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Connecticut Writing Project Presents 29 Awards to ACT Students

CWP student winners web

Willimantic CT, April 6, 2018 - UCONN’s 2018 Connecticut Writing Project (CWP) contest has awarded 19 students at EASTCONN’s Arts at the Capital Theater (ACT) magnet high school 29 awards for their writing and poetry. Nine ACT students have been selected for publication in the CWP-sponsored Connecticut Student Writers Magazine.

Annually, over 1,500 kindergarten through grade 12 students across Connecticut submit their works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or two-dimensional art or photography to the CWP.

Students selected for publication in the magazine are freshman Remus Green, Thompson, poetry; sophomore Rachel Charron, Plainfield, fiction; sophomore Casandra Hernandez, Willimantic, poetry; sophomore Ellis McGinley, Ashford, poetry and non-fiction; junior Carson Rice, Moosup, fiction; senior DJ Hettinger, Willimantic, fiction; senior Julia Pezzano, North Grosvenordale, fiction; senior Mae Santillo, Lebanon, poetry; and former student Cormac Nocton, poetry.

"Getting the news that I had one of my pieces published and two honorable mentions was an incredible feeling,” said ACT Creative Writing student Julia Pezzano. “It is a very rewarding moment to have validation that someone appreciates your story, especially if it is personal. I am very grateful to [my teacher]. He has helped me take my work to the next level.”

Other ACT students whose work was honored by the CWP with Honorable Mentions include: freshman Mykaila Hills, Stafford, non-fiction; freshman Gabriel Kieffer, Willimantic, poetry; freshman Bronx Rodriguez, Willimantic, poetry; freshman Jay Rose, Lebanon, poetry; sophomore Ian Harris, Plainfield, poetry; junior Dell Brevard, Norwich, poetry; junior Aracelis Gomez, Norwich, poetry; junior Ally LaPrad, Coventry, poetry; senior India Arriola, Hampton, poetry; and senior Grace Ellis, Norwich, non-fiction.

“ACT fosters strong student writing by creating a space that immerses students in the culture of writing and helps them learn a reliable process,” said ACT Creative Writing teacher John Wetmore. “Pieces don’t just stay silent on paper, but are shared, read, workshopped, rewritten and performed. There’s a sense here that student voices matter—that there’s joy to be found in being heard.”

Wetmore was presented with a Platinum award from CWP, the most prestigious educator award, in recognition for teaching so many award-winning students in this year’s competition. Only two Platinum were awarded, statewide.

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.