all the care and love that I put into it is appreciated.

I especially want to thank my wonderful English teacher Mrs. Potter, for inspiring me and encouraging me every day. Thank you!”

Thank you, Alexandra, for sharing the story behind your winning essay.  Good luck in your future endeavors and keep writing!

For more information about our national writing contests, visit www.PoeticPower.com.

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Featured Student Writer: Sonya Bharadwa

ImageToday we would like to introduce Sonya Bharadwa as our featured student writer.  Sonya submitted her essay, “A Life Worth Living,” in our Fall 2011 essay contest.  After a series of judging processes, Sonya’s essay was selected as a Top Ten Winner, which gives her the recognition as having one of the top ten entries in her age division out of thousands of entries entered.  

Sonya attends Webber Academy in Alberta, Canada, and is in the tenth grade.  Sonya explains what inspired her winning piece:

“Writers are always looking to comment on and influence the world around them. In every piece of writing, I can always find something that applies to me and gives me a new perspective on something. This is why I love to read and write. Before writing my essay, “A Life Worth Living,” I looked around my school hallway at lunch; ninety percent of the people were pouring over a textbook or frantically trying to finish homework. The ten percent that weren’t actually looked like they were having fun!  After three hours of classes, a lunch break should actually be a break, not a cramming time, especially since there are still three hours of classes left. People need to achieve balance in their lives instead of just feeling and being constantly stressed. In my life, I balance school work with soccer, writing, reading, music and drama. Since I love writing, it was an honor to be selected as one of the top ten essay writers. The ability to communicate effectively and persuasively is so important in every aspect of life and is extremely critical, which is why I really value opportunities like this for students to get published.”

Congratulations again, Sonya, on being selected as a Top Ten Winner!  Thank you for sharing what inspired your piece.  Keep up the great work!

Our poetry contest deadline has been extended to April 19!  Go to www.PoeticPower.com for more details on how to enter our national contest.

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Featured Student Writer: Kayli Hall

ImageToday’s featured Top Ten Winner is 15-year-old Kayli Hall.  Kayli has been home schooled for the last nine years and loves competing in speech and debate and entering writing contests.  She also enjoys studying science and talking about politics.  Kayli’s essay, “Storm,” was selected as a Top Ten Winner in our national writing contest.  Kayli explains,
“I wrote the essay “Storm” because it was real to me.  I have seen many storms and could imagine a house being in one.  Also, leaving a lasting legacy is something very important to me and I felt the essay related to that. I have submitted essays in the past that were not selected to be in the Top 10, so being selected this year really mattered. Thank you.”

Congratulations, Kayli, on being selected as a national Top Ten Winner!  Keep writing and we hope to see more of your work!

To learn more about our national writing contests, please visit www.PoeticPower.com.

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