Students enter Wordsmith’s competition 


Regina Schimke wrote her Wordsmith entry in her own home. This is her fourth year participating in the contest.

Skylar Longsine, Reporter

The Wordsmith’s current competition is for students of BHS to embrace their creativity through a short story. The short story cannot be longer than 2,000 words, and can be of any genre. All submissions were sent to English teacher Andrew Reise by Dec. 10. 

Reise explains the positive impacts participating in the Wordsmith competition could have for students.

This is an opportunity for young writers to showcase their creative talents, get specific feedback from the judges about their writing, and get positive recognition by earning cash prizes and their stories get published in a public venue for the top three winners,” Reise said.

After entering, student work will then be presented to a set of judges who use a rubric of characteristics to decide placement.

“When judges have completed their evaluations, they get together to discuss, compare, and decide on the winning submissions,” Reise said. “The scoring rubrics are used as a guideline to offer some insights into what is being looked for, but ultimately, it’s a matter of telling a good story—entertaining, original, well-organized and well-written.” 

First place winner in the 2020 contest, senior Regina Schimke feels pride in her accomplishment, which ultimately is building her confidence in her writing.

“Winning the Short Story Contest made me feel really good about my writing because I never think it’s very good when I write it, so to have other people think it’s good enough to take first place makes me really happy and proud of my work,” Schimke said. 

Schimke is hoping to take home first place once again with her unique planning process. 

“I have a general idea of what my story will look like. The next step is to create a basic outline. I usually have a few scenes already in my head at this point, too. Usually I don’t even plan out the entire story before I start writing,” Schimke said. “I put what I’m stuck on in brackets and keep going so I don’t lose my flow. I will return to the areas with brackets later. Because of this, I don’t always write in chronological order. I also keep a ‘deleted scenes’ doc where I put all the things that I have to take out but don’t want to completely delete.”

Wordsmiths President Ethan Brunke says he hopes to see lots of submissions to see a variety of creativity from the student body. 

“Students should participate because writing is a fun thing, at least in my opinion. I also think it gives everyone the opportunity to embrace their creativity,” Brunke said.