Winners announced for Edith Wharton Writing Competition

May 10, 2004

Lenox, Mass (May 10, 2004) — The winners in the Seventh annual Edith Wharton Writing Competition have been announced by Edith Wharton Restoration at The Mount, co-sponsors of the competition with The Berkshire Eagle. The yearly event, open to all high school juniors and seniors in Berkshire County and bordering towns, was established in 1998 to encourage and reward good writing in the name of one of America’s greatest writers. Wharton’s turn-of-the-century estate, The Mount, is open to the public as a museum and is in the midst of a major restoration.

For a fifth year, the competition has been underwritten by The Foxhollow School Foundation. Good writing was central to an education at The Foxhollow School, which owned The Mount from 1942 to 1975.

146 entries were received in the three categories of fiction, poetry, and essay. The judges for the competition this year were: Cassandra Cleghorn for essay, Lawrence Raab for poetry and Karen Shepard for fiction. All three judges are Williams College professors who are also distinguished writers.

The First Place winners, receiving an award of $500 each, are:

Essay: Heather Murtagh, (Mt. Greylock Regional High School, 12th grade), “The Night I Slept on the School”
Fiction: Allissa Wickham, (Lenox Memorial High School, 11th grade), “Wendy Eats Out”
Poetry: Charlotte White (Mt. Greylock Regional High School, 12th grade), “Enough,” “Memorial,” “Muffler,” “Windy Day”

Winners of the Citation of Merit, receiving an award of $100 each, are:

Essay: Jenna Bantjes, (Wahconah Regional High School, 11th grade), “Unforgiven Self”
Fiction: Danae Johnson, (Mt. Greylock Regional High School, 11th grade), “Ninety-Five Words for My Sister”
Poetry: Angela Scerbo (Mt. Greylock Regional High School, 12th grade) “Compilation,” “ Pieces,” “When She Runs,” “A Goodbye”

The judges also cited entrants deserving of Honorable Mention. They are:

Essay: Jamie Kraut, (Berkshire Country Day Secondary School, 12th grade), “Dinner Diaries”; Lisa Bolognani, (Drury High School, 11th grade), “The Road to Recovery is the Longest Road to Take”
Fiction: Allegra Lanzara, (New Lebanon Central, 11th Grade), “The Porcelain Doll”
Poetry: Algy Gregory (Berkshire Country Day Secondary School, 11th grade), “Enjoying Drake’s Coffee Cake,” “Scofield, Utah,” “My Father” “Spin”

A ceremony honoring the awardees will be held at The Mount, 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, on May 25 at 4 p.m. Berkshire Eagle Editor David Scribner will present the awards. For additional information, please call Stephanie Forbus at (413) 637-1899, ext. 104. The winning entries will be published in a weekend edition of The Berkshire Eagle.