This past weekend, the members of Brecksville-Broadview Heights’ Power of the Pen team saw just how powerful their stories can be.
The 7th and 8th grade teams both took home first place in the regional tournament at St. Joseph Academy.
In Power of the Pen competitions, students are given an open-ended prompt and 40 minutes to write a short story or essay.
“Everything else is your own,” said Megan Zhao, a member of the 8th grade team.
The students all have their favorite aspects of writing. Many said they enjoy writing as a way to express emotions. Alyssa Holzinger, a member of the 7th grade team, said she likes thinking of different outcomes for the prompts. In one of her favorites this year, Holzinger took the point of view of a worm.
“There’s always a creative way to go,” Holzinger said.
Many of the members of the 8th grade team said they enjoy learning new techniques and writing styles. Jamie Cowen said that for her, it’s a way revisit a favorite activity from elementary school.
“This is a way to get back into it,” Cowen said.
Savannah Williams said she likes writing about people best, focusing on how the characters interact. Matt Skapura likes to use the prompts to explore all aspects of a topic he’s familiar with.
The club meets every Tuesday and Thursday with adviser and teacher Jeff Moore. Students can be part of the middle school club even if they aren’t chosen to compete. On Tuesdays, the group discusses stories and works on different writing skills, like point of view, satire and how to avoid clichés, Moore said.
And on Thursdays, they write, something that has obviously paid off for this team.
Some of the students—those whose score at the regional tournament earned them a spot in the top 20 percent of writers—will go on to compete in the creative writing challenge at the state level later this spring.