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The Falcon

The Student News Site of The Kinkaid School

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Student writers shine across publications and competitions

Sophomore Unaisah Saeed contributes in creative class.

 The art of creative writing has been an inspiring one for many students at Kinkaid. Doing writing projects inside the classroom has been a requirement, but some students have chosen to explore competitions and publications beyond Kinkaid. 

The national non-profit organization known as iWRITE has hosted a competition for young authors to get their work published for the past 14 years. Many students at Kinkaid have participated in this competition. 

Freshman Alexia Hoffman has recently been published in this year’s iWRITE anthology under the theme of sports. 

When Hoffman discovered she had been chosen to be published, along with other young writers, she said she was shocked and very happy with the news. 

“I pulled my inspiration from golf for this year’s contest about sports because I love to play it,” Hoffman said.

Furthermore, she has been enrolled in creative writing at Kinkaid since the seventh grade and continues to improve in the areas she has struggled in as a current student in the high school class taught by Ms. Angélique Jamail, creative writing director.

“It has definitely helped my writing skills,” Hoffman said. “I have horrible grammar and after Ms. Jamail caught my problem and taught me ways to fix it, my writing has changed for the better.” 

Freshman Riana Pliskin was also chosen to be published in iWRITE; it was her second time being published in an iWRITE anthology. 

She is not a part of creative writing at Kinkaid. Her background in writing started during the pandemic. 

“During the pandemic, as I had more free time, writing became one of my hobbies and a way to express myself,” Pliskin said. “It is really interesting to pull inspiration from life experiences and to arrange it however I would like. Over time, writing and poetry grew from a pastime to a passion for me.”

For her poem “I Write,” Pliskin said she pulled inspiration from the actual process of writing a piece, drawing parallels between writing and training for a sport.

“I thought it would be interesting to shed light on what is going on behind the scenes in putting together and finishing a piece of writing,” she said.

 Pliskin has also been published in other publications, including Scholastic Art and Writing, iWRITE, Young Pegasus and The New York Times.  

Another student who decided to take on a challenge is sophomore Unaisah Saeed. 

Saeed was recently published in the Wise Owl, a monthly creative writing magazine. 

“I originally submitted a different poem to the online magazine, and although it wasn’t accepted, they very kindly suggested I could send a different piece of writing,” Saeed said. “They accept all kinds of writing submissions and are very friendly.” 

She is also a part of the creative writing elective at Kinkaid, and she said that Ms. Jamail’s individualized feedback helped her improve her work.

Saeed chose to write her poem based on a funeral she attended. 

“After experiencing the death of someone in my community and seeing their funeral, I really began to reflect on death,” she said. “Before this funeral, I had only ever attended funerals of Muslims, which are very different from that of other faiths. I decided to channel my thoughts regarding death and the Islamic traditions regarding it into this poem.”

She said being published made her braver and less afraid to show others her writing.

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Caroline Swanson, Staff Writer

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