Woodland Middle

A student at Woodland Middle School is accomplishing a major writing goal she set for herself before even reaching high school.

Mary Weeks is the first Woodland Middle student to earn national recognition at the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. She earned a National Silver Medal for her short story, “The Windman.” More than 200,000 submissions were sent in from around the country, and only 2,000 works were selected for a National Gold or Silver medal.

"To get a Silver Medal this year was a crazy surprise," Mary said in an InFocus article. "I had only hoped to get national recognition at some point before I went to college. I had no idea I would achieve this goal so soon."

“The Windman,” which tells the tale of a mentally haunted man, is Mary's first attempt at writing a scary story.

"I'm proud of my work," she said. "I've never written a scary story in my life, and it was exciting to see it do so well."

The award has strengthened her desire to write, Mary said. She plans to continue honing her craft and attend writing camps over the summer.

Mary Weeks

Mary Weeks

"This serves as motivation," she said. "I have proof that I'm good at writing, and that spurs me on when I get discouraged. It even gives me hope of maybe someday having a career in writing."

Mary's short story will be published in an online gallery on the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers website. Her name will also be listed in the Yearbook 2021, a companion to The Best Teen Art and The Best Teen Writing publications that feature National Medalist works.

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