13 ACT Writing Students Honored by Connecticut Writing Project

Willimantic – UCONN’s 2017 Connecticut Writing Project (CWP) contest has recognized 13 students at EASTCONN’s Arts at the Capital Theater (ACT) magnet high school for their writing and poetry. Five ACT students have been selected for publication in the CWP-sponsored Connecticut Student Writers magazine.

“The support we receive for our art at all levels at ACT is key to the success of the writers,” said ACT Creative Writing teacher John Wetmore. “The number of awards we received is really a testament to the way we collaborate and lift each other up.”

Of the 13 students recognized for their original works of poetry and prose, 5 will be published in the annual magazine. Those recognized for publication are sophomore Jordan Pelletier, Amston, for poetry; junior Alex Castro, Hebron, for poetry; junior DJ Hettinger, Willimantic, for fiction; junior Mae Santillo, Lebanon, for poetry; and senior Juliet Duchesne, Windham, for poetry.

"This is the first time my work has been published and I feel very accomplished,” said ACT Creative Writing student DJ Hettinger. “Part of the writing process was sharing our work during workshops and receiving constructive feedback from classmates.”

Other ACT students whose work was honored by the CWP with Honorable Mentions include: freshman Rachel Charron, Plainfield, poetry; freshman Ellis McGinley, Ashford, poetry; freshman Lauren Ruggiero, Andover, poetry; sophomore Ally LaPrad, Coventry, poetry; sophomore Carson Rice, Moosup, poetry; junior Grace Ellis, Norwich, poetry and fiction; senior Juliet Duchesne, Windham, fiction; senior Nadia Jala, Lebanon, poetry and fiction; and senior Vivian Sun, Norwich, poetry.

Annually, over 1,000 students across Connecticut submit their works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or two-dimensional art or photography to the CWP. In total, 81 students statewide, from kindergarten through grade 12, will be published in the 2017 Connecticut Student Writers edition.

EASTCONN’s ACT arts magnet high school enrolls students in grades 9-12 from northeastern Connecticut. Located in EASTCONN’s historic Capitol Theater in downtown Willimantic, ACT offers small classes and a rigorous, standards-based curriculum with an emphasis on the arts and developing students’ artistic talents.

            To learn more about ACT or its Creative Writing program, contact ACT Principal Sarah Mallory at 860-465-5636 or visit www.eastconn.org/act. ACT is a magnet high school administered by EASTCONN, a public, non-profit, Regional Educational Service Center that has been serving the education needs of northeastern Connecticut schools and communities since 1980.
             UCONN’s CWP is one of the oldest sites of The National Writing Project (NWP). The mission of the NWP is to improve student achievement by improving the teaching of writing and improving learning in the nation’s schools. In addition, the CWP offers professional development services to schools and school districts, and a variety of opportunities for students to publish their writing. Learn more at cwp.uconn.edu.