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Ten Scarsdale Teens Recognized at 2014 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

patience.jpgTen Scarsdale students were recognized for their writing and artwork at the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards the annual, national competition for creative teens. Dating back to 1923, the awards have become the most prestigious recognition program in art and writing for students in 7th through 12th grades. This year, the competition received 255,000 works nationally across 28 categories. Before judging at the national level, submissions are judged at the regional level and selected submissions may be awarded gold keys (most accomplished), silver keys (distinguished), or honorable mentions (promising). The students who receive gold keys are then entered into the national competition, where they may receive scholarships, medals, and publication in literary magazines. National winners will be announced on March 17th.

In Writing, seven Scarsdale students received regional awards this year:

• Freshman Sabeen Khan: Honorable Mention – Personal Essay/Memoir

• Sophomore Marie Ceske: Silver Key – Poetry

• Junior Maggie O'Keefe: Honorable Mention – Poetry

• Junior Sarah-Judith Bernstein: Two Honorable Mentions – Poetry

• Junior Cailey Martin: Two Silver Keys – Poetry; Three Honorable Mentions – Poetry; Honorable Mention – Personal Essay/Memoir; Honorable Mention – Short Story

• Senior Rachel Wolfe: Two Gold Keys – Poetry; Silver Key – Poetry; Silver Key – Persuasive Writing; Two Honorable Mentions – Poetry; Two Honorable Mentions – Personal Essay/Memoir; Honorable Mention – Writing Portfolio; Honorable Mention – Short Story

Ishwar Mukherjee from Scarsdale Middle School was recognized with a Silver Key in the short stories section for his holocaust based story "Hard Times Ahead".  He also received an Honorable Mention for his nineteenth century slavery-centric short story. "Betting Blind".

In Art, two Scarsdale High School students and one Scarsdale Middle School student received regional awards:

• Junior Maggie O'Keefe: Gold Key – Painting; Three Silver Keys – Drawing; Three Honorable Mentions – Drawing

• Senior Kara Schechtman: Honorable Mention – Drawing; Honorable Mention – Photography

• 8th Grader Linna Yao: Three Gold Keys – Drawing; Silver Key – Drawing; Honorable Mention – Photography

For some teens, art and writing are important forms of self-expression. "Writing helps me figure out my thoughts and kind of make sense of myself and the world," stated Rachel Wolfe. "When I'm really invested in a piece and super excited about whatever I'm working on at the time, I'll write for two hours a day, but I'll also go through stages where I hardly do any writing for weeks. " Cailey Martin agreed; for her, school and extracurricular activities can get in the way of writing. However, once inspiration hits, she is hooked. Martin commented, "Sometimes I'll be trying to fall asleep, really late at night, and I'll sit up suddenly because I have an idea, grab my notebook, and write for a couple of hours because I don't want to lose the inspiration. I've lost a lot of sleep over it!" Regardless of the different ways or circumstances for inspiration, art and writing can be essential hobbies, even a passion. Maggie O'Keefe said, "Art is one of the major priorities in my life. Either by drawing, painting, illustrating, designing, I always have to be creating or else I feel dull." She hopes to become involved in the arts as a profession. O'Keefe feels that "as of now, I am open to learning anything and everything, I just want to keep on creating."

Several winners have shared their some of their works:symphony

I Disappoint You By Rachel Wolfe

All their expectations have been met.
I make myself small, so should you.
I give out what I get.

I live on a string, a marionette.
Alarm clock Monday, there's my cue.
Their expectations cannot be reset.

Inherited like an oppressive debt,
I target my friends—interest due.
I give them what I get.

The path to perfection is already set.
They repaint my smile, you can't see through
The expectations I have met.

There's something still I feel I must do—and yet
you disappoint me, I disappoint you:linna
I give out what I get.

My real lips are glued shut,
My real smile askew.
Their expectations won't let me forget.

I try to stop – I write a vignette.
But even still, there is no way to undo—
All the expectations I have met.
Must give out what I get.

Lipstick by Cailey Martin

Girl plops herself down in front
of a pink and white vanity, shivering
with the chilly dejection that comes
from chasing comets, feeling vain

but rather plain at the same time.
Girl brushes her hair, brushes her
teeth– but she doesn't like what
she sees, so she puts lipstick on

the mirror; not on in the mirror
but on the mirror, painting glass
a deep smooth crimson shade
of shade. Slow strokes, creamy

blend; rounding precarious corners
and trying not to have an accident.
Cars on the freeway, switching lanes.
Creamblend cream blend cream

blend. Lipstick melts down the mirrorsmokyair
now, cascading like so much spilled
blood, mirror smiling bright and rosy
while girl looks on with indifference

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