Woodland Middle Student Wins Writing Award

  • Mary Weeks

    Published February 9, 2021

    A Woodland Middle eighth grader is moving on to the national level after winning two Gold Key Awards in this year’s Scholastic Writing competition.

    This is the second consecutive year Woodland Middle student Mary Week’s writing has earned state recognition.

    "It's very gratifying," Mary said. "It's exciting knowing that my writing is going to New York. It verifies that I'm good at this and could do this in the future."

    She entered a poem and a short story. Her poem, The World Right Now, focuses on her thoughts about the country and political atmosphere. It is one of the few times she wrote about her own feelings. Usually, Mary enjoys writing fictional short stories. Her story, The Windman, tells the tale of a mentally-haunted man visiting different layers of reality.

    "I mostly write short stories and realistic fiction," Mary said. "I also like historical fiction because I'm interested in World War II topics."

    Mary began writing for enjoyment in elementary school. She was inspired by a family member who shares her love of writing.

    "My grandfather was an author, so it's something that I've just picked up on as I've grown up," she said. "I had a phase in elementary school where I mostly wrote poetry, but that doesn't happen as much anymore."

    As she worked on her pieces, Mary received help from Woodland Middle's literacy coach Melinda Leake and other WCS staff members.

    "It was a joy to work with her," Leake said. "She knows the writing process, and she got a lot of good feedback and encouragement from various levels of administration across the district."

    Mary will receive a certificate and pin at an awards ceremony at Middle Tennessee State University March 13. The National Medal winners will be announced March 17.