Clay Middle School student wins National Scholastic Writing honors


An eighth-grade student from Clay Middle School is an award winner in this year’s National Scholastic Writing Competition. Winners were announced nationally March 22.

Katelyn Chen will be awarded a gold medal for her flash-fiction story “Phantasmagoria” and a silver key for her poem “Pandemic Blues” at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards National Ceremony set for June 8 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Chen, 13, said she has been writing since she was in fifth grade. She enjoys the many ways her imagination and creativity allow her to express herself.

“It seems so amazing that you’re able to show a bunch of your feelings, your emotions, what you believe in (and) what you think about as of that moment through poetry,” Chen said.

In “Pandemic Blues,” Chen explores thoughts and feelings about isolation during initial school shutdowns at the beginning of the COVD-19 pandemic.

Chen said writing gives her the opportunity to connect with and relate to her peers.

“I really like ‘Pandemic Blues’ because I would be able to share my experience with the pandemic as well as I’m sure other people’s view, just being stuck in a chokehold of not being able to do anything,” she said.

Chen said her experience has shown her what she can accomplish at a young age. She wants her peers to see they can do the same.

“I hope that by being able to do these things and put in all of my hard work and effort, younger people will be encouraged to do so themselves,” she said.