Young scribes excel in writing contest


DALTON — Seven local schools sent a total of 56 students to participate in the 37th Berkshire County Seventh Grade Writing Contest.

The event, held on May 24 at Nessacus Regional Middle School, is an extemporaneous exercise for the young scribes. They had two hours to write an original work in response to the prompt, "That Undeniable Desire."

Seventh-graders from St. Agnes Academy, Nessacus, Mount Greylock Regional School, Lenox Memorial Middle School, Hoosac Valley Middle School, Herberg and Reid middle schools participated in the contest.

Contest coordinator Thomas Fielding, a Nessacus English teacher, said the panel of judges declared Reid's Esha Zahid the winner for writing about her interest in the brain and the personal obstacles that she faces due to ethnic gender roles and attitudes.

Fielding said she discussed her goal to go into medicine, study the brain and become a surgeon some day.

"She also relates her wonderful discussions with her older sister who has also fought the gender expectations of their culture to go on to college" to study medicine, he said.

While waiting for the results, the students heard from Eagle reporter Amanda Drane, this year's guest speaker.

"She spoke about her career and the importance of accuracy in reporting while keeping her mind on the way people interpret the same event in different ways," Fielding said.

Then, the awards were presented as follows:

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Contest winners

First place: Patrick M. West Award: Esha Zahid (Reid)

Runners up: Shea Coe (Reid), Genevieve Collins (Lenox), Limoges Daurey (Hoosac), Teagan Maxymillian (Lenox), and Patrick McLaughlin (Nessacus)

Literary magazine winners

First place: William Polidoro Award: Rachel Hermann (Hoosac)

Runners up: Katelynn McCormack (Nessacus), Talia Rehill (Hoosac)

Here's the writing prompt students responded to:

"That Undeniable Desire"

Each of us is filled with strong urges that point us in directions in life where we explore our talents and interests through learning, activities, and competitions. We may do this alone or in a group of peers or family.

Describe a time when that desire inside you to explore new boundaries of your passion could not be contained. Relate the events of that incident where that undeniable desire allowed you to feel confident, successful, and/or grow as a person.


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