Arlington Teen Wins National Writing Award, Rubs Shoulders with Meryl Streep
Arlington native Luisa Banchoff and Sylvia Plath have something in common. They’re both poets, yes, but they were also both recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, twice before they even graduated high school. Scholastic is the country’s largest, longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. Most recently, The Scholastic Awards honored Luisa with the American Voices Medal for her poetry, which means her piece was chosen as the top submission from the DC Region.
Luisa is currently a junior at Washington Lee High School. She was one of 13 students from Greater Washington who were honored as National Medalists through The Scholastic Awards. National Medals are awarded to the top 1 percent of short stories, plays, poetry, and essays chosen from more than 200,000 submissions nationwide. More than 850 teens, including Luisa, travelled to New York City on Friday, June 1, where they were commended in the National Awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall. There they shared the stage with well-known illustrator and Awards alumnus Edward Sorel and were congratulated by surprise guest speaker Meryl Streep. Streep spoke about the demands, but also the rewards, of pursuing your artistic dreams.
Before being named National Medalists, teens participate first on the regional level. This year in Greater Washington, 225 teen writers earned recognition on the regional level of the competition. These teens were honored at the DC Regional Scholastic Writing Awards Ceremony on Thursday, March 15 at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre. The Scholastic Awards are administered in the DC-Metro area by Writopia Lab, which holds creative writing workshops year-round in Tenleytown, DC; Alexandria, VA; and Rockville, MD.
Writopia Lab is a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing a growing community of young writers. At Writopia Lab, writers ages 8-18 gather in small peer groups to work with published writers on their own short stories, memoirs, and plays. For the each of the past five years, Writopia Lab writers have earned more recognition in the Scholastic Writing Awards on both the regional and national level than any other group of students in the country.
For more information about The Scholastic Writing Awards in Greater Washington or about Writopia Lab, please contact Kathy Crutcher at email@example.com or 202-629-9510.