ODA Junior Awarded Creative Writing Gold Key

Ashley Sciame ‘20 was honored by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers with a Gold Key award for her creative writing submission in the 2018 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She earned a Silver Key in last year’s competition. Ashley’s piece, entered in the Science Fiction & Fantasy category, “The Serpent’s Song,” follows the challenges faced by a young woman with magical abilities who leaves home to travel the world.
Early in the school year, Ashley approached English faculty member Ms. Victoria Davis with the idea to enter the contest, which was not part of a classroom assignment. Ms. Davis encouraged her to enter the competition, and was proud of the student’s desire to push herself with an outside project. “Ashley continues to pursue writing—something that matters to her—although she knows she doesn’t get classroom credit for it. She is a diligent, hard worker, and truly values the pursuit of learning.”

English faculty member Mr. Andy Lemieux expressed pride in Ashley’s growth as a writer. “I love that she is open to experiments and passionate about giving and receiving feedback. Her writing is filled with strong female characters, descriptive passages, and amazing detail.”

Submissions are juried by luminaries in the visual and literary arts who look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Students who receive Gold Key, Silver Key, and Honorable Mentions have their work displayed in local exhibitions.

Here is an excerpt from Ashley’s award-winning submission:
When she woke the next morning, the first rays of dawn had not yet touched the earth. She dressed in the changeling’s traditional onyx armor and struggled to contain her excitement. She climbed down from her unicorn-drawn carriage and overlooked the battlefield, watching the sky’s midnight-black void fade to deep blue, then somber purple, bloody red, and finally pale grey. In the growing light, Airahn could start to see what the battlefield looked like. It was a flat plain between two small mountains. All manners of wildflowers grew in it’s tall grasses, and small animals could be heard rustling through the bushes. This place was pretty but boring. The scars of the glorious battle to come would leave it a little more interesting.

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