Writing competition makes waves

From+Left%3A+Mrs.+Corelitz%2C+Mrs.+Saunders%2C+and+Mr.+Bhatti+pose+with+their+writing+competition%27s+poster.

Christi Carras

From Left: Mrs. Corelitz, Mrs. Saunders, and Mr. Bhatti pose with their writing competition's poster.

Imagine a rustic coffee shop where, every so often, someone steps onstage and shares a piece of their own literature while some underground, indie band croons in the background. Now, instead of a quaint coffee shop, imagine this happening in Central’s community room, and you’ve got the 2015 Tell Your Story Writing Competition.

Several members of the English department created the event this year for students to submit their own pieces of work, incorporating a certain theme. In the end, Mrs. Corelitz, Mr. Bhatti, and Mrs. Saunders will chose 12 students to read their essays at the storytelling and music event on Feb. 19 at 5:30 p.m.

Fellow English teachers Ms. Burrell and Mr. Lange suggested that all the essays be inspired by the word “waves.”

“We decided on waves because we thought it was abstract enough for students to really play around with it and take it in a lot of different directions,” Mr. Bhatti said.

The competition is open to students of all classes, with no guidelines or limitations to the submissions besides a 12-point font, 1-inch margins, and the incorporation of the theme.

“The only exception is: someone can’t submit a 200 page novel,” Mr. Bhatti said.

“I heard some students asking if they could submit poetry, which I thought was really cool,” Mrs. Corelitz said. “The prompt is really open to anything as long as it’s a true story.”

The deadline for entering the contest is Jan. 29. When all pieces have been submitted, Mrs. Corelitz, Mrs. Saunders, and Mr. Bhatti will begin the selection process for the event.

“We will be vigorously reading and discussing the essays,” Mrs. Saunders said.

“The things that we’re going to be focusing on are the writer’s voice, purpose, and creativity,” Mr. Bhatti said. “The goal is to have about 12 students from across the board, so freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Anybody can get in.”

Tell Your Story is unlike any other competition the school has held. There will be a live band along with free coffee, hot chocolate, and snacks while the chosen students read their submissions.

“There will be a singer-songwriting duo called Little Light,” Mrs. Corelitz said. “It’s really like a casual recital format. We’re really trying to highlight the work.”

Many of the English teachers made the contest a required assignment for their students in order to advertise the event and help students discover their artistic horizons.

“Some of our students are really busy, so they need a push to explore their creative sides,” Mrs. Saunders said.

“This is the type of essay that leads really nicely into personal things like essays for college, so it’s nice to be helping our students as much as we can,” Mrs. Corelitz said.

All students are eligible for the competition, so if you want to test out your essay ability you’re encouraged to participate.