The Pen is Mightier than the Sword: Senior Wins Nationwide Writing Competition

ABy Kieran Rodriguez ’18

Anthony Vecchio ’16 had always demonstrated enthusiasm for writing but had never quite explored the hobby outside of the classroom.  That small fervor was the case, at least, until he came across an email advertising the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.  Though he had never heard of the competition, Anthony decided to submit one of his stories because it was an excellent opportunity with generous prizes, including several $1,000 college scholarships.

The nation’s longest-running recognition initiative for creative teens, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards has been in existence for 93 years.  Last year, over 300,000 young men and women from grades 7-12 across the country entered the writing competition.

Anthony Vecchio ’16, after receiving an honorable mention in the Scholastic Art and Writing Award Contest, stands proud with his award.
Anthony Vecchio ’16, after receiving an honorable mention in the Scholastic Art and Writing Award Contest, stands proud with his award.

In December, Anthony submitted a paragraph to the contest under the “flash fiction” entry group, a section focused on short works.  Months passed, and it seemed Anthony would not hear back from the competition, signaling a loss; however, Anthony caught wind of the results from the competition by coincidence.

As he recalls, “I was talking to Mr. Bruno after the last student body Mass, and he mentioned my winning an award from the Scholastic Competition.  He said I had won honorable mention.  I was completely shocked.  I figured I had not won because I never heard back.”

An honorable mention in the Scholastic Art and Writing Award Contest is something to be extremely proud of as it carries significant merit.  According to the website for the competition, about 320,000 students submitted works to the competition, and, less than 1% of the entrants received any type of award.

When asked if he had plans to pursue writing in college, Anthony replied, “I had been giving serious thoughts to majoring in English in college, and this award has given me more confidence in pursuing that goal.”  Regardless of his future decision, Anthony already has an impressive accomplishment in writing under his belt, and hopefully more will come.

A Sample of Anthony Vecchio’s Award-Winning Paragraph

I remember my first day at Saint Aidan’s Roman Catholic Elementary School like it was yesterday.  I shuffled onto the bus with my mind engrossed in uncertainties and apprehension.  What if the other kids don’t like me?  What if I don’t know which class to go to?  All these “what if’s” danced in my head as I arrived at Saint Aidan’s.  My uneasiness only heightened with each step I took as I entered the building.  I was greeted by the nice lady who directed me to room 205.  With sweaty palms and great anxiety, I opened the door, unsure of what would lie ahead.  I entered the class to a room filled with strangers, all of whom seemingly had their eyes on me.  I eventually mustered up enough nerve to speak.  “Welcome to sixth grade religion class,” I said, “I’m Mr. Vecchio and I’ll be your teacher.”