County teens win writing awards -- Gazette.Net


Two Montgomery County high schoolers received top awards from this year’s D.C. Metro Scholastic Writing Awards, one of the country’s largest, longest-running, writing recognition program for teens.

Noa Gur-Arie, a junior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, received two nominations for the American Voices Awards for her poem “Dolbear’s Law and do you remember running” and her personal essay “Wordscapes.” Gur-Arie’s poetry and essay were among five works selected from nearly 800 submissions to represent the best teen writing from the region. The nominated works will go on to be read on the national level, where one outstanding work will be selected to represent the region.

Emily Birnbaum, a senior at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, won the Busboys and Poets $1,000 Scholarship for top senior portfolio, “Learning to Run,” which contains poetry, personal essays and a short story. Birnbaum has won numerous honors from the awards program.

The awards program this year recognized works from 186 teen writers from the Greater Washington region, including 50 from Montgomery County. County students, who attend both private and public schools, earned 96 awards, including Gold Keys, Silver Keys and Honorable Mentions.

Seventh- through 12th-graders submitted works of fiction, nonfiction, plays and poetry. They were evaluated by panels comprising poets, novelists, journalists, master’s degree candidates, editors, playwrights and educators from around the country.

In in its 90 years, the program has recognized teen work by writers, artists and thinkers such as Truman Capote, Lena Dunham, Robert Redford, Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, John Updike and Joyce Carol Oates.

More information about Writopia Lab’s work with the program is at; information about the program is at