The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword

Tiffany Minakhom , Editorial Manager
February 27, 2013 •

Words have the power to move, inspire, and persuade. When verbal actions could no longer elicit the raw emotion exuding out of their pores, these individuals turned to a piece of paper and a pencil. Manchester High School has been gifted to garner outstanding writers, who have achieved much more than just an “A” on their work, but also a regional honor. Contestants Chris Philopena, Maddie Fall, and Ryan Dube won awards on their literary pieces in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition.

Maddie Fall is a prime example of an exuberant, warm-hearted soul. Her writing shows passion with every line, leaving the reader breathless and yearning for more. Her short story, “Blanks” is about a man who robs a bank for love. Maddie believes that the notion of “buying love” is complex, explaining, “The main character in the story is trying to buy her freedom and buying her out of the situation.” Maddie believes, “If you really love someone, or found your soulmate, you would do anything to keep that person in your life. At times, I feel that people are too quick to give up on love or too cowardly to fight for it.”

As for Maddie, writing gives her a way to, “funnel out [her] experiences in a healthy and creative way. It gives something to relate to or look back on how far you have gone.” Maddie has definitely, directed her emotions the right way. In the story, one of the pivotal characters has an unnecessary death, when asked upon the symbolism behind this unnecessary death, she replied, “It didn’t mean anything to me until the Sandy Hook shooting. It was the week after I had to turn in my final draft. Even though that topic was out of my lane, there are so many unnecessary deaths, that are completely destroyed, by gun violence. Yet, it never hit me until then. It’s a part of our world that I hesitate to accept.” Maddie Fall has never failed to force a smile out of anyone, and we are very proud to have her win the Silver Medal Award. However, Maddie was not the only awarded MHS participant in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition.

Junior Chris Philopena, News Editor for the school newspaper, The Harbinger continues to pour many emotional pieces. He does not fail to deliver this once again in his Gold Key awarded short story, “Easily Tempted”. Chris explains how, “the story was set right after the climax of it, in which the main character dies and the perspective of the main character shifts to his significant other who must then deal with her feelings of loss, depression, and regret. The overall theme of the work is about the consuming nature of passion as opposed to real love.” Not only is pursuing love a quite difficult matter it is a topic that can be difficult to talk about as well. Chris used his personal life experience to tell the story, Chris remembers, “You realize that you are in a relationship that is really more about mutual passion and lust. I think everyone has felt that there was one person who they couldn’t live without, romantically.”

Being a reporter Chris understands the importance of writing. It gives a chance for him to put everything into perspective and, “put their thoughts and opinions down and have it reflect a entire context of life.” Looking towards his future Chris hopes, “to be a novelist one day. That would be my dream. I couldn’t imagine doing anything but writing.” To pursue this career he explains how his motto is, “It’s better that you struggle and pursue your dream then just roll over. As long as you pursue your dream you have it.”

Senior Ryan Dube, editor and chief of The Harbinger was also awarded the Honorable Mention in the Scholastic Art and Writing competition. As Harbinger readers know, Ryan writes many heartfelt articles that have the power to move many. Ryan showed his writing abilities in his piece, “Love and Basketball”. Ryan describes how he was an “avid basketball fan and loved to watch the girl’s games and I went to nearly everyone. By actually being there and experiencing with the girls it made it easy for me to tell their story through my writing.” The article entails, “the passion for the game that the girls displayed throughout the season while battling serious injuries and intense competition.”

For many, writing alleviates the internal heartaches we hold in. Ryan explains, “Writing is one of the most important thing a person can do. Writing allows you to express yourself and tell your story and influence others to do the same. If your writing changes just one life for the better, even if it’s your own, then it was worth putting on paper.”

Deborah Weinberg, English teacher at Manchester High School helped motivate these students to put their award winning pieces into the competition. She had a number of kind words for these individuals and motivates other students to join next year, she explained, “There are so many talented student writers who could have been winners in this national contest, but they did not enter the Scholastic competition. I hope we have a better turn-out next year.”

Congratulations to Maddie Fall, Chris Philopena and Ryan Dube for representing the Manchester Indians in the Scholastic Art and Writing competition!
Interested in a writing contest? Do you write poetry, rap, and song lyrics? The next contest will be the Hillstead Sunken Garden Poetry competition and they are taking entries now and close MARCH 1st!

The contest that offers cash prizes is the CT Young Writers Competition.  They take poetry and prose (anything that isn’t poetry).  It’s only open to CT students so you have an excellent chance of scoring an award.  The deadline has been extended to April 1. So, if you wrote a piece for creative writing classes or you write on your own, see your creative writing teacher or Mrs. Weinberg on how to enter your words to gain recognition and possible prizes.

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