The Northwood High School Quill team won first place in the state competition against nine other high schools. In Northwood’s first year in the Quill writing competition, students Quinn Kerscher, James Calhoun, Frances Beroset and Jacob Friedman placed in first with a score of 91.0.
Each member of the team was assigned a category and given 90 minutes to type a submission based on a prompt. The categories were literary analysis, problem/solution, argumentation and creative writing. Calhoun placed first in the problem/solution category in the state competition, held at Lexington Senior High March 2.
Calhoun said it felt “amazing” to win.
“I had a prompt that I was really excited about and I thought I did really well,” Calhoun said.
Each writer was given a score based on his or her individual essay.Beroset placed first in the argumentation category in the regional competition held at Northwood Feb. 6-8, but felt less confident in states.
“I was [surprised by the championship]. I knew that some of the other members thought they did really well, but I thought I did horribly,” Beroset said.
English teacher Ben Thompson, head of the creative writing club, was the organizer and team leader for Northwood’s first Quill competition team.
“It was great. I was very confident all along, but it was a little nerve-wracking having to sit there in the auditorium waiting for our names to be called,” Thompson said.
The team was surprised, yet elated when they were informed that they had won.
“We all worked hard to get to states and we were so happy to win. It felt great to know that we were the best writers in the state of North Carolina,” Friedman said.
The team received medals, t-shirts and a group trophy for their victory.
“[Winning] felt really good…. I’m grateful that my team won,” Beroset said.
The rest of the team and the teachers shared the same opinion.
“I wasn’t surprised that they did well, but winning the state championship was really impressive,” English teacher Kari Haddy said.
Haddy was a judge for both the regional and state competitions. She discovered the Quill competition through her role as coach of the quiz bowl team.
“I’m just really proud that an academic competition is going to cause more academic recognition,” Haddy said. “I think we definitely deserve it. We won states on the first try.”
–By Kasey Jenkins