Poetic Power

A Creative Communication blog

Featured Student Writer: Nathan Cibula

Nathan School Pic 2012Learning to Read” is a tender essay about a brother helping his younger sister learn to read.  That brother, Nathan Cibula, was selected as a Top Ten Winner in our Fall 2012 national essay contest after his essay was picked as one of the ten best in the United States and Canada.

Nathan is 13 years old and attends Woodland Middle School in Illinois.  He lives with his mom, dad, and little sister.  Some of Nathan’s favorite hobbies include reading, writing, traveling, playing electronic games, building with Legos, and spending time with his family and friends.  He is also involved in Boy Scouts, and is currently at the rank of Life and working towards his Eagle.  Nathan participates in the Special Olympics swim and bowling teams.

When asked what inspired his winning essay, Nathan explained, “When writing I like to use real life experiences and/or sometimes get ideas for writing that are inspired by something I have read or heard.  Writing is a great way of expressing thoughts and feelings or a wonderful and creative way of making another reality to take your mind off of the everyday pressures of school.  Writing has helped me let people know a little of what it’s like to live with cerebral palsy.”

To read Nathan’s essay, click here. To learn more about our national writing contests, visit www.PoeticPower.com.

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Featured Student Writer: Hari Narayanan

DSC_1065Hari is a fifth grader at The Fessenden School in Massachusetts.  His essay, “Sweet Victory?“, was selected as a Top Ten Winner in the Fall 2012 national essay contest held for students in grades 3-12 throughout the United States and Canada.

Squash, karate, reading, and Indian classical vocal music are a few of Hari’s hobbies.  He plays on Fessenden’s varsity squash team, which is the fifth best middle team school in the country.  Hari is Indian-American, and his parents were born and brought up in India.  Once a year, Hari and his family go to India to visit family.  Many of Hari’s family members are really into Indian classical music, and his great grandmother was a famous vocalist of her time.  On his annual trip to India, Hari usually sings the latest song that he has learned in the United States for his family there.  Additionally, Hari is currently training very intensely in karate, as he is gearing up for his black belt test.  This test can last up to ten hours.

When asked what inspired his winning essay, Hari responded, “The reason I wrote this essay was because I saw a close friend in a new light, and in a situtation where his response made me think highly of him.”  You can read Hari’s essay here.

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

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Featured Teacher: Melissa LaBair

LaBairMelissa LaBair is a teacher at Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, Michigan.  Her student, Lorissa Wascher, was selected as a Top Ten Winner in the Fall 2012 essay contest for her essay, “Beauty“.  This award means that her student was selected out of thousands of entries  submitted as one of the ten best in the United States and Canada.  We asked Melissa to share with our readers what has helped her to have success in the classroom and inspire her student writers.

“I cannot say that it is solely through my efforts as a teacher that one of my students was chosen for the Top Ten.” Melissa tells Creative Communication. “My role as a teacher is to give positive feedback and constructive criticism when needed.” Melissa goes on to explain that when students begin to write they are very scripted, and as they develop their creative side they start to develop a personality to their writing.  “I like to encourage them to really take ownership for what they write and encourage them to be proud of it.

“I really like seeing the competitive nature of the students come out when they enter a contest such as yours. They all put on a ruse like they don’t care if they are selected to be published, but they cannot deny the joy and sense of accomplishment they get if they are selected. I will continue to encourage and develop their skill set and the students year after year will continue to impress me.”

footer_logoIn addition to having a Top Ten Winner, Melissa’s teaching efforts have helped to put Michigan Lutheran Seminary as the #1 school in Michigan with the most essays accepted for publication, and #8 in the nation for the most essays accepted into the Fall 2012 essay contest (view rankings).

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


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Featured Student Writer: Darien Gillespie

Darien GillespieDarien is a fifth-grader at LaSalle Intermediate Academy in Indiana.  His essay, “Stairs of Life“, was selected as one of the ten best essays submitted into the Fall 2012 contest from the United States and Canada.

Darien enjoys math, writing, and computer programming.  Darien and his friend have been working for a year on writing a story about prehistoric cats and sabertooth cats (Darien has been a lover of animals since he was about two years old).  Additionally, Darien has been working with computers for a few months, and now uses basic programs to make small games and other small programs using codes.  He is currently working on making a website using HTML.

“Stairs of Life” was inspired by an assignment in class to write stories based on a picture with brightly-colored autumn leaves and a mossy staircase. “I thought about this picture, my previous nature experiences, and what I know about the behavior of animals.” Darien explained, “I used the rising staircase to represent the continuous pattern of the year. I put all this information into a mental picture of the change from summer to fall. If it hadn’t been for my Language Arts teacher and my previous experiences in nature, I wouldn’t have been able to write this award-winning essay.”

Darien plans to participate in more Creative Communication competitions in the future. He hopes to work more on writing and try to write some poems, too. “Even though I wrote an essay this time, it had a ‘flow’ that made it seem like a poem. My slightly poetic piece has inspired me to continue my writing career.”

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

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