EGHS Junior Wins Short Fiction Award

by | Feb 20, 2024

Above: From left, English teachers Karen Izzo and Jen Steffy, Junior Annabel Rarick, contest co-creator and judge Hester Kaplan, contest coordinator Diana Champa, and EGSD Asst. Supt. Michael Podraza. 

This is the third time Write Rhode Island has singled out Annabel Rarick

EGHS Junior Annabel Rarick has always written stories. When she learned about the writing contest Write Rhode Island while in 6th grade, she knew she wanted to enter. 

So in 7th grade, I submitted my first story and it was my first cohesive, complete polished piece and I was lucky enough to win an award for that one and I’ve just submitted every year since,” Rarick said last Thursday (2/15/24), after representatives from Write Rhode Island presented her with one of this year’s four top awards for her short story “Culicidae.” 

There were more than 180 story submissions from students in grades 7-12 across the state. Rarick’s story, along with the other winners, will be published in the Write Rhode Island anthology and honored at a special awards ceremony at the Newport Art Museum March 24.  

The goal of the short fiction competition, held annually in December, is to promote and celebrate the work of students by incorporating Rhode Island as a theme in a creative piece of prose. 

Officials from Write Rhode Island – which is run out of School One in Providence – presented Rarick with the award in the EGHS library, with the rest of the AP Literature class present, as well as AP Lit teacher Karen Izzo and Rarick’s sophomore year English teacher Jen Steffy, who also taught creative writing to her first semester. 

“Annabel has such a distinctive voice” as a writer, Izzo said, recounting how she had reached out to Steffy after reading Rarick’s first “mad 40” essay (an in-class assignment), to find out more about her new student. 

Absent was Marc Brocato, who taught Rarick freshman year and was listed as her supervising teacher for the contest application. Find Rarick’s story here: Culicidae by Annabel Rarick.

Another EG student, Cole Middle School’s Antonina Suellentrop, earned an honorable mention for her story, “Gilded Thieves.”

All stories are judged as blind submissions – none of the judges know the names of the submitters. Over 50 readers, all volunteers, participated in this year’s first-round judging. The winning entries were selected by co-creators Hester Kaplan and Taylor Polites, and guest judges Rebekah Bergman and Alex Graudins. 

“The display of talent in this year’s competition is a testament to the innate desire we all feel to tell our stories,” said Polites. “We look forward to not only cultivating storytelling in the young people of our state, but also for the stories they will tell now and in the future.”

“Of the 180 competition entries we received this year more than 90 percent of students cited teachers and librarians as their introduction to Write Rhode Island,” said Diana DeCesaris Champa, director of Literary Engagement at School One and the competition’s coordinator. “It’s fantastic to see the impact they have.”

2024 Write Rhode Island Winners 

  1. Unlocked by Eliza Gobin, Lincoln High School
  2. The Journey by Karuna Lohman, Narragansett High School
  3. Culicidae by Annabel Rarick, East Greenwich High School
  4. Brilliant Light by Gabrielle Taillon, Ponaganset High School

2024 Write Rhode Island Notable Mention 

  1. The Laughing Death by Audrey Adams, Barrington High School
  2. A Warm Winter by Emily Church, Meadowbrook Waldorf School
  3. The Reefs by Vika Dwyer, The Lincoln School
  4. Fall by Melanie Eusebio, Classical High School
  5. How Else Could I Be? By Bridget Flynn, Narragansett High School
  6. Undertow by Marjorie Leary, Portsmouth High School
  7. Run by Freya Lombardi, Homeschool
  8. A Moment in Time by Brenna Malloy, North Kingstown High School
  9. Asesinato by Lilian Maloney, Barrington High School
  10. Pelts by Sadie McCann, North Kingstown High School
  11. The Library by Emma Mitnik, Barrington High School
  12. Boat of Hope by Maggie Reed, Lawn Middle School
  13. Gilded Thieves by Antonina Suellentrop, Archie R. Cole Middle School
  14. Night Owls by Amelia Taylor, Barrington High School
  15. The Adventures of Sir Harry by Wesley Van Leer, Barrington High School
  16. How to Survive Rhode Island: A Step-by-Step Guide, Jasmine Vega, Westerly Middle School

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